Blended learning has given me a better experience than being in a university and studying full time

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What made you choose USW? 
​For me it was based on the attractiveness on the course, and accessibility. I had moved to Newport so it was convenient to travel 40 minutes on the motorway, I also understood that the university was one of the best in terms of engineering courses. 
Did you start studying straight after your undergraduate course? 
I moved to Newport to begin working for a business run by a family member, in between working I have been doing a part-time course since 2015. Firstly I did the HNC Civil Engineering for two years and used that as a gateway to further my learning and gain a BSc and have now moved on to study an MSc. 
How did you find the fees and funding process? 
I used the funding offered by Student Finance Wales to cover the tuition fees and access grants available to part-time learners. This gave me extra funds to use on books and other learning materials.   
How have you found blended learning? 
I have found that blended learning has given me a better experience than being in a university and studying full time. The experience you gain from being out in the workplace and still learning the technical aspects of your trade makes for good reading on the CV. After moving on from the family run business, my new employer actively encouraged me to continue with learning whilst working. ​With apps available like WhatsApp it has been easy to stay in touch with friends and lecturers, with the lecturers in the engineering department having a pretty "open door" policy you get the help you need when you need it. I found this to be very helpful when writing my dissertation for the BSc  
How did you apply to university? 
​From what I remember I applied for the HNC originally directly to the university, as I passed that course it gave me direct access to the BSc and similarly with the MSc. 
What are the best bits about the course?  
I have a particular interest in engineering in general so have enjoyed a lot of the course, whilst I have never been very good at maths it is something that I have focused my attention on and applied in the lectures. I have gained an appreciation for the need to make things work practically, as well as designing things that work on paper.   
What will you learn that will make you more employable? 
​I think that studying part-time has had a big influence in how attractive my CV is to employers. Whilst having a young family, part-time studying and working full time, I have still tried to excel in the field I am working in. I think the placements offered on the course to full-time students are most beneficial. 
What are your future plans? 
I will continue on the MSc course and am aiming to achieve a chartership.