Ever wondered what it’s like to start college straight from school?

July 25, 2023 - Jane Moore

So you've just finished school and are coming to college in August?  You've made a great choice! Why?

  • You’ll be studying closer to home, so you won’t have too far to travel.
  • By staying local it means you can keep working if you have a part-time job.
  • Our classes are small so you’ll get plenty of support with lots of opportunities and networking.
  • We’ve got fantastic facilities where you’ll learn new skills to get you ready for when you start applying for jobs.

College is a great option for school leavers. We offer a large range of courses to get you ready for the world of work or university level study in a friendly environment. College is an excellent transition which can help boost your confidence, provide practical experience, learn from industry experts, and give you a head start in your career.

Not sure what to expect? Meet some of our students who chose college once they finished school and have now got the chance to travel the world, get their dream job, and win awards!

Heather Rae – Travel and Tourism student, broadened her horizon by coming to college

Heather said “Being at college has given me a lot of independence over the years. My communication skills have improved - being able to talk in front of an audience and doing presentations and talks. I have also learnt so many IT skills and research skills throughout the course which will benefit me in the future.”

Isaac Woodford studied HNC Childhood Practice and is now an Early Years Practitioner.

Isaac said “When I left school in sixth year, I was only interested in an Early Years career. I’m glad I decided to come to college as it’s so rewarding. I’m happy that I did as it gave me a brilliant experience and I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

School-College courses

Some students started their college journey on our School-College courses and have gone on to further study or apprenticeships.

Viktoryia Parkhamovich started an Engineering Skills course when she was in sixth year, then studied HNC Aircraft Engineering at Ayrshire College, and is now an Aircraft Maintenance Apprentice at GE Caledonian.

Viktoryia said “the Aircraft Engineering course was really hands on and I absolutely loved it. It was so interesting, really rewarding and gave me a bit of a head start. That’s when I decided to think about a career in engineering.”

School-leaver and Hospitality student Emma-Rose Milligan, was recently named as the recipient of the inaugural Andrew Fairlie Scholarship.

About her time at college, Emma-Rose said "I learnt all the basics at Ayrshire College. The facilities are really good. All the lecturers are amazing, they have personal experience in the industry so their advice comes from that.”

Students take on Cyber Security

We spoke with Secondary 6 school pupils who are studying School-College course HNC Cyber Security, to find out their thoughts on coming to college, why they decided to do a school-college course and what their future ambitions are.  Read more here 


What about Apprenticehips?

School pupils from Prestwick who studied an engineering-based school-college course with Ayrshire College have secured apprenticeships with GE Caledonian.

The Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) course at Ayrshire College is a subject choice for S5 pupils alongside their higher subjects at secondary school. The course involves two afternoons of study at the College’s Ayr Campus per week.

Four pupils from this year’s Prestwick Academy cohort have been successful in obtaining apprenticeship opportunities – Arianna McLean, Sam Robson, Ben Stewart and Calum Wolfe.

Another student, Mason McFarlane, has been successful having studied the Prestwick Academy PEO last year. Mason is now on the NC Aeronautical Engineering course at Ayrshire College.

This engineering course in partnership with Prestwick Academy has been running since 2019/20 and has now resulted in 16 pupils successfully moving into apprenticeships.                



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