Studying at a UTC

It’s not by accident that Lucy has found herself in this position. Knowing she wanted to study engineering Lucy went on the hunt for a college that would allow her to do so. She came across UTC Oxfordshire and, attracted by the brand new workshop and opportunities for employer engagement, made the bold decision to join when it opened in 2015. Moving to the UTC from an all-girls school has been a big change for Lucy but she has relished the challenge and has enjoyed the freedom the curriculum gives her to explore her passion.

I came from an all girls school where engineering was not the norm and it felt like you were judged for doing it. At UTC Oxfordshire I’ve felt so supported and the teachers have given me the help and encouragement to achieve high grades, I’ve loved it all.

‘High grades’ is no exaggeration. Lucy has achieved DDD*, far exceeding her own expectations and giving her confidence a huge boost.

The Employer Led Projects at UTC Oxfordshire have also had a huge role to play in Lucy’s growing confidence. One particular project she excelled in was designing and building a Vex robot to complete a remote handling challenge. This project was led by her future employer CCFE and gave Lucy a great opportunity to raise her profile with the company; her talent clearly caught their eye!

The impact employers have on the design and delivery of the curriculum was a key factor in Lucy’s decision to join the UTC but it was the actual timetable that piqued her interest. Like all UTCs, UTC Oxfordshire’s timetable mirrors that of a working day, running from 8.30am to 5pm. For career minded Lucy this was a key selling point as it would put her in good practice for when she joined the workforce.

Lucy has also found the time and energy to take on the Duke of York Technical Gold Award and is waiting to hear that she has successfully completed all the criteria.

Looking to the future

Lucy has deliberately decided to pursue an apprenticeship instead of going to university as she wants to earn while she learns and she’s keen to continue building on the experience she’s racked up at the UTC.

I’m coming to the end of my BTEC Level 3 Engineering Extended Diploma and heading off into the real world of work and I can’t believe how much experience I’m taking with me from my two years here. The employer led projects, the timetable structure, the networking; they’ve all given me an insight into jobs in the engineering industry and I can’t wait to join it for real with CCFE.

For more information about UTC Oxfordshire, please visit www.utcoxfordshire.org.uk

Back to case studies