Argyll College News

Part Time Tutor – PGDE (Secondary: Business)

PDGE tutorFollowing our successful delivery over the past 2 years of the Primary Teaching PGDE programme, Argyll College will be offering the Secondary Teaching (English medium) PGDE in 2017/18.  Specific subjects are being offered according to teacher shortages across Argyll and Bute, and one of the subjects for which we have a demand is Business.

For most of the time, the Secondary Business students will be taught alongside Primary students, as well as Secondary students who are specialising in a range of subjects.  But for one hour a week, Secondary students participate in a class which is dedicated to the delivery of their own specific subject.

Applications are invited from those who wish to deliver a weekly class for students intending to teach Business subjects.  Your role would be to inform and inspire students to teach Business subjects (Nationals and Higher).  You would give a weekly class during the students’ 4 college blocks (a total of 18 week over the year) starting at the end of August 2017.   Delivery would preferably be on a Friday afternoon, but negotiation is possible.

The Argyll students are based at our Oban centre, but they will be linked with one or more students from other UHI partners.  The total number of students will be less than 10.  Due to the dispersed student population, the weekly class will need to be delivered by videoconference - experience of teaching by videoconference is not essential, as training can be provided.

Whoever delivers this class could do so from various locations, depending on where they are based: one of the Argyll College centres, or a centre belonging to any other UHI partner, or from a school if they have the necessary videoconference equipment, or even from home as long as they have good broadband and a webcam.  Help and support will be given in planning for delivery, and there is no assessment or marking involved.

You must be GTCS registered, and have substantial and recent experience of teaching Business in schools.  The main qualities we are looking for are enthusiasm and creativity for teaching Business subjects to school pupils, and a wish to pass this on to others.   Interviews for this post will be held on Wednesday 26th April 2017, and can be carried out in person at our Oban centre, or by videoconference from any location.

Payment will be at the standard HE VC hourly teaching rate, which is £27.16 per hour

plus an hourly payment in lieu of annual leave of £5.08, giving a total hourly rate of £32.24.

The following support documents are available for this post.

Job Description

All applications must be made on the Argyll College application form.  Please send/email completed application form to:

Lorna McDonald, Argyll College UHI Ltd,
Glenshellach Business Park,
Oban PA34 4RY
or e-mail:

The closing date for applications is Friday 14th April 2017

Click to Apply

apprenticeship week

Liam PattersonLiam Paterson (20) is currently in his second year as a Carpentry and Joinery apprentice at Argyll College UHI’s Construction, Engineering and Renewables Centre in Lochgilphead.

Liam left school three years ago with no particular plans, and had a variety of jobs ranging from supermarket worker to crewing on a commercial fishing boat before being offered an apprenticeship with local firm Duncan Hunter.

He has never looked back.

“My message to any young person out there who’s not sure whether or not an apprenticeship is for them is that it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” Liam said.

“It’s very rewarding - I feel I’m getting a lot out of it.  My skills are improving all the time, and I’ve got the support of both my employer and my college tutors in making sure I do as well as I can over the four years.

“It’s great being out on site working for a few months, then coming back to college for another block of training and assessment.  I’m with a good group of lads and we all enjoy meeting up when we come back for the college elements.

“I feel as if I’ve been given a chance to make something of myself, and it’s a chance I’m not going to mess up.”

NC Horticulture Students Clean Up!



view1On Tuesday 17th January Argyll College NC Horticulture students carried out a huge clearance of land outside the Men’s Shed in view1afterDunoon, as part of their enterprise activity. The Men’s Shed is a community run workshop and they needed the help to clear the outside area to clear the way for landscaping, raised beds and a view2greenhouse.

The clearance took a whole day and the students worked very well view2afteras a team in order to achieve this. Our volunteers spent the day running back and forward to the dump, filling eight tonne sacks with various different types of garden waste, rubble, weeds and brambles. Multiple bins were filled with rubbish and wheelbarrows of stones moved.

Hopefully our Horticulture students will be able to carry on helping with this project in future months to come and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

Argyll College Student Wins UHI Literature Degree prize

As a partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands, Argyll College can offer a wide range of Degree level courses.  A full list of all courses on offer are available here.

One such course is the BA Literature degree.  Argyll College student Ian Brotherhood is currently studying the course via distance learning and has been awarded the “Best Performing Student” for 2015/16.


We asked Ian about the prize: “Getting any kind of prize is always a treat, but this one is really special for me because I've been enjoying my time at UHI so much. Took me a while to settle into the course, but I prepared well for third year during the summer and got a lot of reading done. That meant I had more time to get the essays done properly. I had no idea that my marks were comparatively high, so the prize is a genuine surprise, and a big boost. Very much enjoying my final year now, but can't believe how fast the time has passed. I've met some great people, learned heaps of interesting stuff and will really miss it when it's over!”

We also asked Programme Leader Dr Kristin Lindfield-Ott to tell us about the course:

“Studying literature at the University of the Highlands and Islands is not ‘English’, and nor is it ‘Scottish’. Our modules cover a wide range of authors, in English and translation, as well as theory from classic to contemporary. With a solid foundation in genres and periods in years 1 and 2, and research-based modules in years 3 and 4, our graduates are confident and enthusiastic writers, researchers and readers.

Like other UHI degrees in the Humanities, our degree are taught through blended learning: a combination of video conference seminars, online materials and – of course – lots of reading, writing and thinking. You can study at one of our many campuses in the Highlands and Islands (Inverness, Perth, Moray, North Highland (Thurso or Dornoch), Orkney, Shetland, Lews Castle, West Highland (Fort William), Argyll, at one of our smaller learning centres, or, if you are in a remote location, from home on your own computer. This makes us unique, and equips our students with hands-on technological skills.”

You can find out more information on the course at their website

Childcare Students Support Bookbug Extravaganza

Here are some great photos of our Childcare Practice students supporting the annual Bookbug extravaganza which took place on Monday 5th December.


Nursery children, P1s and some P2s attended from across Mid Argyll. The event aims to encourage a love of books and reading from an early age.

With 2 or 3 sessions throughout the day there’s lots to do, and our students arrived early to support in different ways:  they meet and greet the buses, direct the children to the dance studio, take

Taking part in events such as this forms an important part of courses like NC Early Education and Childcare and SVQ2&3 Social Services(Children) and Young People and allows the students to put into practice the knowledge they gain through their studies. photos, support the children during the songs, and hand out stickers at the end.  This year Lisa Hilton and Kirsty McDougall volunteered to lead the singing and as you can see it was great fun.

The Bookbug day is organised by Argyll and Bute Council Early Years Team with help from Alistair the ‘story teller’ and Lorna Cameron, ABC Early Years & Family support worker.

Childcare Students at Bookbug Event

Shown in the photo from left to right;

Sarah Nicolson

Niamh Rodden

Kirsty McDougall

Chloe McChesney

Lisa Hilton (Bookbug)

Patrice Seaward

Sophie Kirk

Emma-Jane Cunningham.

Field to Fork school competition - Results

Field to Fork School Competition



Three High School teams came together at Argyll College UHI’s Oban centre today to compete in the ‘cook off’ final of the 2016 Field to Fork competition.

The judges were impressed with the creativity of the menus and the level of culinary skills exhibited by all the teams but ultimately Tobermory 1 were announced as winners and received £100 for their school as well as prestigious trophy.

The competition, which is being held as part of Argyll Enterprise Week, has been designed to encourage senior school pupils to explore the local food and hospitality industries. Two teams from Tobermory High School and one from Hermitage Academy prepared their two course local food menus for the judging panel in the college’s Professional Training Kitchen.

The winning team were Torran Mealand, Fraser Mitchell and Gosha Rybczynska who served up Mull smoked haddock with a parsley sauce and Glengorm onion mash, followed by individual Glengorm carrot cakes topped with Isle of Mull crowdie icing.

Also from Tobermory High School, Alexander McLean and Joseph Mitchell from Tobermory High School made Inverlussa Mussels in a white wine and parsley sauce, served with freshly baked soda bread, followed by spaghetti carbonara using Isle of Mull bacon and smoked cheese, served with Glengorm herb and leaf salad.

Hermitage Academy team members, Grace Lewis, Leah MacPherson, Amy Ringham and Jordan McGhie, presented Argyll smoked haddock and potato timbales followed by ‘Scottish Bread Pudding Gold Edition’ with berries and cream.

Teams were judged on their creative use of local food and their approach to seasonal ingredients, as well as the quality and presentation of their finished dishes. Guest judge, Shaun Squires, Head Chef of The Manor House Hotel, Oban said ‘’All the teams did really well and produced dishes which had balanced flavours and showed high levels of skill. The result was extremely close and judging was very difficult.’’

University of the Highlands and Islands Regional Skills Group Project Manager, Wilma Brown said, ‘’This has been a great way of introducing young people to issues of sustainability and the importance of locally produced food to our region’s economy. The teams showed a very good understanding of some of the complex issues surrounding the Scottish Food System.’

Fraser Durie, Principal of Argyll College UHI presented the trophy. He said ‘We’re delighted to hold this event which further reinforces the links between schools, employers and Further and Higher Education. Connection with one of Argyll’s most important industries is vitally important in developing the young workforce.’

Islay student picks up top award

sarah and mairiBowmore resident Sarah Mottram has been named Argyll College Further Education Student of the Year for 2016. Sarah was presented with a beautiful cup and certificate at a local celebration in Bowmore this Thursday 6th October by Mairi MacCuaig, Centre Manager of Argyll College Islay.

Sarah studied NC Business at the Argyll College Islay Centre in Bowmore and was nominated for the award by Dunoon based tutor Liz McFarlane who said, ‘Sarah is a joy to tutor and she has met the many challenges of remote learning with determination, positivity and enthusiasm. I have been inspired by her tenacity, cheerfulness and consistent hard work throughout the year.’

Sarah is a full time carer and has a range of family responsibilities. The judges felt that her ability to juggle these demands with full-time study, combined with her impeccable attendance and academic records make her a very worthy recipient of this accolade.

sarahSarah said ‘’ I initially approached Mairi, manager of the Islay UHI with regards to a computer course, and she suggested NC in business studies which I accepted. I was glad to see other Islay colleagues but during time I found myself the only student. I admit I did question whether I should proceed and I am so glad I did. There was a possibility of feeling isolated with regards to the teaching method. This was overcome with help from the centre staff Mairi, Maria and Gordon, who were on hand to help. I cannot stress enough the helpful, friendly and supportive environment that the staff on Islay offered. I also would like to mention Lorraine who taught Information Technology. Never have I been taught by such a patient, positive and professional teacher. My tutors also were fantastic, specifically Liz from Dunoon and Dawn & Fiona from Campbeltown. On a final note my experience with the UHI came at a time in my life when I needed positivity, friendship and support.

Fraser Durie, Argyll College Principal commented, ‘Sarah is a credit to Argyll College UHI and to Islay. She embodies all that is best about our coastal communities: an unfailing commitment to care for others coupled with a determination to succeed in all endeavours. We wish Sarah well in whatever she chooses to do next.’

Surviving Exam Results

two school pupilsSenior school pupils all over Argyll will be receiving the results of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams on 9th August.  The culmination of at least a year’s work and a summer of waiting, finally getting your results can be extremely stressful for young people and their families. We’ve put together our top tips of how to cope on the day.

  1. Be honest. If you're feeling stressed because of other people's expectations of you, be honest and let them know how you're feeling – we often exaggerate the expectations of others, so talking about this will help keep things in perspective.
  2. Don’t bottle your feelings up. If you’re nervous or anxious, talk about it. Tell your family or friends, or if you don’t think you can, you might want to check out they have some great advice about coping with exam stress and, if you’re aged 19 or under, you can contact one of their counsellors for free and talk to them about anything – no problem is too big or too small to them.
  3. Don't compare your results to other people's. Exam results are personal to you, so it's important to focus on your own expectations and ambitions.
  4. If you didn’t get the exam results you were hoping for don’t panic. There’s plenty of help and advice around: Skills Development Scotland offer callers’ access to information on UCAS course vacancies at college and universities across the UK, Confirmation and Clearing, advice about Modern Apprenticeships, employment and training opportunities. The helpline number is 0808 100 8000
  5. If you don’t understand your SQA certificate, or if you think something is missing or wrong, contact your school or college immediately and ask for help. If there is a problem, your school or college will contact SQA to sort it out.
  6. For help or advice about the content or layout of your certificate you can contact SQA’s Candidate Advice Line. This will be available from Tuesday 9 August to Friday 12 August. The advice line number can be found on the letter that accompanies your certificate.
  7. For information about remaining college course spaces in Argyll you can contact Argyll College UHI on 0845 2309969 and ask to be put through to your local centre. Your local centre staff will also be able to give you advice on funding and bursaries.
  8. If you got the exam results you wanted Hoorah! Massive well done to you and make sure you celebrate your tremendous achievement, but be aware that others around you may not have had such happy news – you might want to take it easy on social media until you know that there’s no one nearby who’s upset by their results.
  9. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate good results, but don't be hard on yourself if you haven't done as well as you'd hoped.

10.  The important thing to remember is that, even if things don’t go your way, there are always options open to you. Sometimes, the best opportunities come out of life's unexpected twists and turns.

Summer Dance School

dance groupArgyll College ran a dance summer school for children s3 and upwards in the first week of July in the Tower Digital Arts Centre in Helensburgh.

Girls from west Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute attended.  It was a great success with happy, talented dancers.  At the end of the week, all involved took to the stage for a performance in the Tower theatre with great feedback from family, dance teachers and friends.

All involved said they loved trying the different styles of dance each day, the impressive purpose built studio and getting the chance to put on a performance at the end.

Dance tutor Suzanne Shanks says “the courses Argyll College will be running are a fantastic opportunity for the many gifted dance students in the local area as the talent I saw at the summer school was outstanding and what we achieved in such a short space of time was a great success.”

danceIf you’re  interested in our Dance summer schools as well as our NPA and NC Dance, Drama and Theatre Production courses call us on 01369 707182 for further details or search for the courses on our website.

Scott Anderson

Dunoon Student Recognised in HISA Awards

scott andersonArgyll College UHI are delighted to announce Scott Anderson has been voted winner of the Best Class Representative award in the Highlands and Islands Student Association (HISA) Awards 2016 by his fellow students.

The awards, run in partnership by HISA and the University of the Highlands and Island are designed to recognise the very best practice in enhancing the experience of our students. The University of the Highlands and Islands was one of the first UK institutions to introduce student-led teaching awards. The initiative, now in its seventh year, recognises excellence in ten categories, with winners coming from around the university partnership. Scott is being recognised as having made an exceptional contribution to serving his class through his role as class representative.

A fellow student commented ‘Scott has been a fabulous class representative, anything that anyone has asked him to do he does with confidence and keeps everybody up to date with everything that may affect the class as a whole by email or by addressing the class by video conference. He doesn't shy away from asking the tough questions which is shows a confident and capable person. It has been a privilege to study alongside Scott Anderson.’

On learning of the award Scott said ‘I'm really touched and grateful to receive this award.  I've absolutely loved my time so far at Argyll College UHI and this has just made my year even better. I'm genuinely shocked to get this, amazed by all the nice comments and can't wait to do the best I can for Argyll College and its students next year.’

His tutor Liz McFarlane said, ‘‘Scott has been a natural and effective spokesperson for the class. I've never seen a rep so committed to getting students to engage - he has shown them they have a valued voice with senior management. ’

Scott, an HNC Administration and IT student at the college’s Dunoon Learning Centre, has also been recently confirmed as the HISA Depute President for Argyll College UHI for 2016-17, as well as being nominated for Argyll College UHI’s HE Student of the Year

Star Tutor

Kerry teaching on VCCampbeltown based tutor Kerry McGeachy has been highly commended in the 2016 HISA student awards in numerous categories including: Most Inspiring Lecturer, Most Engaging Video Conference Tutor, Best PAT, and Best Assessment Feedback.

Kerry joined Argyll College in 2005 teaching various Early Education and Childcare Courses. Despite combining her demanding teaching role with the care of her two small children, she always goes the extra mile for her students, often being in touch with them well after classes have finished.

Kerry Kerry undertook a BA in Child and Youth Studies at Argyll College UHI completing this in 2009, and in 2015 attained a Teaching Qualification in Further Education; Kerry has always shown an immense talent for the difficult task of teaching by VC – a skill that is greatly appreciated by her students – here’s what they have to say:

‘’The way in which Kerry teaches through VC is great as we have many class discussions which many think would not work due to being on video call, however with our class we can have great debates and we all have great inputs. ‘’

‘’When marking assessments Kerry is always really good for giving us lots of feedback to improve our writing and I now feel my writing is at a much higher standard feel ready to start my degree after the summer. ‘’

‘’As my PAT Kerry is always there for me to talk to, whether it involves assessments, placements, work stress or even issues with my personal life, she is always there to listen even late at night or on the weekend’’

‘’As soft as she is, she is not one to be messed with and takes deadlines and word counts very seriously!’’

‘’Kerry is the best teacher I have ever had and she is the reason that I come to college.’’

Well done Kerry!

New Dance and Drama courses

Argyll College UHI is now recruiting for two brand new courses which will be available in partnership with The Tower, Helensburgh’s digital arts venue.

2 dancersThe courses are Dance and Professional Theatre Preparation (Drama) and both are part of a new suite of National Progression Awards NPAs which cover a range of aspects of the theatre industry. Both courses are designed to provide students with an introduction Creative Industries and are a perfect preparation for the NC Acting and Performance or the NC Technical Theatre  which we plan to offer in the same venue in August.

These NPAs will run for 13 weeks from mid-April, and require attendance only 2 mornings per week, plus an hour on one of the afternoons.

Course fees are subsidised for April entrants and readers can get all the relevant details and apply online at or can find out more by calling  Faye on 01631 559 750

Students Charity success

quiz team

Event planning is part of the National Certificate in Administration course at Argyll College UHI.

Our amazing students raised a massive £1240.63 for Yorkhill Children’s Charity with their charity quiz event night hosted at the Campbeltown Bowling Club.

Twenty-eight teams entered for this five-round quiz event with the winning team ‘Happy Harry’ receiving a customised bottle of Springburn whisky.

Special thanks to students Conor Stirton, Andrea Rutherford, Audrey Campbell, Steven Tolmie & Steven Downie, to their tutor Dawn Miller who provided them with support throughout the planning of the event and to all the lovely people who supported the event and donated prizes for the raffle.

Well done all!

Hard at work

group on bridgeOur Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN ) class started back in 2012 in union with the Lochgilphead Resource Centre to offer a practical course for adults with additional support needs.

They started making bird boxes and it quickly became apparent that they were capable of some excellent work.  We have lots of wildlife visit our CERC (Centre for Engineering Renewables and Construction) centre, including 3 resident squirrels, so it was decided to create a nice observation area.  deck area

That’s how our decked area reached by a mono block path and a bridge was born.  This has now been adorned with a bird table, A wheelbarrow planter and 2 chairs (same design as those that were on the deck of the Titanic).

The next stage is to fill the pond!


Students Show Their Caring Side.

Campbeltown Caring studentsStudents from Argyll College UHI childcare courses  showed their caring side recently by collecting tinned food and blankets for Kintyre Food Bank. The girls organised the collection at Argyll College’s Hazelburn campus and received generous donations from fellow students and staff.

‘Students will learn about many of the issues affecting families, including poverty and the effect this can have on children’s development as part of their course’, said Kyla Steel, one of the tutors involved. ‘I’m very proud of them being motived to do something postive like this.’

The Kintyre Food Bank has been operating for fifteen months and in that time has distributed more than 330 food parcels containing a balanced menu of rations intended to last families for 3 days.

‘ Their readieness to help people living in food and fuel poverty in Kintyre has helped to  make life more comfortable for those struggling with poverty’ said Jean Macintyre of the Kintyre Food Bank, adding ‘It’s donations from caring people like these students that help us make up for cuts in local and national services.’

If you’d like to support the work  of the Food Bank you can currently make donations of food at the Co-op in Campbeltown or Hyland Electrics in Tarbert.

Tourism students get the best view in town

Argyll College Students visit The Argyll Hotel

In December our Skills for Work Travel & Tourism students were given the opportunity of a tour around the Argyll Hotel by the General Manager, Mr Dev Surya. Dev had taken time out of his busy schedule to show the 5th and 6th year students and their tutor Rhona Altin around the hotel.

dunoon students

Rhona and her students were greeted in the conference room with refreshments of orange juice and shortbread where Dev proceeded to tell the students all about the business. The Argyll Hotel is part of a chain of 6 hotels in Scotland called SGE Hotels and is also part of The Best Western Group which has hotels all around the world. The hotel has over 30 staff of which 20 are full time.

On the tour of the hotel our students learned about the different departments and how they work, including the dining areas and the two separate kitchens, one which caters for the hotel and the other for “Rio” Restaurant.

Dev explained that they cater for a wide variety of guests from family to business and coach tours. The nicest room was the tower room at the very top of the hotel which has a king size bed and 180 degree views of Dunoon and the River Clyde.

Dev then took the time for a question and answer session with us and was very open and honest in answering everything the students asked!

Learn to Teach in Argyll

2015-16 pgde studentsIf you are considering a career in teaching, you may well be aware that the deadline for submitting your PGDE application to UCAS is looming on the 15th January 2016, but did you know that you can study for The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) right here in Argyll?

The PGDE is the graduate entry route into teaching in Scotland and is now available to students in Argyll through Argyll College UHI, working in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council. Graduates of the course will hold provisional registration as a primary teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

The PGDE consists of 18 weeks study at the university, plus 19 weeks in professional practice in a number of primary schools gaining vital hands-on teaching experience in our unique rural environment. Gaelic pathway is available for those already fluent in the language.

Our first cohort are approximately half way through their course and are very enthusiastic about studying in Argyll. ‘’This is a brilliant course with a large portion of collaborative work and plenty of independent study’’ says Jenny Campbell, one of the first students to undertake this programme in Argyll, ‘’Placements give an excellent context to develop teaching practice and vital practical skills. The best thing about studying in Argyll, for me, is being able to continue living in a rural location while studying.’’

"This course prepares the students for a future as primary teachers, giving them the skills and knowledge that they need in order to deliver a high quality education to the children. Being in schools, working alongside class teachers, is an invaluable part of their training.’’ says course tutor Caroline Boyle, ‘’The balance of the course allows the students to learn from teachers, and put into practice all they are studying at university.  I am delighted to be supporting such a dedicated and hard working group of students, seeing them develop their skills, and gain in confidence as the course progresses."

Fraser Durie, Principal of Argyll College UHI said “We are delighted to be offering the opportunity for students to study and work in Argyll and Bute for the PGDE in Primary Education. Previously students would have had to travel outwith the region and incur considerable additional costs in order to follow this route. It’s particularly pleasing to have the Diploma available with a Gaelic medium pathway thereby reflecting the linguistic heritage of Argyll and Bute.’’

Applications should be made through UCAS and the closing date for has been extended until February 2016.

For full details on the Professional Graduate Diploma in Primary Education and all enquiries please contact Jen McFadyen at the Oban Campus Tel No. 01631 559509 or by email to .

Students Visit Cowal Games event office

Events marketing in Dunoon

Baiba, Aiga,Audrey and ValerijaFour students studying NC Travel and Tourism at our Dunoon centre recently visited the Cowal Gathering office with their tutor Liz McFarlane, where they met with Event Manager Malcolm Barclay and Yvonne Kane, who is the event administrator for the games.

As part of their NC qualification, the travel and tourism students study both selling and marketing, concentrating on the role and importance of each of these in a travel and tourism environment.  The Cowal Gathering, which was established in 1895, is a perfect example of the impact that marketing and sales strategies have on successfully steering an established brand through times of challenge and change.

The Cowal Gathering, which brings competitors and visitors from all over the world, is continually developing its brand to attract and entertain visitors year-on-year.

Tutor Liz said: “Whilst these subjects can be studied in the classroom, getting the opportunity to understand how these concepts are applied to real activities is invaluable. Malcolm and Yvonne bridge the gap between theory and practice and really made the marketing and selling functions come to life.  As a community we are so lucky to have this international festival on our doorstep and the opportunity for our students to get a behind-the-scenes insight into this event and consider its importance to the local economy is invaluable.

Class rep Baiba Brivkalne said: “None of us has lived in the town for too long so understanding the history behind the games was a great start. We didn’t realise how famous the games were outside Scotland either. Malcolm and Yvonne really understand the market and you don’t normally get to see all the hard work that this takes.  We left our trip realising that the games doesn’t just work to promote itself but to give local and Scottish businesses an opportunity too.”

Highly Commended Award

Recognition for Campbeltown student Fiona Lang at the prestigious SQA Star Awards 2015

Joe Wilson presents the award to Fiona Lang

Many congratulations to Campbeltown student Fiona Lang, recipient of the Highly Commended award in the College Candidate of the Year category at last Friday’s SQA Star Awards held at the Assembly rooms in Edinburgh.

Fiona – who is also our HE Student of the Year 2015 – was thrilled to receive the accolade which was accompanied by a much appreciated prize of an I-Pad Mini.

Fiona said “the SQA Star Awards was a fantastic night. It really is a privilege and an honour to have even been invited to the ceremony.

I cannot thank my HNC Fitness, Health and Exercise tutor Elaine Thom enough for nominating me. She should really be receiving an award rather than me.Fiona with Elaine Thom

“I think my studies with the college will really help me in my future career. The experience has given me the confidence to look at new things and believe I can accomplish what I want to in life.  It has also shown my children that you can do more than one thing in life – you can be a Mum, go to college full-time,  study at home, work in the evenings and do the housework – and you can do them all well!  Its hard work but it is well worth it!

“I would also like to give my friend and weight training colleague – Helen Lowrie – a special mention. She was a vital part of my research project and supported me through this challenging part of my course.  Helen maintains that if I hadn’t persuaded her to go to the gym she would never have known how much she was missing out on.”

The SQA Star Awards are unique, recognising both the individuals who work towards and the organisations that deliver SQA qualifications; rewarding those that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to learning.

Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “These awards are an excellent illustration of the breadth of opportunities offered through learning, with pupils, teachers, businesses, centres and lifelong learners all among the winners. As we continue to embed Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland’s education system, it is great to see so many positive stories demonstrating excellence and commitment to Scottish education and lifelong learning.”

Fiona was accompanied to the awards ceremony by Fitness, Health and Exercise course tutor Elaine Thom, Argyll College UHI curriculum manager Don Mitchell and Helen Lowrie.

Many congratulations Fiona.

Work Experience Pays Off

‘Work Experience Pays Off’


Last Year, Rhiannon Gallagher studied HNC Fitness Health and Exercise with Argyll College. Through Rhiannon's year at college, she grew from strength to strength and grasped very opportunity presented to her. Rhiannon gave up her free time to enrich her knowledge and experience by enrolling on additional courses the college provided, including ‘schools tennis coaching’ qualification and a ‘positive coaching’ course.

One aspect of the HNC that Rhiannon used to her advantage was the ‘Work Experience’ unit and with a keen desire to work in the leisure industry, Rhiannon formed sound relationships with the local leisure centres management team. She was invited to undertake her ‘work experience’  at the Leisure Centre and was involved in all aspects of daily life at the Centre.

The management team were so impressed with the way Rhiannon conducted herself with the public and staff, that they offered to put her through  the swimming teachers and lifeguard qualification. This has resulted in Rhiannon gaining casual working hours at the Leisure Centre.