Solihull College and University Centre’s School of Science is going through a transformation, which will see them open their brand new, state-of-the-art life science laboratory in September 2015.
Funded in part by the Local Enterprise Partnership, a partnership between businesses and the local authority, there has been over £250,000 invested in the new laboratory facilities.
Andrew Schneider, Head of School for Science at Solihull College, is excited by the unique opportunities this investment will provide for Science students. “Life science is an investment priority for our region as there is a growing need for specialist skills in areas such as pathology laboratories in the NHS. The new equipment will give our students hands on experience of using the latest technology, which will make them stand out to employers who are actively seeking to recruit new staff with specific skills.”
Students who will benefit from the new laboratory include those on the HND in Applied Biology, which is a stepping stone for students who would like to work in life-science industries and other biology-related areas. As well as gaining employment in the field on completion of the HND, students can also choose to progress onto a top-up degree programme in a related subject to add to their existing qualifications.
Dr Jill Calderbank, Course Leader for the HND in Applied Biology, explains “this course provides students with a lot of contact time with a very experienced teaching team in much smaller groups than you would find at a traditional University. Most of the science lecturers at Solihull College have post-graduate qualifications, as well as research and industrial experience; knowledge they are able to pass onto their students.”
Students who have previously benefitted from the facilities at Solihull College include Bridie Hudson, who studied the HND in Applied Biology at the College. Bridie has just gained a first class honours in her top-up degree and is looking forward to starting her masters degree in the autumn. Bridie commented “The HND in Applied Biology at Solihull College gave me the skills that I needed to be successful on my degree. The facilities at the College are excellent and gaining experience within the laboratories, which are available at the College, was vital in allowing me to progress. The support that is provided by tutors at Solihull College is invaluable as you can really learn from their expertise.”
Solihull College runs a variety of vocational Applied Science courses for students of all ages and abilities. In these courses, students develop significant practical skills in the laboratories, whilst expanding their knowledge of relevant academic topics. Unlike traditional science A-level programmes, which focus primarily on the academic aspects of the subjects, students completing an Extended Diploma in Applied Science will have a high proportion of their teaching time based in the laboratories, which will be enhanced by the new life science laboratory and equipment.
For more information on the courses available at Solihull College, including the variety of Science courses, please visit the courses page on the website or call 0121 678 7000.