Leaving school with a passion for science, nineteen year-old Amanda Allan from Paisley decided to embark on her studies at West College Scotland.

After successfully completing her NC, Amanda continued at the College studying at HNC level. It was during this time that Amanda’s attention was drawn to an advertisement for a Modern Apprentice position within the Science department.

“I’d done some work experience as a lab technician in the College as part of my NC course and really enjoyed it, so when the Modern Apprentice post came up I was really interested. It can be very difficult to get work experience to accompany a qualification - which most employers want you to have – so I thought it was a great opportunity.”

Combining her studies with that of her Modern Apprenticeship Amanda is now obtaining the hands on experience and qualifications needed to pursue a successful career in Science.  

“By combining the HNC with the Modern Apprenticeship it will now take me two years as opposed to just one year for the HNC. I’m in College full-time working four days a week in the lab and one day in the classroom learning.


I really love working and studying here.

"It’s a very different environment to that of school. It’s much more relaxed and everyone is really supportive making it a much easier place to learn.

“The lecturers are fantastic; most of them have worked in the industry doing jobs such as a researcher before becoming lecturer so they have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience which benefits the students.

“I love the fact that this job and the course are so hands-on. I get the opportunity to give demonstrations to the classes which I really enjoy. I even have some of the students asking me for help and advice which is really nice. I think it’s because they can relate to me – I can give them the real feedback based on my experiences and help support them with practical work.”

Looking to the future Amanda’s time at the College working as a Lab Technician has highlighted her passion for microbiology.

“I’m hoping to continue studying here at the College completing the HND level. After that I’m not quite sure whether I want to get a job or go on to do a Biomedical Degree at University – there are so many options. I may even look at lecturing down the line but I think like the lecturers I’d like to get some industry experience first.” 

For more information on our Science courses click here or call 0300 600 60 60.

Watch and be inspired!

Great learner journey video produced by SCQF Partnership with 29studios featuring Amanda: