Zoe Frieslick

Social Sciences

HND Social Sciences

“NESCol gave me the knowledge, skills, and most importantly, the self-belief to continue my studies at university.”

Studying at university is something Zoe Frieslick had never imagined for herself, until she came to NESCol.  After first attending the College as a school leaver to study Health & Social Care, Zoe had a break from education when she welcomed her son, Riley, in 2016.  She returned to study when he was two, embarking on her first course in the field of social sciences, and has not looked back since.

Zoe, who is originally from Peterhead, attended the College’s Fraserburgh Campus and was able to take advantage of the on-site nursery facility there. She said, “It was great to have the peace of mind that Riley was being well looked after while I was studying and so convenient that it is located alongside the campus. As a single mum, easily accessible, quality childcare was a game changer for me in terms of allowing me to return to education. “

Zoe continued onto the HND, completing her first year before having to transfer to NESCol’s City Campus for second year. Part of that time was impacted by the pandemic which meant she had to adapt to online learning before settling back into a hybrid combination of in-person and remote classes once restrictions had lifted. Zoe said, “It was a strange time for everyone but I still really enjoyed the course and was delighted when I passed and was able to access the BA Hons in Applied Social Sciences at RGU.  Having not only the qualification but confidence to progress to university was one hundred per cent down to my time at NESCol.”

“Both the lecturing staff and support teams were excellent and so approachable. It’s such a different experience from learning at school, the culture is completely different and I built up a great rapport with the staff and my fellow students.”

Zoe has now submitted her dissertation for her honours degree and is approaching the end of her time at RGU which she has also really enjoyed. “NESCol gave me the knowledge, skills, and most importantly, the self-belief to continue my studies at university. I became a class representative, and a student ambassador – involved in open days, tours, and discovery days on campus. Most recently I was asked to be a guest speaker alongside councillors, MSPs, and university and college principals at a conference on education and skills in Scotland, talking about my student experience. “