Nelson and Colne College students had the chance to explore career pathways and university options during an annual day of future talks.

Conference Day 2017 saw students taken off timetable for the day to discover their options for university or a career – attending four sessions that they felt would benefit their futures.

A diverse range of subjects were covered in 70 sessions throughout the day on Art and Design, Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, Business, Maths and Computing, Science and Health, and these were delivered to students by alumni, guest speakers and members of staff.

Olivia Kinsella, 17, who is studying English Literature, Textiles and Drama and Theatre, said: “Conference Day was really helpful because I had the chance speak to lecturers from UCLan who teach the course I am applying for. I’m applying for fashion promotion so I now know what to include in my portfolio for my interview.”

Mustafa Mahmood, 19, who is studying A Level Maths, Physics and Statistics, said: “I thought Conference Day was really good. All of the sessions I attended were number based because that is what I enjoy. They were all really useful for my university applications and I thought the sessions were really interesting.”

Damien Clarke was one of the NCC alumni community to return for the day. He talked to students about the life of a Maths student at university and beyond. He is now working at Aberystwyth University as a researcher and was more than happy to share his experiences of the work he does now in Mathematical Modelling of Structures, Solids and Fluids.

Damien said: “It was great to be invited back to college and engage with students about the field of work that I am in.

“The college has changed so much since I left in 2012 but I know one thing that will not have changed and that is the determination and the lengths that staff go to see every single student succeed.

“In my case, the college found me. I hadn’t completed my A Levels due to the death of my father and I moved into the area from the south of England because we had family here.

“I approached the college and I was asked about my academic record and was offered a trial day. I then had an interview and was accepted and went on to achieve A*, B and a C in Maths, Further Maths and Physics.

“I owe a huge chunk of gratitude to the people here, and the support they gave me to help me to get where I am today.”

Paula Jackson, Curriculum Leader for Maths and Computer Science, was one of the coordinators of the day. She said: “Conference Day 2017 was a huge success and I’m delighted that students took the opportunity to really think about what they want to do in the future.

“This year’s event really gave students a flavour of higher education learning and the wide variety of routes that are open to them.

“The career college ethos we have at NCC is about much more than just getting the grades needed to move to their next step – it is about personal and professional development so that students leave college as well rounded individuals with knowledge and interests beyond their day to day studies.”

In its latest set of results, NCC achieved a 99.7% pass rate at A Level and a 100% pass rate in vocational courses. In the summer, the college was named as the top college in the country for learner achievement at all ages and levels and second in the country for its 16-18 Apprenticeship success.

Government data also places NCC as the best college in Lancashire for A Levels and the top college in the area for vocational courses, based on progress scores, while it is also the best college in Lancashire for student satisfaction, according to the FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey.

The next NCC Year 11 Open Event will be on Monday 5 February from 5.30pm until 7.30pm and there will be a Year 9 and 10 Open Event on Monday 30 April between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

For more information about Nelson and Colne College contact 01282 440272 or visit