Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

A-level Students Win Gold Crest Awards

During this year’s summer holidays, Katie Byrne, Jessica Lam and Shannon Cain, students from Hugh Baird College’s South Sefton Campus completed a 4 week Nuffield Research placement and have each received a Gold Crest Award for their hard work.

The Nuffield Research placements give sixth form students hands-on experience of a professional research environment through a 4-6 week placement in their summer holidays. The programme is run by the Nuffield Foundation and works through regional networks to link talented students with organisations undertaking research, working with over 200 different organisations including Universities, commercial companies, voluntary organisations and research institutes.

Sharon Burke, Research Placement Co-ordinator for the region said:

Each year it is a privilege to see sixth form students grow in confidence and skills, this year 65 students from Schools across Cheshire and Merseyside took part in the scheme. They were placed in Universities, Hospitals and businesses throughout the region to take part in real research. The experience helps young people to open their minds to a wealth of possibilities for their future. Placements vary greatly, but each student learns skills which will equip them for a future in either University or as part of a business. Every year I am amazed at the quality of work that these young people produce in just 4 weeks over their summer holidays. I am so proud of the work that Katie, Jessica and Shannon have done.

Katie Byrne, A-level Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics student said:

I loved working at the Walton Centre undertaking research into how the NHS uses MRI scanning to diagnose brain tumours. My placement involved me researching, planning and conducting my own research projects. My preliminary research has been submitted to the European Conference of Radiology and could potentially save the NHS £90,000.

Shannon Cain, A-level Chemistry, Mathematics and BTEC National Extended Certificate in Information Technology student said:

Working for Unilever was a great experience, I learnt so much and got hands on experience using robotics alongside other analytical machinery. The placement has helped me discover my chosen career path and taught me advanced lab skills to help take me to University.

Jessica Lam, A-level Biology, Chemistry and Psychology student said:

I also worked at the Walton Centre too, within the Trajectories of Outcomes of Neurological Conditions (TONIC) team who specialise in the neurological, motor neurone disease (MND) and multiple sclerosis (MS). I looked into the quality of life of these patients, spending two weeks on placement shadowing consultants, the following two weeks I spent reviewing the outcomes of the consultations. I loved seeing how medicine is made and the effects it has on patients.

For more information about A-level courses at Hugh Baird College, visit:

Go back