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Hugh Baird University Centre undergraduate puts his newly learnt skills to use


Hugh Baird University Centre Computing undergraduate Darren Curran is gaining hands-on experience in the digital world thanks to landing a role as a Software Developer at Liverpool-based tech firm, Clientwire.

Darren long had a passion for working with computers and was excited by the rapid growth of the digital and computing industry in the Liverpool City Region.

He felt he wanted to grow and develop his skills and gain a qualification that would open doors for him in the fast paced and ever-changing sector. He visited one of the Hugh Baird University Centre open events and got the chance to view the centre’s facilities and speak the tutors from the computing faculty. After finding out about the financial support available and the other benefits the University Centre could provide, he enrolled on a Foundation Degree in Computing.

As a result of the course running over one day per week, Darren seized the chance to gain paid work experience on the days when he wasn’t studying. Clientwire, which is located within Amber House, were impressed by his passion and his knowledge and didn’t hesitate to offer him a role at their rapidly expanding company.

Darren spoke of his reasons for choosing to study at the Hugh Baird University Centre:

I chose to study at the Hugh Baird University Centre because they provided a degree level Computing course right on my doorstep. The course is approved by the University of Central Lancashire so I’m going to be receiving my degree from them but not incurring any of the costs of moving away from home or travelling long distances. Everything just made sense and then when I landed my part time job too, all the pieces just fell into place.

Courses at the Hugh Baird University Centre often cost less and due to there usually being smaller class sizes students receive first rate tutor availability and support. The University Centre is also one of an elite group of higher education providers in the UK who have been awarded TEF Gold Status. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was introduced in 2017 to provide evidence about the performance of the higher education sector in the UK.

The fact that the University Centre held the TEF Gold seal of approval also played a part in Darren’s decision to study there. Darren said:

The quality awards the Hugh Baird University Centre held were also a huge factor in my final decision to study there. I knew I would receive an excellent standard of higher education teaching and all this was on my doorstep. I would normally have expected to have to travel to higher education providers further afield to find that standard of teaching.

Darren’s role at Clientwire involves him programming and working on web development. He is also involved in advanced projects linked to creating digital architectural models.

When asked how the University Centre prepared him for the role he said:

The course helped me by teaching me various methods and techniques of problem solving and coding that can be applied to my job role. Coming to the Hugh Baird University Centre changed me as a person by making me a lot more confident in my abilities. I now feel I can work through problems and get the job done. My tutors really have made all the difference. They have always been very accommodating and friendly towards me and have offered helpful advice and guidance when needed.

Kelley Hargreaves Operations Management at Amber House spoke of Darren’s time so far in his job role:

Darren joined us a few months ago and throughout the period he has provided extensive IT advice and consultancy as and when required. Often even making valuable recommendations using his own initiative and business acumen. Working tirelessly with our Operations Team and wider teams across the business Darren has assisted with the streamlining and automating of a range of administrative procedures, culminating in the development of a range of CRMs across the business portfolio. This has resulted in reducing time which consequently increases profit margins.

Darren has also assisted our IT Department with a range of audits and network charts and furthermore our Graphics Team in numerous areas such as website creation, updates and cyber security. It’s clear for all to see that Darren has a gained varied skill set from his degree course at the Hugh Baird University Centre which has proven to be of great benefit to our business portfolio.

When asked what advice would Darren say to anyone thinking of studying a degree at the university centre Darren advised:

I would say do it! You may surprise yourself with what you are capable of achieving and you won’t look back.

The Computing courses at the Hugh Baird University Centre are approved by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). For more information please visit: https://www.hughbaird.ac.uk/university-centre or call 0151 353 4444.

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