Former Access to Higher Education Learner Achieves First-class Honours Degree in Midwifery


Mother of two and former Body Shop manager, Julia Fivash-Henderson from North Wales, graduated from Bangor University with a first-class honours degree in Midwifery after successfully gaining an Access to Higher Education Diploma in health science.

Former Access to Higher Education Learner Achieves First-class Honours Degree in Midwifery
Julia Fivash-Henderson

Julia Fivash-Henderson left school at 17 due to ill health. She had given up all hope of ever going to university.

Once fully recuperated, Julia secured a position as a shop assistant at the local Body Shop.

Over the years, Julia worked her way up the ranks from shop assistant to store manager, got married and settled into family life.

In 2003, after the birth of her first child, Julia applied for place on an Access course but soon after discovered she was pregnant with her second child.

Wanting to provide her new baby with the same start in life as her daughter, Julia postponed her place on the course until both her children were at school.

In 2008, Julia enrolled on to a full-time Access to Higher Education course in health science at Gr┼Áp Llandrillo Menai, Rhos-on Sea.

Soon after starting her course, Julia contacted Bangor University to find out the entry requirements for a degree in Midwifery.

With support and guidance from her Access tutor, Julia applied and received an offer conditional on her passing her exams.  

Julia said: "I loved being back in education. I rediscovered my love for science.

"The Access course prepared me for life at university. When I started the course, I'd been out of education for a long time. I only knew how to send emails.

"The course helped me to develop new skills in IT, writing essays, referencing and academic writing."

Despite the challenges of juggling studies with family life, Julia successfully completed her Access to Higher Education course and took up her place at Bangor University.  

In 2012, Julia graduated with first-class honours degree in Midwifery.

Julia said: "I wanted to prove to myself that I could go to University and get a degree.

"The Access course opened up a whole new world of options for me. It was the stepping stone to a new career.

"Today, I have a emotionally fulfilling and rewarding career. Every day, I have the chance to make a difference in people's lives.

"I am so pleased I took on the challenge and would say to others don’t hesitate for a minute… be brave and go for it!"

Julia currently works as a midwife for the NHS in North Wales.

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