From education to employment

Higher Education at SWC is the Right Route for Karol

Higher Education at SWC is the Right Route for Karol

After realising University was not for him, Karol Czapek from Donaghmore made the decision to study a university-level accredited course at South West College (SWC) and is now on track to achieving a full BSc (Hons) Degree in Engineering. Not only that, but Karol is also building up his skillset by earning and learning four days a week at CDE in Cookstown.

Karol’s educational journey began at St Patricks Academy, where he studied A levels. Like many students, Karol’s next step was University to pursue a degree in Mechatronic Engineering. However, after a year he realized that University just was not the right fit for him.

Karol said, “It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t enjoy it, I just found the theory, quite boring and the traveling was tough going.”

Seeking a more hands-on pathway, Karol explored his options and discovered SWC offered a range of degree-level courses that would allow him to work and obtain the qualifications he needed to progress in his career. Karol enrolled part time on a Foundation degree in Engineering at SWC’s Dungannon Campus, progressing on to a BSc Hons Degree in Engineering. This allowed Karol, to work, earn and learn while gaining his degree.

He said: “The opportunity to engage in fabricating work at CDE, combined with academic study, was a massive bonus that made the theory more enjoyable and easier to learn. It was a better balance of work and study, and I enjoyed the smaller class sizes; it enabled more one on one time with the tutor which I found to be beneficial in my studies.”

One of the major advantages of studying at SWC for Karol was the flexibility it offered.

He said: “It’s located much closer to home than University, so it is handy,” Karol explains. “I don’t have the long commutes, or the hefty costs associated with going to University, and because the College has part time options I can work and earn a wage at CDE while getting my degree.”

For those considering their UCAS choices or that think University might not be the right path for them, Karol says, “it’s important to explore all your options, and find what’s right for you.”

To explore the wide range of university-level accredited courses available at South West College, please visit or call into the Omagh, Dungannon, Enniskillen or Cookstown campus for further information.

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