Newbattle Abbey College to launch new courses at Open Day

Newbattle Abbey College is set to launch new courses at their Open Day for prospective students on Wednesday 11 February, 2015 (10.30am – 2.30pm). The event is open to the public and will showcase the wide range of Access, National Certificate, HNC and short courses available at the Midlothian-based college.

Friendly members of staff and college students will be on hand to offer information and advice on course funding, support for learning, student guidance and higher education options whilst prospective students will also be given the opportunity to take a guided tour of the historic heritage site, enjoy live music traditional music and participate in ‘taster’ sessions in a range of subject areas such as Psychology, Creative Writing, Genealogy, Gaelic Language and Rural Skills. Staff from Edinburgh University and Queen Margaret University will also be on hand to discuss options for progressing to higher education from Newbattle Abbey College.

The college’s Deputy Principal, Marian Docherty, said: “Newbattle Abbey College is looking forward to welcoming prospective students along with their partners and families to our Open Day event. We hope all those who come along will enjoy learning about our prospectus and hearing about the many different options there are for those hoping to study at Newbattle Abbey College.”

Newbattle Abbey College’s new prospectus features many courses including an Arts and Humanities Award, National Certificate (NC) in Rural Skills and two full-time Celtic Studies courses, which were developed to help promote Celtic Studies and Gaelic in Scotland. The full-time Access to Arts and Humanities course is part of the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) and includes study in a wide range of subject areas including Creative Writing, Maths, Literature and History. More than 75% of those who complete the course progress to higher education, with many former students currently studying for degrees in subjects such as Literature, Sociology, Politics, Psychology and Social Work at universities across Scotland.

Alex Williams, who now studies Arts and Humanities at the college having completed the five-month-long Preparation for Further Education course, said he would encourage anyone interested in returning to education to go along to the open day. The 30-year-old, who decided to apply for a place at Newbattle Abbey College after leaving the army, said: “I went back into education with a bit of trepidation. I’d always been interested in history and knew that was the path I wanted to go down. When I came here, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It was a challenge, but it was enjoyable.

“You get on really well with the lecturers, and it’s an incredibly friendly place. I’ve been to colleges where – like the army – you’re nothing but a number, but it’s not like that here.”


When the 11th Marquis of Lothian generously gave the former Cistercian monastery to the people of Scotland, he wanted those who had never had an education to benefit. Nearly 80 years later, Newbattle Abbey College still operates with the same principles by offering people the chance to return to education after diverse life experiences.