Debbie Drennen

Former Access to HE Diploma student 2014-15
Former Human Biosciences Foundation Degree student 2015-17
Plymouth University student 2017-18 (First Class Honours)

After successfully completing the Petroc Access course, I studied the Foundation Degree in Human Biosciences at Petroc, obtaining a Distinction. I then went on to the University of Plymouth to complete the third year and obtain a BSc in Human Biosciences, in which my final overall grade was First Class Honours.

I chose to study at Petroc because, for me, three years travelling to Plymouth would not have been possible. I have two children, both of whom were at school at the time. I also worked part-time at NDDH as a clinical support worker, so Petroc allowed me to be able to travel, study, work and support my family without too much upheaval. To be honest, if I had to do all three years at Plymouth, I honestly don't think I would have completed the course, let alone obtain a First.

At Petroc I learnt most of the laboratory skills that I would require for the third year of my degree, these included microscopy, Gram staining, polymerase chain reaction and using gel electrophoresis. A particular favourite was inserting a gene in to E. coli and making it glow in the dark!!These skills allowed me to confidently undertake my research in the lab at university, which was microbiology based and involved identifying isolates and finding antibiotic resistance genes.

Highlights at Petroc include the friends that I made whilst there. A small cohort meant that the lecturer to student ratio allowed plenty of time for questions and support.

My next step is to try and get a post at NDDH as a trainee biomedical scientist in the microbiology department. It would require completing a few more modules to become IBMS approved and then state registered, but that is my goal.