About you

I am a father of four wonderful children and with the help from Queen Margaret University (QMU) I am also now a newly qualified Registered Dietitian. Graduating from university has allowed me to realise my potential, push me into developing into a better person and has provide a positive influence to show my children that anything is possible and any goal in life can be achieved if you work hard enough for it.

During my studies a lot of my time was spent learning and studying but I also had the chance to support my local community and volunteered with community-based projects such as Support from the Start, promoting improvements in the health and education for 0-8 year olds, and with Dadswork, a charity that works with male parents and guardians to provide support, opportunities and tips to develop their skills and improve their time with the children under their care.

I even used the skills I was developing during my studies to develop a community-based parent cooking skills group within Prestonpans, working with other interested health promotion providers, providing help and support in the practice of cooking family meals in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.

Before coming to QMU, I worked for the NHS in a variety of support working roles over the past decade, with the most recent working in schools and nurseries promoting oral health and the basics of healthy eating. The experiences of working with patients and the promoting of healthy eating, both within my work and that of my voluntary work in the community, gave me the confidence and interest in applying and studying at QMU as a dietitian.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

Throughout my career within the NHS, meeting student nurses, speech and language therapists and dietitians over the years I was always interested in finding out their views on the universities in which their studies took place. QMU was always credited with a good reputation from their graduates and it gave me confidence that when I decided to apply for my chosen course of Dietetics that this was the university for me.

What’s it like to live in the Edinburgh area?

Edinburgh is bursting with potential. There is something to interest everyone! Where I live in Prestonpans, just a few miles from the QMU campus, is a relaxed and enjoyable countryside environment. Within a half hour journey in any direction you can go visit beautiful sandy beaches, hidden ancient woodlands and castles.

What’s it like to study at QMU?

Attending the open days is vital with any place you wish to apply for!! When I went along to one of QMU’s open days, I saw a wonderful modern university which felt safe and comforting. The University offers both enough spaces to be able to work in peace, yet has a small community feel which encourages and supports your learning journey.

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?

There have been many highlights during my time at QMU, from winning the 2017 Herald Higher Education Awards, meeting wonderful likeminded people, to the amazing support and encouragement from both the university staff and fellow students. I have learnt a lot about my own potential and abilities, I even surprised myself with how much I enjoyed and coped with studying as a mature student.

The opportunities that are offered to students within QMU are plentiful and if you are willing to embrace these, your experience and enjoyment of university life will be greatly enhanced.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

Dietetics is a specialised healthcare profession course. It is essential to know what it is that you are wishing to gain before applying. Get some experience behind you — whether it is a shadow experience or volunteering. Knowing what a dietitian does in the working world is key to applying and participating in this course.

As a mature student, however, my advice is that if you are offered a place, have the confidence that you are good enough to be here and deserve your chance to enjoy the learning opportunity.

Life after graduation

Now that I am a QMU graduate, it has opened a door to many exciting opportunities; including setting up as a freelance dietitian with support from the QMU Business Innovation Zone (the BIZ) and business gateway, to landing my dream job within the NHS as a dietitian.

Looking forward in my career path I would like to work towards becoming a lecturer and share my experiences and the amazing knowledge I am gaining as a student. I know that QMU will be my first choice for further studies when I am ready to progress my career and knowledge.

Life as a student at QMU

For a short time I felt isolated as a mature student but joining a society made the transition into university a lot easier. Societies allow the social interactions between people with similar ideals and interests. After joining a society, I felt much more settled and comfortable in student life.

If, as I found, there is not a society that suits you, the QMU Students’ Union can help you to create your own. I decided to do this after realising there was not a dietetic society. Within my first year at QMU, I set up a society for dietetics and this has now evolved into the nutrition and dietetic society, which continues to support students to interact and make connections with other dietetic and nutrition students across the year groups helping to enhance the learning experience.

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

My top tip for being a student at QMU would be enjoy your university experience and learning journey, relax into university life and be proud in the fact you have been accepted into a wonderful and supportive university!

NB Iain achieved his BSc (Hons) Dietetics. The course has been redeveloped and is now running as a Master of Dietetics (MDiet).

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

"Throughout my career within the NHS, meeting student nurses over the years I was always interested in finding out their views on the universities in which their studies take place. QMU was always credited with a good reputation from their graduates and it gave me confidence that when I decided to apply for my chosen course of Dietetics that this was the university for me."

What’s it like to live in the Edinburgh area?

"Edinburgh is bursting with potential. There is something to interest everyone! Where I live in Prestonpans, just a few miles from the QMU campus, is a relaxed and enjoyable countryside environment. Within a half hour journey in any direction you can go visit beautiful sandy beaches, hidden ancient woodlands, castles and even Rapunzel’s tower (well that’s what I convinced my six-year-old daughter it was)."

What’s it like to study at QMU?

Attending the open days is vital with any place you wish to apply for! When I came to QMU’s open day, I saw a wonderful modern university which felt safe and comforting. The University offers both enough space to be able to work in peace, yet has a small community feel which encourages and supports your learning journey."

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?

"The highlight of my course so far has been the amazing support and encouragement from both staff and fellow students. I have learnt a lot about my own potential and abilities, surprising myself with how much I have enjoyed and coped with studies as a mature student. It also amazes me the opportunities that are offered to students within QMU: they are plentiful and if you are willing to embrace these, your experience and enjoyment of university life will be greatly enhanced."

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

"Dietetics is a specialised, healthcare professions course. It is essential to know what it is that you are wishing to gain before applying. Get some experience behind you — whether it is a shadow experience or volunteering. Knowing what a dietitian does in the working world is key to applying and participating in this course.

"As a mature student, however, my advice is that if you are offered a place, have the confidence that you are good enough to be here and deserve your chance to enjoy the learning opportunity."

Any future plans after graduation?

"After graduation, I hope to become a qualified dietitian, working within the NHS. However, I don’t think I plan on leaving QMU anytime soon! At this point in time I have the ‘QMU Bug’ (his name is Bertie). What I mean to say is that I am enjoying university life and I would like to work towards becoming a lecturer and share my experiences and the amazing knowledge I am gaining as a student."

Life as a student at QMU

"For a time I felt isolated as a mature student but joining a society made the transition into university a lot easier. Societies allow the social interactions between people with similar ideals and interests. After joining a society I felt much more settled and comfortable in student life.

"If, as I found, there is not a society that suits you, the Students’ Union allows you to create your own. I decided to do this after realising there was not a dietetic society. Within my first year at QMU, I set up a society for dietetics and now have over 38 members! I am happy and settled and frequently have the opportunity to speak with other dietetic students from all levels, enhancing my learning journey and my day to day activities."

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

"My top tip for being a student at QMU would be enjoy your learning journey, relax into university life and be proud in the fact you have been accepted into a wonderful and supportive university!"

"For me, the highlight of my course so far has been the amazing support and encouragement from both staff and fellow students."
Iain Scott

 

Story published 2016-2017

Health Professions

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