Nicky Cowsill
BSc Sustainable Rural Development

I am a fulltime student, just completing third year on BSc Sustainable Rural Development. I live in the most north westerly district of the Isle of Lewis. It is fairly remote especially during the long Lewis winters when the weather is challenging but the online learning environment creates a great sense of community probably more so than a campus based course.

The tutor support and camaraderie amongst fellow online students is really supportive with plenty of online chats and discussions. These sound daunting at first and before I started the course, I was not sure, how a whole degree programme could be delivered on line or how I would cope with this way of learning. It does take some time and commitment but the flexibility of online learning means that I can fit the weekly workload in around home life or other commitments knowing that I can catch up on another day.

The content of the course covers a fascinating and wide range of topics that I previously had not considered to have any relation to sustainable development such as climate change, poverty alleviation or conservation, so each term I have had the opportunity to explore something new. More importantly, the course allows me the freedom to research into issues that are relevant to living on an island or in a remote community. I know that I have great potential and the confidence to find work once I’ve graduated with the wide ranging skills and knowledge I have acquired throughout this course.

I would definitely recommend giving the course and online learning a go. It has given me a fantastic opportunity to learn and meet new people despite living in a remote island community and all from the comfort of my own home.

What can I study?

 Lews Castle College tries constantly to draw attention to the range of opportunities for study both in and from the Outer Hebrides.  Here are some of the recent information releases drawing attention to the courses and choices which students can experience.