“Astrophysics gave me fuel that I didn’t know was compatible with my engine and helped me find the drive to rehabilitate. I thought my time in education had ended in 2010 after I’d completed a course in brickwork, but I began to realise that I wanted it to resume.”
Matt Davis did himself and our college proud by winning a Brian May Access to HE Learner Award for Outstanding Commitment to Study. Matt found a love for astrophysics while rehabilitating a spinal cord injury. He returned to education to retake his GCSEs, and three years later finished an Access to HE course. Now, Matt will study astrophysics at Birmingham University. Let’s hear his SCCB success story!
I’d like to express my gratitude for everyone at Bourneville campus who nominated me for the Brian May award, and also helped me get towards the place I intend to be tomorrow.
I was in a road traffic accident in 2017. This injury also left me with frontal lobe damage, which my consultant informed me would make any future studies impossible.
This sparked a burning desire in me to attempt this route, but I didn’t know what I wanted to study.
The series detailed the history of the known cosmos, explaining the formation of our galaxy, the solar system and how life on earth began. The astrophysics and astronomy parts instantly stood out to me, and within a day I’d watched the entire series. I began to read about Aristotle, Copernicus, Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Christiaan Huygens, James Clerk Maxwell, and Albert Einstein.
I found these figures inspiring, and I developed an insatiable ambition to follow in their footsteps.
I thought my time in education had ended in 2010 after I’d completed a course in brickwork, but I began to realise that I wanted it to resume.
I immediately sought the help of a personal tutor. He understood I had a passion to study, but I just needed a little guidance as a returning mature student. Together, we worked out a curriculum that would allow me to start at the Bournville campus of South & City College Birmingham the following year.
Since then, I’ve achieved GCSEs in Combined Science, Maths, Statistics and English. I’m now studying an Access to Higher Education in Science course, and after I complete this I want to continue studying physics and then astrophysics at university and beyond.
(NOTE: Matt has since been accepted to Birmingham University to study astrophysics)
We spend our lives looking ahead and behind, but we rarely look up. The world, whether it knows it or not, is on the precipice of another space race. Our understanding of the cosmos will only deepen.
It is my hope that my studies at university will allow me to be part of this new stage of space observation. Who knows what gold my future holds as I mine farther into the field of physics/astrophysics.
1. Doubt can become the butcherer of our dreams
2. Doing what’s best for ourselves isn’t always going to make us happy in the short run.
Improving myself by around 5% has let my life improve indefinitely, and I’m happy to pass on this energy to whoever wishes to absorb all, or parts of it.
Thank you and congratulations, Matt Davis!
Want to follow Matt’s example in returning to education? Start your own lift-off with an Access to Higher Education course at South & City College Birmingham. It is a one-year qualification designed to get you university-ready by improving your confidence and your study skills.