Preparing CRC students for a future in chemistry

Cambridge Regional College and the Royal Society of Chemistry have signed a new collaboration, agreeing to work together to support the development of chemistry in further education.

The Royal Society of Chemistry has committed to support and promote the college’s chemistry-based initiatives and events, and Cambridge Regional College has committed to work towards the accreditation of their courses, as well as encouraging students to work towards their Registered Science Technician or Registered Scientist awards.

Dr Helen West, Head of Science and Access within the Faculty of STEAM at Cambridge Regional College said: “This is a marvellous opportunity to consolidate the excellent work that is done at CRC by staff and students alike, and on apprenticeship schemes in particular.

“Our chemistry lecturer, Ursula Lowe, was the first recipient of the national STEM Excellent Award for teaching in Further Education last year and recognises the importance of practical skills in chemistry.  We work with a broad range of companies in and around Cambridge and we look forward very much to welcoming new ones to look around our facilities.”

CRC students future in chemistry
Dr Helen West with science students at CRC.

The college has full-time apprenticeships and day-release courses in Science, as well as more advanced courses for 19+ learners, including popular Access to Science programmes and HNC/HND in Biological Sciences for Industry.  The focus of all of them is to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in science-based industries or to enable progression to an undergraduate degree or further professional qualifications in science-related areas.

Past students have gone on to universities across the country to study subjects from biochemistry and environmental science, to nursing and archaeology. Apprenticeships in the health and bioscience industries are a popular career option and students also go straight into jobs in the industry.

President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Sir John Holman, says: “Chemists and chemistry make a massive contribution to our nation’s wellbeing, and we need people with the right skills so our economy can flourish in the future.

“Further Education Colleges play such an important role in preparing people for a future in chemistry – whether that’s by giving them the technical skills to work in industry or by preparing them for further study at university.

“We’re delighted to sign this agreement, which forms part of our commitment to building stronger links with the further education sector, and we look forward to working together to give chemistry students the best possible start in their careers.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry has already signed a collaboration agreement with Wirral Metropolitan College, and is looking to sign several more over the course of 2017.

Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With over 50,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe, it is the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 175 years of history and an international vision for the future. It promotes, supports and celebrates chemistry. It works to shape the future of the chemical sciences – for the benefit of science and humanity.

As the professional body for chemistry, it awards professional qualifications to those who have achieved a standard of competence working at a certain level in the chemical sciences, and suitable awards are available for all stages of a chemistry career. Find out more at

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