HND Environmental Management

Campus: SRUC Edinburgh

Current student

"I get a lot from the outdoors, and I'd like to repay that by learning more about how to conserve it so that it can be enjoyed for years to come by future generations.”



Graham Cochrane worked for 9 years as an in-house and in-the-community support worker, working with adults with disabilities before deciding to return to education and study Environmental Management at SRUC Edinburgh.

Graham says "Working with adults with disabilities is good fun and it's great to see people that I support(ed) thrive with that support. It can be a tough job at times that requires a lot of perseverance and resilience, but experiences within the role have had positive, long lasting, impacts on me."

"I felt that I had come to a plateau within my role as a support worker and I had learned everything that I could. There was opportunity for promotion, but those promotions would have taken me away from the people I enjoyed supporting and the work I enjoyed doing."

"I've had a number of struggles through the years. High school was my last real formal education and it was not a great time for me and I was desperate to get out, and left with minimal grades. I wanted to work and earn money, and the idea of education didn't cross my mind as it was something I considered too daunting. It's taken a (many) number of years since, and a lot of personal development to overcome a number of obstacles, but I felt that I was now ready to go back into education, and sure within myself that a course based within the outdoors and environment is something I am passionate about."

"I get a lot from the outdoors, and I'd like to repay that by learning more about how to conserve it so that it can be enjoyed for years to come by future generations.  I had a friend that studied tree surgery at the Barony campus a number of years ago, which made me aware of SRUC and its outdoor focus, and that's something that spoke to me."

"I've always had a love for the outdoors from a very young age, and its played an important part in my more recent life. In more recent years I've become an avid trail runner which has done a lot for overcoming any personal struggles. I regularly run in the Pentlands and other hill ranges. I enjoy getting away camping fairly regularly. I also am a keen mountain biker, hiker and enjoy bouldering."

"From the get go, the support from SRUC has been great. The open day that I attended was insightful and reassuring. Everyone within the college was welcoming and supportive. The lecturers on the Environmental Management course are excellent. They each have their own styles of delivering the subject matter, and they are all enthusiastic about what topics they're teaching. All of them are down to earth and approachable. All the faculty staff have been extremely helpful with getting myself settled in, and even loaned me a laptop for the duration of the course...or until I get my own one."

"Adjusting from almost 20 years of full time work into full time education was a daunting prospect, and I'm still awaiting some results from my first assessments, so you can maybe ask me at a later date how the course work is going, but I've really been enjoying it so far, and applying myself to the work had come a lot easier to me than I set myself up for."

"My career goals have changed within the short time I've been at SRUC. I didn't have anything set in concrete, but I originally had ideas of wanting to be a forest ranger or work in forest management. Something that was involved with working and being in the outdoors. However, some of the modules on the course I have found really interesting, especially Pollution Management and Resource Recovery. The auditing and assessing of businesses that want and need to hit environmental targets I have found interesting. Whether that's being able to suggest greener alternatives or green practices, or holding them to account, is a topic that I've enjoyed learning more about so far. Potentially, some way to merge the process."

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