Student Case Studies

Asli Moallin web

Asli Moallin

BTEC Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care

Asli Moallin is in Year 1 of studying BTEC Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care. She has ambitions to attend a top university and become a Child Psychologist.

She says: "I chose to study Health & Social Care because I am passionate about helping people, especially those who are struggling. The course also includes units that I’m extremely interested in, such as sociology and psychology. Merton has an amazing support system for any problems that individual students might be going through, whether that’s financial aid or mental health support. The college also has a lot of resources for its students to use, like the gym, huge library and access to computers, which makes researching and working on assignments a lot easier. I enjoy how our units are taught in my course, it usually includes a discussion or debate in our class, of which I take part in. This is a more interactive and productive way of teaching, instead of just attending lectures. My advice for people thinking of applying to college is to think carefully about the type of course you want to study, make sure that it’s something you are passionate about.

I’m in my first year of my diploma and I aspire to go to a great university next year. I would like to study psychology and go on to achieve my dream of becoming a child psychologist."


Ayesha Khatoon image web2

Ayesha Khatoon

BTEC Business Extended Diploma

Ayesha Khatoon studied BTEC Business Extended Diploma at Merton and achieved Triple Distinctions (D*D*D*). She moved from India to the UK when she was a teenager and knew little English. S he went on to pass her English and Maths GCSEs, as well as successfully complete her vocational course at Merton. Ayesha is now doing a HND in Business Management at South Thames College. 
She says: "I was just sixteen when I started college and had not achieved good results in GCSEs from secondary school, because I had moved from India and it was hard for me to adjust to a different culture and language. I did not know English at all. Therefore, when I enrolled at Merton, I basically started my studies all over again and decided that I would work extremely hard to accomplish good results in my GCSEs and vocational course.  

I decided to study BTEC Business because the course provides students with broad knowledge on a wider range of business areas, such as marketing, accounting, finance, law, business environment, human resource management, entrepreneurship, event management, and many more. Choosing this subject equipped me with so many transferable skills, which are relevant in all job sectors, as well as those specific to business management careers. Merton College is an excellent institution, I found the teachers to be very knowledgeable, friendly and supportive. I am currently in my level 5 HND Business Management at South Thames College and this September I will be moving onto my top-up year. I have been offered places from all the universities I have applied to: Middlesex University, London South Bank University, Kingston University, University of Roehampton and University of Greenwich. When I look back on my college years, I feel they were the best years of my life so far. I felt a huge transition from secondary school to further education. My favourite part of the course was the placement that I took part in, I gained so much experience and extra knowledge from it. 

I am currently in my level 5 HND Business Management at South Thames College and this September I will be moving onto my top-up year. I have been offered places from all the universities I have applied to: Middlesex University, London South Bank University, Kingston University, University of Roehampton a nd University of Greenwich."


Sonia Chan web

Sonia Chan

BTEC Extended Diploma in Travel & Tourism

Sonia Chan is one of our Level 3 Travel & Tourism students. She has ambitions to secure a position within Cabin Crew or Ground Crew and has been working hard to achieve her goal.

She says: “I was studying a different course at another college at first, but I never really felt like I fitted in there. I spent the next summer researching my options and developed an interest in becoming part of a Cabin Crew. I applied for the Travel & Tourism course at Merton because I felt confident it would open up the career opportunities available to me. I am fluent in Chinese, so I hope to use this skill in the future.

I found the college environment to be warm and friendly, and I settled in quickly. I really enjoy how my classes are taught, the briefs are easy to follow and the library here has excellent resources."


Svitlana Toma ESOL web small

Svitlana Toma

ESOL Level 1 & Level 2

Svitlana Toma is originally from Ukraine, she was a university graduate who had worked for 15 years as an engineer. She moved to the UK six years ago and, after living here for several weeks, Svitlana realised that her level of English needed to improve so she enrolled in an ESOL Level 1 course at Merton.

She says: “I had studied English as a subject at school but it was a difficult time in my life because I was growing up in hard times when the Ukraine was under the Soviet Union – and our classes were so poor that we didn’t really learn much at all. It was also very expensive for ordinary people to study English and there were many restrictions for Soviet people wanting to learn the language.

I found lessons at Merton College to be like a special gift given to me, perhaps for my strong desire to improve my English as a second language for a better life. As students we worked together with teachers to improve our writing and speaking skills. 

Another big advantage of studying at Merton was that after taking a test or exam, I could see the real progress I was making. During my course, I met new people from all over the world learning English like me. They are now my friends and we practise our English together. I went on to complete ESOL Level 2 at Merton and, in addition, studied Functional Skills Mathematics Level 2. I did not actually need to improve my Maths but I saw it as another opportunity to learn English. 

As a result of my news skills, I was then able to look for employment and was offered a good job in London. I now work as a CAD Technician within a Mechanical and Electrical team at Calfordseaden, a company in Orpington, where I’m in charge of creating AutoCAD drawings and schematics.

Moving to the UK and studying English have both enriched my life and changed it for the better. I remember watching a movie for the first time in English and I was crying because the plot was very sad – I then unexpectedly realised that I had just understood the whole film! I am passionate about continuing to develop my English and I’m very grateful to all my teachers for the skills they have helped me to learn.”