After leaving school in the mid seventies, John McLoughlin gained his seafarers qualifications and spent a decade working on deep sea cargo ships before containerisation revolutionised the industry. Moving into offshore oil and gas, John completed his Officer of the Watch Certificate. Undertaking the course led him to discover how much he enjoyed the personal challenge of study, as well as the career progression opportunities. John discovered the Middlesex University BSc Work-Based Learning Studies through the Maritime Society, and was excited at the flexibility and career focus that work-based learning offered him.
The bespoke nature of the course meant that John was able to design his work-based learning project around his area of professional interest, health and safety training offshore, its relevance and value for money.
Although the distance learning aspect of the course could be tough at times, especially having to rely on internet connections offshore, John enjoyed the experience. Learning about research methods and self management were instrumental in helping him tackle his wide-ranging research project.
According to John, having good contact with his academic advisor made the learning experience a very rewarding one.
"I managed to go from struggling, to understanding what was required of me, to gaining a first class BSc with honours in twenty months from start to finish," he said.
The degree has been instrumental in John being able to set up as an independent Health and Safety consultant.
"As well as marine and offshore oil and gas, I now also work with renewable energy companies. I have the professional freedom to choose the work that interests me, and balance it with my family life."