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Sophie Collings

From a young age, Sophie Collings took an interest in forensic science. With good problem-solving skills and a keen eye for detail, she said she felt drawn to the challenge presented by a crime scene.

Sophie said: “I know some might find it gruesome, but I find the notion of the challenge, the science and, hopefully, the justice that comes as a result of solving a case exhilarating. That’s why I chose to study at City College Plymouth, as the BTEC in Applied Science meant I could specialise in forensic science in the final year. The course covered everything I was interested in and more.”

Sophie spent most of her school years in Germany and moved to her parents’ home city of Plymouth after completing her GCSEs at a Service Children’s Education School. New to the city, Sophie initially felt worried about fitting in.

Sophie said: “I joined the College thinking most people would be in preformed friendship groups, but it wasn’t like that. The students on my course came from a variety of different schools and backgrounds, and by the end of that first day, everyone on my course was conversing and well on their way to building new friendships.”

Sophie completed her studies with a triple distinction star – the highest grade possible for a BTEC, and, having received five offers from universities, she went on to study for a BSc in Forensic Science at the University of Bournemouth, after being awarded an Academic Excellence Scholarship. 

Before even finishing university – where she gained a first-class degree – Sophie was headhunted by Interserve, a support services and construction company,  where she was invited to join the company’s human resources department helping to analyse the effectiveness of different HR projects. Two promotions later and Sophie is the company’s first Rewards Analyst. 

Sophie said: “Every element of the course I studied at City College was interesting, which made the coursework enjoyable to complete. Taking this course gives you the chance to be a part of mock crime scenes, court cases, and there is lots of practical work in the lab. The teachers were fantastic, too, providing support and advice continuously. 

“Through this course, I developed skills in research, analysis, teamwork, numeracy and project management; the College has so much to offer. Don’t be afraid to embrace everything that comes your way.”