Drew Travers
Access to Humanities
Before attending Edinburgh College in 2015/16 to study the Access to Humanities course I was a restaurant manager in Edinburgh City Centre and in my early 30s. Having turned 30 with never having attended university and with my career in hospitality seeming to be stuck in reverse I decided, with the encouragement of family, to apply for SWAP. One of the main reasons for choosing a SWAP programme was the belief I had held inside myself that I wasn’t fulfilling my potential in terms of my career and in terms of being a person, and I had always loved film and wanted to see if I could retrain through SWAP/university to become a filmmaker.  

The SWAP course in humanities was, for me, a fantastic experience. I was fortunate to have a group of excellent classmates and excellent lecturers who helped shape and mould me to be ready for my university experience. The support I received from the staff at Edinburgh College was invaluable for my SWAP course and for my time at Queen Margaret University. I was also fortunate to be asked by my lecturer to teach my own classmates for one period of our communications module on the topic of film adaptation. This was an amazing experience and made me think about further career options in teaching.  

After my SWAP course I studied Film and Media at QMU, for what became, 5 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During my time at QMU I was also proud to volunteer to be a mentor for SWAP students, and in 2018 I was Highly Commended by the Scottish Mentoring Network for my volunteering.  I’m proud to have graduated from QMU with a 2:1 however I am prouder of the first I received for my practical dissertation. For this dissertation I wrote, produced and directed my own short film, Talk, that has since gone on to be screened in film festivals across Europe, North America and Africa. With the Film and TV industry now starting to get back into full swing after the pandemic I am now embarking on my first steps into that industry.  

I can honestly say that if it was not for SWAP and the opportunity it gave me to enter university, I would never have made my film Talk and I wouldn’t now be embarking on my first steps into the film and tv industry. To anyone who may be considering doing a SWAP course, I understand there may be worries in doing so due to finances or childcare or any number of things, but there is support available for all these things during your course and during your time at university. I would recommend a SWAP course to any adult in any circumstances, especially if they have a passion to better themselves or to retrain for another career.

You can view Drew's film by clicking on the link - Talk -  and entering the password - TalkFilm2021!
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