Robert fine tunes his plans to study music at university

Robert Nutt, who undertook part-time study at Northern Regional College and is now studying for his A-Levels

MUSIC lover Robert Nutt from Cloughmills is aiming to hit the right note in his career and the Northern Regional College has helped him chase his dream.

The first phase of his plan was to get some formal qualifications. He studied GCSE Maths and English as a part-time student at Northern Regional College and passed both subjects with flying colours making him even more determined to succeed.

Georgina Forrest, Robert’s Maths lecturer at Northern Regional College, says she is delighted with his success:

“Robert got an A in his GCSE Maths and deserves great credit for the way he has turned things around. I’m really pleased for him as he worked very hard and I wish him every success.”

The second phase of his plan is to meet university entry requirements, so he is now embarking on a two-year programme of study to do A-Level Maths, English and Classical Civilisations with the Open Study College.

Robert explained: “These are online courses which I can study for at home. Although this isn’t the traditional way of doing A-Levels, I’ll be working towards achieving traditional qualifications which are acceptable to all universities.

“This way, I’ll be able to keep my options open as I’m still not sure which universities I want to apply to.”

Robert was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

He said: “There was a lot going on in my personal life but after I got the diagnosis and with appropriate support in place, things did begin to improve and I able to cope much better.”

After leaving school, Robert developed an interest in Baroque opera – an interest which he readily admits is a bit unusual.

“No else in the family had any interest in music so I don’t know where this interest in music generally, and Baroque opera in particular, came from but I am really fascinated by everything to do with it – the history, the costumes and all the cultural associations with early civilisations such as the Greeks and Romans.

“I didn’t enjoy music when I was at school but after I left, I tried picking out tunes on a small keyboard and discovered that I loved music,” he explained.

Around the same time, Robert started taking singing lessons. He has since achieved ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music) Grade 8 and has even had an audition with the Royal Scottish Conservatoire in Glasgow.

Robert also plays the piano, violin and flute and passed his Grade 5 Music Theory with Distinction. He is currently working towards achieving Grade 8 Music Theory and has set his sights on getting another Distinction so he will have the option of teaching.

Looking to the future, Robert is determined to study music at university but is as yet undecided what to concentrate on.

“Initially, I thought I would want to focus on performance but now, I’m not so sure. I really enjoy composition I may go in that direction instead, but I’ve still got plenty of time to decide.”

Part-time classes for GCSE Maths and English commenced on Monday 16 September at all Northern Regional College campuses. For further information on all part-time classes or to enrol, go to

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