NCC Home Learning: A Catch Up

Back in September I was so excited to be able to start something I have been wanting to do for a long time. I was offered the chance to complete a Creative Writing course with NCC Home Learning. As you may remember back at the beginning of the year I wrote a short story called Serenity. Serenity was going to be my novel. A foray into the world of young adult supernatural fiction.

I started and I stopped. Then started again. With my job at the time being super quiet, it gave me the time I needed to be able to get words onto paper and see if I could actually make a go of this being an author thing. However I was completely unprepared for how much work goes into writing a book. My rose tinted glasses lulling me into a false sense of positivity that the words would come and I would write and write away. The reality was far from that simple.

Serenity took a back seat. My naivety in this new world wore off and I resigned myself to the fact that I literally knew nothing about writing a book. At all. But that is when NCC stepped in. A course on creative writing was exactly what I needed and I threw myself in with gusto.

ncc home learning: a catch up screen shot of ncc home learning page

Initial Impressions.

I was provided with my log in details and from there it was straight forward. The course is broken down into 14 sections for you to work through at you own pace. This is of course the online only course I would have no tutor to work with and speak to for support. It was me and the words quite literally.

I started off writing about me. The course asking you to explore what it is you want out of writing and it made me think what did I actually want? To reach the dizzying heights of fame a la JK Rowling or did I just want to write regardless of success. Once you know why you want to write it’s pretty simple to forget everything else. Me? I just like to write. It’s what I really want to do whether or not anyone actually reads any of it.

With little tests and quizzes to keep going back to and over, it makes sure you are taking the knowledge in. Breaking down everything from the very basic and working your way up. I found it quite challenging at first. Especially when asked to critique others work and correct given examples of critique. I’ve never been the best at that kind of thing. But it is definitely an area I have been able to build upon.

For me the fact that the sections aren’t all that long is a plus for me. You don’t feel like you are stuck on a section giving you the opportunity to get bored and skim over it. I have been making lots of notes and writing things down as I tend to learn more this way. I am a writer I learn better when writing and the exercises have definitely helped me with this.

Thoughts So Far?

I am yet to fully compete the course. At 200 hours approximately I planned on giving between 5-10 hours a week to do the course. Some weeks I can. Some weeks I can’t. Due to unforeseen circumstances in work, the hours have been somewhat harder to find of late. I like how self contained each section is too. In the later sections you can move from one to another no need to follow them all in order of you decide not to or are too impatient like I am!

ncc home learning: a catch up a picture of a laptop and worksheet

Currently just over halfway through and honestly, I am quite impressed at what I am discovering and horrified at exactly how much I don’t know. But that’s what learning is for isn’t it! Do I think I can find out this kind of information elsewhere? Not for free no.

Is it worth taking the course? Yes. If you are serious, which I am. This course is definitely a good starting point for budding authors. It’s good to know the basics before you embark on a journey. After all you wouldn’t go travelling with knowing where you were going or how to get there would you? Starting a new career is exactly the same. Baby steps, building blocks, all help us to hone our craft and taking this course is my map. My direction into the world literature.

Why Online?

As a socially awkward and rather shy person, the learning environment is one I struggled with. My social awkwardness restricting how far I could go and my anxiety limiting my productivity. Learning online frees me from that and being able to work at my own pace and at a time and place that suits me NCC Home Learning is exactly what I need. Also the online only courses that are available are a bonus as I’m not worrying about missing deadlines or falling behind although having someone there to make sure I was on the right track and not misinterpreting something would be useful. But again options are available for this should this be something you require.

I’m hoping to finish up my course before the end of January and hopefully sit my exam to gain my qualification and I will make sure to update you when I reach this stage. For the first time since I left school I am actually enjoying learning and looking forward to to what I am going to learn next!

Have you ever taken an online course with NCC or are you thinking about it? I would love to hear how you got on if you have or any tips for me in helping me to focus and knuckle down. Self motivation is a struggle for me!

For more information on NCC Home Learning and the courses they have on offer checkout their website and social media. Deposit and easy finance options are available as well as special offers.

*Disclaimer: I was provided with this course for the purpose of this review. This is my brief review after my progress so far. You can also read my initial post on the course and a final feedback post will be written upon completion.*


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  1. I really want to do a course like this and so many others! I’ve been looking at college courses but with a baby and toddler it’s pretty difficult to actually find the time to get there and do it. A course online and laid out this way sounds really great and definitely what I’m looking for 🙂 great review! #KCACOLS

  2. This sounds fun and interesting. I’ve never tried a home learning course, but think I would enjoy it. Like you, I am shy and I like to be able to do things independently in my own space. #KCACOLS

  3. That sounds like a great idea! I’m working on editing my husband’s book at the moment to get it ready for submission, after that I may look at this course and do some creative writing of my own! #KCACOLS

  4. I’ve never done anything like this but I would definitely be interested. I want to get back into writing fiction but it’s been such a long time that I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing!


  5. I truly believe in Online Learning. I completed my post grad online and various publishing courses online. For someone who is also socially awkward its a perfect option and the content and learning methods are just as good. Like you, I’m a wannabe novelist. My new years resolution to get that novel finished is going oh so slowly slowly slow! I have faith that we’ll both get there, but yes there is so much work involved than originally thought #KCACOLS

  6. Good for you Tracey. It sounds really interesting and as though you have got lots from it which is the main thing. Must be time for the exam soon. Look forward to hearing more. #KCACOLS

  7. Sounds great, I’d love to write more and this course sounds like a really good idea! Good luck with the novel. #KACOLS

  8. Well done on getting started with this. I much prefer the idea of online/distant learning courses over a classroom – Allowing you to work in your own time. Good luck! #KCACOLS

  9. Well done on doing any kind of course! Sounds like a very useful one and I’d love the idea of online learning too. It’s so hard to commit to things with kids. Good luck with the rest of it! #kcacols

  10. It sounds like you’re doing great with this. I like the fact that you’ve given yourself 5-10 hours a week, this way you protect the time and are more likely to work through it (when you can). I signed up for a course in writing for children, and haven’t completed a single module. I think I should set myself some hours aside like you have done, and maybe I’ll start working through it. You’ve been the motivation I needed! Thank you. #KCACOLS

  11. Good for you! I started a correspondence course a good few years ago in writing but I unfortunately never finished it. Life got in the way! It’s a great idea and I wish you the best of luck with it. Look forward to hearing you get on and the upcoming novel! #KCOALS x

  12. This course sounds great, I’d love to do something like this. I’d never heard of NCC before. It sounds like you’re making excellent progress and getting a lot out of it. Keep it up, and I hope it helps you with writing your novel. #KCACOLS

  13. What an interesting an exciting course! I have done a lot of home learning as I find it easier to do in my own time and you can spend half and hour to a couple on it! I hope it brings you a lot of creative ideas and its really exciting if you have an idea for a novel! #KCACOLS

  14. Oh wow, this seems like a great course. I do a lot of online courses for my work and they are really great aren’t they? Working at your own pace without deadlines to worry about, and in the comfort of your own home!. With my children, a course that involves going to lectures just isn’t practical. Good luck with finishing it off! #KCACOLS

  15. Online courses really appeal to me as you can do work at home, on the commute or at work on your lunch break! This company looks interesting, gonna have a mooch at what other courses they do! #KCACOLS

  16. It was really interesting to see how you are getting on with the course Tracey! I completed an online course in ‘Writing for Children’ and it opened up so many avenues for me – not just writing for children! Good luck and keep at it. I’d love to read the finished book. xx #KCACOLS

  17. I have been looking more and more into the world of online and distance education. I’m always happy to hear that it is working for someone! #KCACOLS

  18. I did some studying online whilst pregnant and working. It was an amazing experience, so much easier to manage than a physical presence course and easier to fit around family life. Good luck with the rest of the course!

  19. I would definitely prefer online. I’ve been thinking about a course for a while, i’ll definitely keep this one in mind! x #kcacols

  20. An online course is such a great idea for so many reasons! I’m not sure I would be able to stick to something like this but I guess the difference is, if it is something you are passionate about you will make the time. Hope the rest of the course goes well Tracey xx #KCACOLS

  21. I’m so impressed with you! It sounds like you are doing this in the best possible way. Continue with your “bite-size” pieces and don’t rush yourself unnecessarily. If you are committed, it will come! And you are. So it will! All the best to you!

  22. My other half suggested that I do an online course like the one you’re doing. Sounds like it could be really useful if i can make the time. #kcacols

  23. That sounds like a really interesting course! I’ve actually signed up for an in-person creative writing class that’s starting tomorrow. It’s good that we can still have a chance to learn new things as adults. I hope you enjoy the rest of your course. #kcacols

  24. I was thinking about some online courses as well! I think it’s really good especially when we have a kids and no time for normal courses

  25. I really wish I had the discipline (and time) to do an online course from home. I’m bad enough keeping my blog bang up to date with running around after a toddler. I’m glad you’re getting a lot out of it though and very best of luck with the rest of the course! #KCACOLS

  26. Oh this sounds really interesting. I definitely like the idea of doing an online course, as you can go at your own pace. I will check it out as it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing. #kcacols

  27. This is great, well done. I’ve dabbled with fiction writing for years and have a few first draft novels stuffed in a drawer but always get frustrated and lost when it comes to transforming those first drafts into anything more. I would love to take a writing course at some point. Best of luck x

  28. sounds very interesting. I’ve always said that I would love to challenge myself with some on line classes, but like with a lot of other things, haven’t quite got a long to it yet! #KCACOLS

  29. This sounds brilliant, I’ve never done an online course but have considered in the past. Good luck with it all Xx

  30. I took my Master’s courses online and loved the flexibility it gave me as a mom and full time teacher. It sounds like an online course was a great choice for you too!

  31. I loved taking my Master’s courses on;one, as a mom and full time teacher it gave me some freedom as to when I could complete the work! It sounds like an online course was a great choice for you too!

  32. How fantastic! I really hope this course gives you lots of confidence to get started with your book. I’d love to do a creative writing course! #kcacols

  33. I think it’s brilliant you’ve signed up to do something you’re so passionate about. And even if you don’t manage to commit to all the hours you said you would (like do any of us EVER go to the gym 3-4 times a week like we say we will when we sign up!?), you’re making amazing progress! Keep up the great work and stay focused on your end goal! #KCACOLS

  34. Best of luck with the rest of the course. Has definately given me food for thought as I obviously love writing. I love talking and its just talking on paper, screen to me. My goal for this year is to complete an AAT qualification, also mostly online learning as it’s easier with a toddler I think. You have introduced me to something I never knew existed with this post though.

  35. Good luck with the rest of the course and I hope you eventually finish your book. A book is definitely in my long term goal, but I think it will have to wait until I have more time to dedicate to it as I am sure it wont be easy! #KCACOLS

  36. Home learning is def the way forward these days. Only prob I find is concentrating in your home environment. Maybe once the yungest is at pre school I may take up a course. Good luck with your writing.

  37. Good luck, I’m not sure I have the discipline for home learning, I need to be with people otherwise I just find I lose interest and give up. But great that you are so determined. I hope you get your novel completed!

  38. I’m a big fan of home learning, with two under two it’s really the only way for me. It’s great to have a recommendation because finding a good provider can be a minefield!

  39. I did a diploma online and really enjoyed the flexibility of this type of learning. I still had deadlines and coursework but I could choose when I did my hours each week. It was great. It sounds like you are getting a lot out of the course. I’d love to do something similar but focussed on travel writing. Writing has been my career all my life but there are so many different ways to do it and I’d love to learn more about a different style #kcacols

  40. I thought online learning would be good for me too – with my anxiety and social phobias but I found I just let everything slip without a push from an actual teacher or tutor. Glad you’re enjoying it and getting into it. #kcacols

  41. The idea of online courses is one that I like. I have no idea what I would do though lol. Good luck with the rest of the course.

  42. Online courses are great if you need the flexibility of fitting them into your life! I’m terrible though I start them but I always get distracted and move on to something else! #KCACOLS

  43. I tried home learning before and really struggled with motivation, if you keep focused and think of your goal at the end then you should be fine 🙂 #KCACOLS

  44. Good luck with the course! It sounds like a great idea and hope you manage to find some time. At least you have some flexibility though. If I do a course in the foreseeable future then it would definitely be online – much easier when juggling work and family! #KCACOLS

  45. That’s great you are able to do an on-line course. I’ve thought about it a few times but for me I need motivating, and that means sitting in a class and having someone breathing down my neck! Good luck with your course! #KCACOLS

  46. I have done a writing course before – in biography writing – and loved it. I would love to one in creative writing, but it is finding the time as you say. It is great to get a recommendation, so thank you. At the moment I am writing some short stories – I totally agree, it is much harder than I thought it would be! Good luck! #KCACOLS

  47. How exciting! This sounds like a great course. I sometimes miss studying a bit and although I don’t have time at the moment I may look into an online course in the future, its sounds like it has all the best bits without the pressure of deadlines and working to someone else’s timetable. Good luck with the rest of your course x #KCACOLS

  48. CommentThis loo
    This looks great although I think I’d be more motivated by attending classes…easier said than done with kids though! Good luck and hope you continue to enjoy it. #KCACOLS

  49. I really like the idea of doing a course online. As a parent, who is soon to return back to work full time, I’d love to better myself but struggle to see how I could fit it in!
    I’ve always had an interest in writing so something like this sounds right up my street! #KCACOLS

  50. I really like the idea of doing a course online. As a parent, who is soon to return back to work full time, I’d love to better myself but struggle to see how I could fit it in!
    I’ve always had an interest in writing so something like this sounds right up my street! #KCACOLS

  51. online learning is just fab isn’t it – so accessible and like you say if you are shy in the classroom or not so fussed about going out then its perfect. I use future learn and coursera for some free courses : ) #KCACOLS

  52. Well done & keep going. It’s a stepping stone on the way to your dreams and nothing worth having was easily won. Go for it!!! #kcacols

  53. Well done you on taking it to the next level and not letting you anxiety stop you moving forward. Good luck with the exam.
    Looking forward to reading more of your work.
    Linking up from the #KCACOLS

  54. Oh I’ve always thought about starting a writing course – I love the idea of it but I need to find a time in my life where I can give it the right focus. I love the way it starts by getting to you to understand what you want to achieve from your writing. That’s a fantastic question for all us bloggers I am sure – will certainly help set those goals long term! Good luck with the rest of the course #KCACOLS

  55. What a lovely opportunity! I would love to do a course. It helps that it can be done at your own place. Especially when work, family life and of course blogging come into play! All the best!

  56. Good on you, that takes dedication to motivate yourself with an on line course. I have a feeling you are going to do this and be hungry for more. All the very best of luck. #KCACOLS

  57. Good luck with the course. It sounds like it’s going well so far. I’ve taken a couple of online blogging classes and I really like the convenience of being able to study when I’d like. #kcacols

  58. Well done for stepping out and dedicating yourself to skilling yourself up before embarking on a new project, I think it’s very admirable. I would like to improve my writing too. I hope it goes well and you enjoy it. It sounds like a lot of hours! Well done. #KCACOLS

  59. Wow this sounds great! Intense, but great! It sounds like just what you need to take your writing to the next step and its great that you can learn at your own pace. Good luck with the upcoming exam, I cant wait to hear how you got on 🙂 Emily #KCACOLS

  60. Ah this sounds fantastic! Towards the end of last year I also bought an online course that you can do at your own pace, but unfortunately there’s so much that goes into life that unless you specifically make the time, it just doesn’t happen. I would really really struggle to find 5-10 hours per week, but how I would love to take a course on writing! Good luck with completing the course – it sounds like it has given you so much already! #KCACOLS

  61. I like the idea of an online course and learning something new. I don’t really have the time to commit at the moment but it’s something I will look into in the future. Good luck with your book! #KCACOLS

  62. Online courses sounds great in theory to me, but I think without someone breathing down my neck I’d end up slacking off and not finishing. I’m just horrific at motivating myself! #kcacols

  63. It sounds like a great option for people that what to take a course and do it at their own pace. I worry that I wouldn’t have the discipline to get it done x #KCACOLS

  64. Good luck hun. I look forward to reading what you thought overall once you’ve finished it. #kcacols
    Nadia x

  65. Well done o find it so hard to do any online courses -need the motivation from an actual person keep up the good work

  66. An online course sounds like a great idea….I like you can do it at your own pace.
    Good luck with the rest of the course x