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Higher Education and University

Studying at University is an amazing opportunity, but University is a big commitment and is not always the right path for everyone. We recommend that students spend some time thinking about whether University is right for them, perhaps imagine where they see themselves in five years’ time and also explore some of the other alternatives to University that are now available.

Click here for a general guide to Higher Education qualifications.

The prospect of studying at University and graduating with a large amount of debt can be daunting. University graduates do not start paying their loans back until they are earning more than £21,000 per year, and then only a small percentage of the salary is paid back each month. Student debts are cleared after the graduate turns 40. Click here for more information about student loans from the UCAS website or check out Student Finance England.

If a student decides that going to university is the right thing for them, there will be lots of support available at college to help with this. From choosing the right course to finding out what it’s actually like being at Uni, students are encouraged to pop into the Careers Common Room and speak to one of the Careers Team.

Once students begin the formal application process for university, our UCAS Advisor, based in the Learning Resources Centre, LRC, will be on hand to proof read personal statements and answer any questions (from both students and parent, guardians or carers!)

Please click here to view our formalised UCAS Process

Click here to see the Degree Level courses available here at the College.

Visit the UCAS website here

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships combine gaining industry experience with a Level 4 or 5 qualification (this is the equivalent of a Foundation degree). These Apprenticeships can last between one and six years and students will typically be working three or four days a week. Students will also be paid a full salary whilst training.

Degree Apprenticeships include university-level study, Apprentices will graduate with a full University Bachelor degree. Not only will they graduate with the same qualification as a University student but they will also have an abundance of industry experience (and no debt!). Degree Apprenticeships often refer to Sponsored Degrees, where students have their tuition fees covered by a particular organisation.

Click here for more information from the Government website

Foundation Degree or Higher National Diplomas

Similar to an Apprenticeship, a Foundation Degree is designed to prepare students for working in a specific industry. They are a combination of work and study. Foundation Degrees cost around £3,000 per year, but these tuition fees can vary. Foundation Degrees are typically organised by Universities in partnership with local colleges and can be applied for through UCAS.

Students can opt to complete a Top-Up Degree, which is a final year of study that can turn the Foundation Degree into a full Honours Degree.

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a vocational qualification that can be studied full-time or part-time to prepare for a career in a specific industry. HNDs often cover Engineering, Sciences, Business, Computing or Health and Social Care.

Click here for more detailed information on Higher National Diplomas

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