What is higher education?
Higher Education qualifications can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the terminology.
The first thing to be aware of is the academic “Level” of the course.
Level 2 and 3 are equivalent to GCSE and A-Levels respectively.
Higher Education is Level 4 and above.
Level 4 is equivalent to the first year of a traditional three-year Batchelor’s degree, Level 5 to year two and Level 6 to year 3.
These are some examples of higher education qualifications:
HNC – Higher National Certificate
Level 4. Extremely popular vocational courses accredited by Pearson. Usually one year of study.
HND – Higher National Diploma
Level 5. Commonly taken after completion of the HNC – usually a further year.
AAT Certificates and Diplomas
These are professional accountancy qualifications which are industry-recognised at Level 4 and 5 respectively. AAT is the Association of Accounting Technicians, which students join in addition to gaining their qualification.
UAL Professional Diploma
These are Level 4 qualifications accredited by the University of the Arts London and have been developed in consultation with industry.
CIPD Associate Diploma
This is a professional qualification regulated by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, aimed at people looking to go into HR and those experienced in the field and hoping to move into an Advisor or Business Partner role.
What comes next?
Our courses provide you the best of both worlds. They are widely-recognised self-contained qualifications but come with the option to progress to a full degree at university, giving you the flexibility of keeping your options open in a changing job market.
Higher education courses generally require you to have Level 3 (A-Level-equivalent) qualifications although your occupational experience may be taken into account if you’ve been out of education for a while.
You also have the option of completing an Access to Higher Education Diploma. This a Level 3 course but will prepare you for Level 4 and above, including a full degree.
- Flexible qualifications which are recognised by employers in their own right but can also be topped up to gain a university degree.
- Good teacher/ student ratios to ensure you’re not left behind and that support and advice are on hand throughout your course.
- Competitive pricing along with finance options designed to enable people to take part irrespective of their financial circumstances.
- The opportunity to study from a venue close to where you live so you don’t have to abandon your friends and family.
- Teaching by vocationally-experienced staff who will pass on their industry knowledge.
To find out more about the funding available for HE, please click the video below to see the presentation from the Careers Guidance Team. You can also pdf view the presentation here (1.72 MB) .
Access & Participation Statement
Student Protection Plan
Student protection plans set out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. The purpose of a plan is to ensure that students can continue and complete their studies, or can be compensated if this is not possible.
All higher education providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) must have a student protection plan in place.
Please click here to read our Student Protection Plan
Disabled Students' Allowance
You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance. You will not need to repay DSAs.
Please take some time to read through the links below to help you understand what is on offer and what the application process involves. The application process can be lengthy, so applying early is important.
For further information please see our Terms & Conditions for HE Students below and click the Students with Disabilities / Learning Difficulties section.
Terms & Conditions for HE Students
Higher Education Courses
Business 2 courses
Our business courses give you the chance to put your developing skills to the test with practical projects and scenarios which bring the theory to life.
Computing & Information Technology 7 courses
Our courses prepare students for a wide range of skills in subjects including software systems, cyber security and robotics.
Computing & Information Technology courses
Construction, Building Services/Plumbing 2 courses
The college has excellent relationships with construction industry businesses.
Construction, Building Services/Plumbing courses
Engineering 10 courses
Engineering is taught using a wide range of equipment and software to ensure the student is immersed in the technology which will become familiar when they move on into employment.
Games Development 2 courses
Gaming is not just a pastime for millions of people of all ages. It’s a huge industry calling for high-skilled specialists who can create the software which makes it all happen.
Games Development courses
Teacher Training 3 courses
Our courses cater for those interested in working in 16-18 and adult education as teachers or in school as support workers.
Teacher Training courses
Travel & Tourism 2 courses
Our courses will prepare students for careers in a range of settings including hotels, airlines and cruise ships.
Travel & Tourism courses