HE Explained

With university fees at an all-time high, and the cost of living steadily rising, a degree course close to home is an increasingly attractive option for many. It is our aim and intention to develop and increase the range of high quality, innovative higher education and professional programmes at Level 4 and above to meet the needs of our regional community.

If you choose to study at Bridgwater & Taunton College, then it is important to realise that you need to apply for full-time courses via UCAS in the same way as if you were applying to any other institution, visit www.ucas.com Applications for part-time courses must be made direct to the College, using our part-time application form.

What is Higher Education?

Higher education is one of the options you can take on completion of a Level 3 course; it is encouraging you to take your education to the next level. It is the natural progression in the education chain if you want to further your studies. You’ll find higher education challenging, getting used to new ways of learning and thinking may take time, but you’ll have a lot of fun doing so.

If you are a mature student who does not have a Level 3 qualification but has a wealth of industry experience, you are encouraged to apply.

Why should I study a higher education course?

Higher education can help boost your career prospects and earning potential and at the same time give you the chance to study a subject that really interests you. Many employers now look for graduates when recruiting staff, and on average graduates earn more money than those without a higher education qualification. The move into higher education is a potentially life-changing experience, and it is important for you to make an informed choice.

What is the difference in studying a higher education course at a college rather than a university?

What you need to remember is that no matter where you decide to study, the quality and content of the qualification you receive will be exactly the same. Our university partners insist upon this in order to preserve their reputation in the industry and to ensure that a student who has achieved a Foundation Degree at Bridgwater College is adequately prepared to then progress onto a top up year to achieve a full Honours Degree, whether at Bridgwater College or at University.

Choosing your course

Bridgwater College currently offers the following higher education courses:

Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Validated by Edexcel, an HNC is a nationally-recognised qualification that is well regarded in industry, as it tends to have a more vocational focus than a degree programme. It is usually studied part-time over two years, enabling you to combine study with employment. Students normally cover ten units over the two years, with the option in some subjects to ‘top-up’ to an HND by taking a further six units.

Higher National Diploma (HND)

An HND generally lasts for two years when studied full-time (generally two or three days a week) or three years if studied part-time (one day a week). Students normally cover 16 units for the full HND or, if topping-up from a 10-unit HNC, a further six units. After successfully completing an HND, you could progress to degree level.

Foundation Degree (Fda/FdSc)

A Foundation Degree is a two-year course with a practical, vocational emphasis designed to help further your career. It is typically designed in partnership with industry and validated by a partner university, with successful completion offering the opportunity to ‘top-up’ to a BA or BSc either at Bridgwater College or at another institution. Part-time study options are also available in some subjects.

Degree top-up (BA/BSc(Hons))

We offer the opportunity for you to top-up your HND or Foundation Degree to a full BSc or BA (hons) Degree, in some subjects.