We already have a strong reputation for further education but did you know that hundreds of people each year study for a higher education (HE) qualification with us? There are three different options – foundation degrees, HNC/HNDs and professional qualifications – with many of our courses validated by the leading higher education institutions in Wales.
Why study HE with us?
Better career prospects
Chance to top-up to honours degree
Smaller class sizes
Strong links to industry
Plenty of support
Save time and money
HIGHER EDUCATION EXPLAINED
[Three different routes]
Foundation Degrees are degree level qualifications that combine academic study with work place learning. Designed in association with employers, they are qualifications to equip people with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve academic results as well as improve performance and productivity in the work place. Foundation degrees focus on a particular job or profession. They are intended to increase the professional and technical skills of current or potential staff within a profession, or intending to go into that profession. They are the equivalent of two thirds of a full honours degree and a fully flexible qualification allowing students to study part time or full-time to fit their lifestyle. A full time foundation degree will usually take about two years to complete, and part time courses may take longer, and there is an option to top up to a full honours degree at the end. This normally takes an extra year.
Higher National Certificates (HNC)/Higher National Diplomas (HND) are work related courses usually designed to prepare students for a specific career. Unlike many degrees, they are vocationally focused and can therefore lead straight to a career. They’re also a great stepping stone to a higher qualification and can be ‘topped up’ to convert to a bachelor’s degree. The HNC is one level below a HND and generally equivalent to the first year of university. A HND is equivalent to the second year of university. A full time HNC takes one year to complete (two years part time) while the HND takes two years to complete when studying full time (three to four years part time).
Professional qualifications are specifically linked to certain career choices and recognised by the relevant professional bodies (such as the CMI, CIM, CIPD). Professional certification proves that someone has the knowledge, experience and skills to perform a specific job, and has achieved a recognised level of competence. Obtaining a professional qualification can offer rewards such as entry into a chosen career area, promotion or an increase in salary.
Left school without qualifications?
Fancy a career change?
Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a qualification which prepares people without traditional qualifications for study at university. It’s designed for those who would like to study in higher education but who left school without qualifications such as A Levels or went straight into the workplace and now fancy a career change. Access courses attract a diverse range of students and there’s no maximum age limit. Once completed, the diploma is held in the same standing as A Levels. Access courses are generally tailored as pathways; they prepare students with the necessary skills and imbue the appropriate knowledge required for a specific undergraduate career. For example, there are 'access to law', 'access to social welfare’ and 'access to nursing' pathways.
Need one more reason to study a professional qualification with us?
We are the only FE college in the UK to be awarded the highly sought-after platinum approved learning partner status by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) as a result of our commitment to training and student support.
Higher Education / Access Student of the Year: Samantha Alexis
Here we have an Access student who has worked with dementia patients in the care sector as well as within community care – all experiences that have helped to make her the outstanding student she is today.
Samantha is very supportive of others, exceptionally hard working and has produced some of the best assignments her tutor has ever seen. She is unassuming, never complains and has a positive attitude and professional approach that inspires her peers.
Samantha will soon progress to study Psychology at Swansea University with the aim of using this qualification in a supportive role for those most in need.
HOW TO APPLY
You can apply for a part time HE course through the college. If the course you’re interested in is full time and has a UCAS reference number, you need to go through the UCAS website.
Terms and conditions for students accepting course offers through UCAS.
This applies to students who are holding a Firm offer from Gower College Swansea. If you have an Insurance offer, these terms and conditions would apply from the point at which your first choice application has been rejected and your status has changed to Firm offer.
FEES AND FUNDING
Tuition fees depend on the course you want to study so have a look at the course card carefully. For full time courses, a tuition fee loan can be taken out to cover the first £4,296 and you can apply for a fee grant from the Welsh Government to cover the remainder of the course fees. You only pay back the tuition fee loan once you start earning £21,000 or over. The fee grant doesn’t have to be repaid. Both are non-means tested but you do need to be a Welsh domiciled student who is a new entrant to HE and not already a graduate. For full and part time courses, there are also grants available to help with living costs such as the Maintenance Loan, Welsh Government Learning Grant and Special Support Grant. For full information on all the financial support that is available and how to apply visit www.studentfinancewales.co.uk.
Further information can be found on these guidance notes.
This all depends on the level and type of course you want to study. We’ve put the entry requirements on the individual course information.