Why study HE with us?

  1. Better career prospects

  2. Flexible delivery

  3. Industry-experienced lecturers

  4. Vocationally-focused

  5. Chance to top-up to honours degree

  6. Smaller class sizes

  1. Strong links to industry

  2. Plenty of support

  3. Save time and money

  4. University validation

  5. Dedicated HE Centre

  6. Work placement opportunities

Funding for HE courses

If you are thinking of applying for a HE course you will need to find out about your funding options

Student finance explained

Student finance information for academic year 2021-2022

Students with disabilities or additional learning needs

Part time students

Students with children or adult dependants

Help with transport costs

Gower College Swansea bursary

Hardship fund

As a HE student you will be able to access a wide range of support

Student Support

The first point of contact for information, support and advice on anything from careers guidance to financial assistance is the central HE team based in the University Centre. The College also has a dedicated team of Student Support Officers available to students who require additional support outside their studies. They offer one to one support and can refer onto other agencies for additional support if needed.

Are you a Looked After Child or a Child Leaving Care and interested in signing up for a HE course at Gower College Swansea? If so, you can access the College’s designated Support Officer who will be able to assist you every step of the way, from enrolment right through to settling in at the College.

The College also has a counselling service and health advisors who provide a professional service to students offering advice and guidance on specific health issues. Their aim is to promote health and wellbeing across the College. 

togetherall

togetherall is a digital mental health and well- being support service which is available online, 24/7. It is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. It offers a range of activities that allow you to work through what’s troubling you.

To find out more about togetherall’s supportive online community, simply visit togetherall’s website.

Disability support and support for learners with specific needs

We offer advice to students with specific learning differences including dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD for example, on how to access appropriate specialist support, reasonable adjustments for examinations, screening and assessment along with guidance on the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) funding application process.

For more information please contact Hilary Langston - h.langston@gcs.ac.uk

Additional support could include:

  • One to one or small group support
  • Specialist support for visually impaired students
  • Communication support for deaf and hearing impaired students
  • Specialist equipment following assessment or request
  • Materials in large print, tape and Braille
  • Extra time for exams.

Disabled Students’ Allowance

The DSA is a non means-tested, government funded scheme which can pay for any support that you might need to ensure that you are not disadvantaged during your studies. 

Students with a disability or impairment including specific learning difficulties may be eligible. You can apply for the Disability Students’ Allowance before or during your course, it is recommended that you do so as soon as possible as it can take time to get everything in place. To apply for a DSA you will need to provide evidence of your condition. Further information can be found here.

As part of the application process you will need to attend a needs assessment meeting, the outcome of which will be forwarded to the College on your behalf. The assessment will take place at your local needs assessment centre e.g. Swansea University.

If you have any queries about the process, your College contacts are:

Ceri Low (Learning Support Coordinator)
ceri.low@gcs.ac.uk  

Hilary Langston (Learner Support i.e. dyslexia support) 
hilary.langston@gcs.ac.uk

Library

At the University Centre you will find a welcoming library with a wide range of resources aimed at our HE students. Whilst our physical spaces are currently limited students can still access books through our click and collect service and have online access to our wealth of electronic resources, including eBooks, eJournals and eNewspapers and specialist databases. We have also introduced drop in sessions.

Learn more about the Library services and how to access books here.

Facilities include PCs, a number of laptops for loan, specialist software, colour print/scan/copy facilities, curriculum specific books, self-service loans and study spaces. All our books are relevant and relate to course reading lists.

Our HE library has a dedicated and experienced advisor who works closely with the curriculum team to ensure support and resources are available throughout the duration of your course. The HE Advisor is on hand to support all aspects of your study within the library and is bookable for one to one support via Teams on office 365 and email.

Support includes:

  • Proof reading
  • Finding resources
  • Referencing and plagiarism
  • Academic writing styles
  • Presentations
  • Turnitin.

University Centre library contact
Angela.pearce@gcs.ac.uk

Accessing information

WiFi College wifi is available through eduroam on all sites.

GCS student portal – available on any College computer via explorer and can be accessed from home.

Outlook all students have their own email address linked to their College account.

Microsoft Office 365  all office 365 programmes can be accessed and Teams will be used as a way of communication and in some cases a means of having lessons remotely.

Virtual Learning environment (VLE)

The College has its own Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle, it can be used to

  • Access resources uploaded by your lecturers
  • Upload assignments for marking
  • Complete quizzes and assessments
  • Chat with other learners and lecturers using the forums.

Employability

All HE students can access the College’s employability service, Better Jobs, Better Futures.

Our team of career coaches can help with CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and research, and mock interviews with employers. They have an open door policy and offer a drop-in service. In addition, students can be allocated a career coach for ongoing one to one support if needed.

Students can also access online careers support and advice via the web chat service 

Graduate skills for employment

Time at College should be seen as preparing for the world of work, which is increasingly a world that lays a premium on flexibility and ability to adapt to changing situations. Within this context Personal Transferable Skills (PTS) and Professional Development Planning (PDP) have come to feature very prominently as important graduate attributes. 

PTS are skills acquired in the course of academic study which might be independent of the discipline in question and, therefore, transferable and usable in other contexts, including the world of work.

PDP is the planning process through which one is able to reflect upon and analyse personal strengths and identify areas for future development. Four main categories of such skills have been identified: problem solving, managing/organising, team work and communication.

Each programme of study has been designed to include opportunities to acquire and develop personal skills and plan professional development in readiness for graduation.

Enrichment

Run by students for students, Gower College Swansea’s Students Union is here to represent you.

We champion the learner voice so your input is crucial to ensure you have the best student experience. You could even become a part of the Student Union Management Group and help shape the future of the College.

Once you enrol, you are automatically a union member and can talk to us about any issues you may have.


TOTUM gives you access to student discounts and deals on food and fashion, tech and travel, and everything in between.

You can make your money go further with TOTUM - and stretch it all the way from Amazon to Zavvi!


We have a range of societies at the College with lots of different areas of interest including sustainability, LGBTQ+, Christian Union and Welsh. The Student Union will support you to set up the society or group that you feel is needed.


Student membership of the College’s Sport Centre costs just £30 per year and will entitle you to the following during term time:

  • Use of gym facilities
  • Discounted squash court hire
  • Discounted personal training
  • Discounted exercise classes.

The College’s GCS Active team also organise a number of team building/outdoor/sports activities and visits to local sporting events and attractions.

Higher Education Graduation 2019​

Higher Education Explained

Foundation degrees

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.

HNCs/HNDs

Higher National Certificates (HNC) and 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

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.

Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)

A certificate of higher education is a stand-alone qualification that focuses on either a particular profession or academic subject. At Level 4 it is the lowest level of qualification that a student can gain in higher education. It is an academic rather than vocational qualification.

Completing a CertHE can demonstrate individuals’ capability of studying at university level. It can raise confidence, support a career change, or progression. It can also be used as the first step of several degree levels to go on to achieve a foundation degree, diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) or a full honours degree through additional study. 

A CertHE might be useful for getting a job, depending on the profession, as they’re equivalent to other qualifications.

You can use a CertHE as a stepping stone to a full degree, and you might be able to skip one year of a degree course. You still need to make sure you meet the entry requirements of the course you’re interested in, and find out whether your previous studies are transferable.

Left school without qualifications?
Fancy a career change?

It’s still possible to go to university, even if you don’t have the traditional qualifications. Sign up for one of our Access to Higher Education courses and you’re one step closer.
 
Find out more

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.