At this time of year, thousands of local students are reaching a crossroads in their lives. Exam results have arrived and pivotal decisions are being taken that will shape future lives and careers. Many will choose degree study, but for others, the attraction of a University equivalent course at their local Further and Higher Education (FHE) College has never been more appealing.
At South West College (SWC) students can choose from a range of full-time and part-time Higher Education courses, across a broad range of curriculum areas in levels such as Foundation Degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, Full Degree and Honors Degree Top Ups and other professional qualifications. Completion of these academic and vocationally led courses often result in direct employment, continued education and training, or they serve as a stepping stone to a Full Honors Degree that is offered at SWC.
Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLA’s) are another exciting, alternative way to study as students are employed full-time and study part-time in the college. HLA’s are available in a broad range of subject areas and SWC is the largest provider of HLA’s in Northern Ireland.
Foundation Degrees (completed in two years full-time, or three years part-time) combine hands on practical learning with academic study which can later be topped up to a full degree. All Foundation Degrees are accredited by either the Open University (OU), Ulster University (UU) or Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and all have direct articulated pathways to honours degrees at each respective university. Foundation Degrees are also widely recognised as providing a robust platform for candidates seeking employment at technician level. South West college also offers Foundation Degree graduates exciting one year Honors Degree Top Ups full-time and two years part-time in a broad range of subject areas.
Higher National Diplomas/Certificates
Higher National Diplomas and Higher National Certificates are also a popular option. HNCs and HNDs focus on ‘learning by doing’, providing skills that can be used in a particular job. They are highly valued by employers and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations. HNCs take one year to complete full-time and two years part-time. HNDs take two years full-time but can also be taken part-time.
Higher Level Apprenticeships
Open to post A-Level students and those who have undertaken Level 3 qualifications, HLAs allow students to jointly study and work in paid employment in their chosen profession. The HLA is a unique work based programme that enables participants to earn while they learn, while gaining a recognised Level 5 qualification. Courses are funded by the Department for the Economy so students never have to worry about tuition fees.
Honors Degree’s and Honors Degree Top Ups.
South West College in educational partnerships with the OU, UU and QUB are offering a broad range of Degree’s and Top Up Degree’s both full-time and part-time in subject areas such as Computing, Sport and Exercise, Construction Engineering Management, Business Studies, Early Childhood studies, Engineering, Visual Media, Building Services and Energy, Environment Sustainability and Energy, Corporate law and Finance, Transport and Supply Chain Management.
Higher Education On Your Doorstep
There are many reasons why studying locally makes sense. As well as the extensive range of courses, students are also attracted by a number of other benefits from opting for college over university. Many students prefer the smaller class numbers, and the benefit of added individual hours with lecturers and tutors. Studying an undergraduate course at SWC is also a more affordable option, with much lower tuition fees. Students also have the option to live at home, reducing the substantial living and maintenance costs that come with moving away.
SWC also focuses time and energy into improving the health and wellbeing of students, recognising the positive impact this can have on study and future success. The college’s thriving student services facilities offers advice and support on careers, student finance, safeguarding, learning support and equality.
For further information on higher education options at South West College and to apply, please visit our website http://www.swc.ac.uk/gohigher Due to Covid-19, access to SWC campuses is currently limited and social distancing is in operation. If you need additional guidance or support, visit your local campus in Dungannon, Enniskillen or Omagh between 10am-4pm on Thursday, August 13 and Friday August 14.