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Higher Education

Stay local and benefit from our expert tutors and outstanding facilities. We offer a range of higher education courses and professional qualifications designed to help you progress to your chosen career. If you don't have the traditional qualifications needed to apply to university, consider studying a level 3 qualification, undertaking an Access to HE course or completing a level 3 apprenticeship with Warrington & Vale Royal College.

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Whichever higher education or professional course you decide to study, with our HNCs, HNDs and HTQs you will be equipped with the in-demand skills that employers are looking for.

The college works closely with local employers to ensure that our courses address the skills gaps in the local area. Our brand-new Health & Social Care Academy, for instance, is equipped with industry-standard equipment and will provide our higher education healthcare students with the knowledge and skills they need to excel as a healthcare professional.

Why choose us to be your higher education provider?

Students studying on our higher education courses are taught by our expert tutors and benefit from their vast industry experience and knowledge. We pride ourselves on offering a supportive, inclusive learning environment, enabling you to strive for the best and reach your full potential. If you’re debating between undertaking your higher education studies at college or university, there are some great benefits to be gained from studying at your local higher education college!

Choose us for:

  • Affordable course prices – our full-time fees are £5,995 and part-time fees are £2,997 per year
  • Excellent links with employers
  • Small class sizes
  • One-to-one support and guidance
  • Fabulous facilities on campus
  • Easy access by car and public transport

Upon completion of one of our level 5 HND or HTQ courses, you can then go on to gain a honours degree level qualification through competing a top up degree course. You can open a world of opportunities through studying a higher education course at Warrington & Vale Royal College.

What do our higher education students say about us?

We receive fabulous feedback from our higher education students!

  • 95% would recommend their course to a friend
  • 97% agree they felt welcome on their first day in college
  • 96% agree the teaching on their course is good
  • 96% agree teachers know their subject well
  • 95% agree they are developing employability skills
  • 95% agree they have received quick feedback on their work
  • 94% agree the college listens to their views about the course feedback on their course
  • 96% agree that their teachers treat them fairly and with respect.

Source: QDP student survey November 2023

Additional Financial Support

Depending upon your circumstances, Warrington & Vale Royal College may be able to support you with any additional costs you are struggling with, which are not covered by the HE Loan you have been awarded. You must be in receipt of the HE Funding Loan to be eligible to apply to our Higher Education Further Assistance Fund.

Who can apply for this support?

Any of Higher Education students, who have applied for and have been award Higher Education funding. The student must be in receipt of the Maintenance Loan element of HE funding.

What type of support am I able to receive?

We will consider applications from students who are facing financial difficulties, and who are at risk of not being able to remain in Higher Education. The fund may be able to support students with an unexpected financial crisis.

How much will I get?

The amount you receive will be dependent upon what type of support you need.

How will I be paid?

Any financial payments will be paid into your bank account. Please note we can only refund amounts to the student’s bank account. It is essential that you have a bank account in your own name, as no cash alternatives will be made. We cannot make payments into a partner/parent/carer bank account, unless you have an appointeeship document.

What evidence will I need to provide?

You will be required to provide evidence of all current household income and expenditure. We will need full details of your HE Loan award, and need to see bank accounts, bills and any other financial documents in support of your application

How do I apply?

You can apply using our paper application, available from Learner Services. You will need to provide evidence at the time of application, please be aware that there may be a delay in your application being processed if your form is incomplete, or evidence is missing. If you need support in applying please do ask as we will be more than happy to help you.

What happens after I have applied?

Once we have received your application it will be assessed by a panel of staff. You may be required to attend for interview. We will advise of the panel decision as soon as possible. It is the student’s responsibility to tell the Department for Work and Pensions about any direct funding support that they receive from the College as payments received may affect their eligibility for some benefits.

What support is available for higher education students?

All higher education students will have termly 1:1 tutorials with their Programme Leader to support their progress on programme.

Students also have access to an online tutorial programme which provides guidance on a wide range of topics such as careers, mental health, managing finances, support for single parents and working online. In addition, students can access a range of workshops throughout the year to support with topics such as study skills, academic writing and time management.

We have a team of staff dedicated to providing learning support if it is required and a wellbeing team on hand to offer guidance, support and help when needed. All higher education students have access to a designated Progress Coach who also provides wellbeing support.

What are the funding options?

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for financial support including the Higher Education Financial Assistance Fund. Our Guidance and Wellbeing Team can provide you with advice on loans and discuss with you any financial concerns you might have.

Click here to find out more information about financial support at college.

Other options may be:

  • Higher Education Finance: all of our HNC/HND programmes are eligible for a Higher Education Loan, which you only start to repay once you are earning over £25,000.
  • Tuition Fee Loans: eligible students studying for their first undergraduate course can apply for a tuition fee loan - this will cover the cost of the course.
  • Maintenance Loans: all full-time students can apply for a Maintenance Loan to help with living and study costs. The amount of support students receive is dependent on the household income.
    • Up to £9,978 per year is available for those who live away from home
    • Up to £8,400 per year is available for students who live with their parents
    All students regardless of their level of household income can receive a basic Maintenance Loan.

Additional support is also available:

Depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to a:

  • Disabled Students Allowance (DSA): this is a grant to help meet extra course costs which students can face as a result of a disability.
  • Childcare Grant: to help with childcare costs
  • Parents Learning Allowance/Dependents Grant: you may qualify for additional grants if you have children or adult dependents.

For further information on loans and how to apply, visit: www.gov.uk/student-finance.

What are the different higher education course levels?

We offer three different levels of higher education course. These are:

Higher National Certificate (HNC):

The Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a level 4 qualification that provides a foundational level of knowledge and practical skills in a specific subject area. Students have the choice to complete this course full-time over one year, or part-time over two years. HNCs are designed to give you a solid understanding of your chosen field and prepare you for work or progression to the next level of education.

Higher National Diploma (HND):

The Higher National Diploma (HND) is a level 5 qualification that builds on the knowledge and skills gained in a HNC. Students have the choice to complete this course full-time over one year, or part-time over two years. It offers a deeper understanding of your chosen subject and focuses on practical application. Graduates with a HND are well-prepared for a wide range of roles within their chosen industry or can progress to a higher level of education, such as completing a degree.

Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ):

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQ) focus on developing a high level of technical knowledge and skills required for specific job roles or sectors. They are perfect for students who want a more practical, employer-led study programme. Higher Technical Qualifications can equip you with the expertise you need to excel in your chosen career.

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)

We offer a range of Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) - new level 4 and level 5 qualifications that sit between A levels, T levels and degrees. These are high-quality, career-focused courses that provide sector-specific knowledge and skills.

Find out more about HTQs

Higher Apprenticeships

We offer a range of higher apprenticeships, which are a great alternative to achieving a higher level qualification by combining practical training with study.

Find out more about higher apprenticeships
Our higher education courses for adults span a wide range of subject areas, from art and design to creative media, public services, or even engineering and electrical engineering! Below we list our fantastic range of HNC, HND and HTQ courses, discuss financial help for higher education students and outline the key benefits of studying with us.

There are a number of important documents that all higher education students must read and refer to throughout their studies.

View all policies & procedures

Higher Education Graduation Ceremony

Each year, we honour the achievements of our higher education and professional students at our Higher Education Graduation Ceremony. Set in the atmospheric St. Elphin's Church in Warrington, the ceremony recognises the determination and commitment of students who have completed HNCs and HNDs as well as higher level apprenticeships and professional qualifications.

View the gallery Read more about our most recent ceremony
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Meet our students

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Adam Boyd

Adam Boyd began his studies at our college seven years ago, when he enrolled on to a foundation learning course. He has since worked all the way up to completing both a HNC and HND in Graphic Design. Adam is the recent recipient of The Harry Cunningham Higher Education Progression Award 2022 - a true mark of his inspirational educational journey and progression.

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Fern Gresty

Fern Gresty recently completed the ILM Level 5 Certificate Leadership & Management at the college and is now revelling in a hugely successful career in management. Fern is the director of not one, but ten businesses! She is using the skills learnt on the course to grow her teams and push the companies she works with forward post-covid.

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Peter Connell

Peter Connell recently completed his HND Computing course at our college and is now completing a top up degree in software development at UCEN Manchester. Peter is also the recipient of The Professional Student of the Year Award 2022 - a worthy achievement in light of his commitment and dedication to his higher education studies.


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Enrolling NOW for adult courses starting this Winter!

Whatever your passion or motivation, it's time to do more in 2024! Enrol on an adult course today.

Our latest course guide contains lots of part-time, professional and leisure courses, including a range of distance learning courses.

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Access to Higher Education

Our Access to Higher Education diploma courses provide you with the skills, knowledge and qualifications needed to apply for university.

The best bit? You can study now, but pay later!

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Browse our Adult College Prospectus

Take the first step towards your dream future and enrol on adult course today.

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Celebrating Adult Student Success

Feel inspired by our amazing adult student success and read all about their time at Warrington & Vale Royal College.