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Not got the A level or vocational results you were hoping for? A degree is still achievable at Warrington & Vale Royal College

As the excitement of exam results settles, some students may find themselves in a situation where university now feels out of reach. However, all is not lost! Warrington & Vale Royal College offers a wide range of higher education courses that can prepare you for a successful future and set you on your desired career path.

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Whether you’ve got your heart set on a particular profession or you’re still exploring your options, Warrington & Vale Royal College has got you covered!

There are several routes into higher education at Warrington & Vale Royal College, including Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and, new for September 2023, Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs).

Upon completion of any of the below courses, you can progress on to university to complete your degree.

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Higher National Certificate (HNC)

HNCs are level 4 qualifications equivalent to the first year of a degree and are recognised across the UK, providing specialised knowledge and practical skills. To gain entry on to a HNC, you will typically need a level 3 qualification in a related subject. The college offers HNCs in a range of subjects including art, computing, engineering, creative media and more.

Higher National Diploma (HND)

HNDs are level 5 qualifications equivalent to the second year of a degree and delve deeper into subject areas and emphasise practical application. To gain entry on to a HND, you will typically need a level 3 qualification or a HNC in a related subject. The college offers HNDs in a range of subjects including creative media, engineering, public services, sport and more.

Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ)

HTQs are level 4 and level 5 career-focused courses, designed and driven by employers to provide students with in-demand skills. To gain entry on to a HTQ, you will require a level 3 qualification in a related subject or significant industry experience. The college offers HTQs in Computing, Construction Management and Healthcare Professions’ Support.

Getting a degree without a level 3 qualification

If you haven’t achieved the qualifications necessary for entry on to one of the higher-level courses above, consider studying an Access to Higher Education (HE) course at the college.

Access to HE courses are perfect for students who don’t have the traditional qualifications, such as A levels, needed to progress to university. This could be an adult who never completed A levels, or a young person who has recently received disappointing results and therefore couldn’t accept a conditional offer.

These are career-focused courses that focus on a specific subject and equip students with the skills, knowledge and qualifications needed to progress on to university. To gain entry on to an Access to HE course, you will need a GCSE Grade 4 or above in maths or English. If you do not have both your maths and English on entry to the course, you will be required to sit the outstanding GCSE qualification alongside your studies.

For students without their maths or English GCSE, the college also offers a Pre-Access course which allows you to complete both your maths and English GCSE before progressing on to an Access to HE course.

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Getting a degree outside of the classroom

If you like the idea of gaining a higher-level qualification but you’re tired of being in the classroom, a higher apprenticeship could be for you. Offering a unique blend of on-the-job training and academic study, higher-level apprenticeships will provide you not only with the chance to earn while you learn, but with plenty of practical experience in your field too.

Higher apprenticeships often open doors to exciting career prospects, with the potential to quickly progress within the company you are working for. It’s a win-win opportunity, allowing you to kick-start your career while gaining a valuable qualification and workplace skills.

Entry requirements vary by apprenticeship. If you are interested or would like to learn more, contact the college’s Apprenticeships Team by email: or by phone: 01925 494 271.

Contact Warrington & Vale Royal College today

If you are interested in anything you’ve read in this article, contact the college’s friendly Learner Services Team today who will be able to talk to you in-depth about all the options available to you when it comes to continuing your studies. You can contact them by email: or by phone: 01925 494 400.

Hurry! Warrington & Vale Royal College is still accepting applications for courses starting in September 2023, but be quick, places are limited and will fill up fast.

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