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Higher Education

Stay local and benefit from the expert teaching and outstanding facilities at Warrington & Vale Royal College.

We offer a range of Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and professional qualifications, designed to help you progress onto your chosen career path. Whether you dream of becoming a nurse, a graphic designer, a electrical engineer, IT professional or a teacher, we can help you achieve your goals.

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HE Awards Student
Whichever higher education or professional course you decide to study, with our HNCs and HNDs 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.

Students studying on our Higher Education courses will be 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.

Why choose Warrington & Vale Royal College for a higher education or professional course?

  • 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
  • Easily accessible by car and public transport

What our Higher Education Students say about studying here

We receive fabulous feedback from our higher education students!

  • 95% would recommend their course to a friend
  • 96% 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.

              Higher Apprenticeships

              Our higher apprenticeships provide an excellent alternative to achieving higher level qualifications, by offering you practical training combined with study.

              How will I study?

              As a higher apprentice you will spend the majority of your working week in the workplace, however you will be expected to regularly attend classes at college and will have assessments and assignments to complete which count towards your qualification.

              Each qualification works slightly differently, so we will advise you on the times and days you will be expected to attend college when you apply to study for your qualification with us.

              What if I don't have a level 3 qualification?

              If you don’t currently hold a level 3 qualification, you may still be able study on one of our higher apprenticeships. If you already have relevant industry experience, you could be eligible to begin studies on a level 4 course or potentially study a level 3 with us before progressing onto a higher apprenticeship.

              You can enquire about your eligibility via our Learner Services team on 01925 494 400.

              Higher apprenticeship levels

              Higher apprenticeships are offered at levels 4 to 7 for students who have completed at least a level 3 college course (A-Levels, BTEC or NVQ) or a level 3 (advanced) apprenticeship.

              • Level 4 apprenticeships
                These are the equivalent to a HNC, CertHE, Level 4 NVQ, BTEC or first year of university
              • Level 5 apprenticeships
                These are the equivalent to a DipHE, HND, Level 5 NVQ, Level 5 BTEC, foundation degree or second year of university
              • Level 6 apprenticeships
                These are the equivalent to a BA or BSc Degree, Graduate Certificate, Level 6 NVQ or BTEC
              • Level 7 apprenticeships
                These are the equivalent to a MEng, MA, MSc, Level 7 NVQ, PGCE or Postgraduate Certificate

              What can I study?

              If you are looking for a new job role, you could consider applying for a higher apprenticeship through our dedicated apprenticeship matching service. This service, run by our expert Apprenticeship Team, aims to connect candidates to the most suitable employer vacancy. See our full list of current apprenticeship vacancies.

              Alternatively you may be looking for a higher apprenticeship opportunity through your existing employer. Depending on your role within the organisation, you could apply to study on one of our higher apprenticeships in the following areas:

              • ILM (Leadership & Management)
              • CIPD (Human Resources)
              • AAT (Accountancy)
              • Construction
              • Engineering

              Find out more here: Higher Education Courses

              Higher Education Graduation Ceremony

              Each year, we honour the achievements of our HE 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 Gallery
              HE Awards 2018 2019 48

              Higher Education Success Stories

              HND Fine Art

              Erin Hague studied Level 3 Art & Design before moving on to HND Fine Art to develop her skills further. Erin says her HND helped her to advance her creative thinking as well as her artistic and technical skills. She enjoyed the style of teaching, saying: "The smaller class size allowed for a really nice community where the tutors spent a lot of time working with us."

              After completing her HND, Erin secured a place at Aberystwyth University to study Fine Art, with the intention of learning more about painting and illustration and preparing herself for a career in art.

              HNC Sports & Exercise Science

              Professional rugby league players Jake Spedding, Joe Mellor and Ben Morris enrolled onto the HNC Sports & Exercise Science to enhance their playing skills and secure their futures.

              Joe, who plays for Widnes Vikings, said: "The course is fantastic - I have definitely learned a lot about the psychology of rugby and sport in general. I can take this knowledge to my playing career. What I am learning will also play a massive part in my future and will help me continue working once my playing days are over."

              HNC Construction & The Built Environment

              Kieran Lynch, self-employed joiner, decided to study on our HNC Construction & The Built Environment to improve his prospects and further his career. Kieran found returning to education challenging at times but says that the excellent support and guidance of his tutor really helped him progress.

              Kieran says: "It's great that the college provides courses like this. I hope that it will help me secure a project management role within a construction company. Regardless of your age, it's never too late to learn new skills and push yourself."

              Level 3 Performing Arts (Dance)

              Leah Croft studied Level 3 Performing Arts (Dance) before returning to the college for her HNC in Dance. After completing her Level 3, Leah was unsure of her next steps and lost her confidence.

              She felt embarking upon the HNC gave her a real boost: "It was definitely the right choice to come back. Being here is fantastic and such a homely atmosphere. My confidence has skyrocketed again thanks to doing the HNC."

              Higher Education Student Support

              All HE students will have termly 1:1 tutorials with their Programme Leader to support them with 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 welfare team that are on hand to offer guidance, support and help, when needed. All HE students have access to a designated Progress Coach who can also provide welfare support.

              HE Student Female

              Higher Education Funding Support

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

              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 £9,706 per year is available for those who live away from home
              • Up to £8,171 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

              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.

              Further information on loans and how to apply visit:

              Higher Education Financial Assistance Fund

              We have support available for HE students who are in financial hardship and need extra financial support to allow them to remain in higher education.

              The financial assistance fund may be able to help you with an unexpected financial crisis as well as intervene if you are considering leaving your higher education studies due to financial hardship. If you require further information, please call 01925 494 501 or email

              HE Learning Centre

              The Higher Education Learning Centre

              The Craig Atherton Higher Education Learning Centre is a dedicated area for students on higher education programmes, situated in the college's LRC, and providing both quiet study pods and breakout areas for group study.

              The Learning Centre houses a number of PC and Apple Mac computers as well as providing space for students to study using their own digital devices. The space also houses pop up support workshops delivered by the college's welfare & learning support teams on topics such as study skills.

              Useful Documents:

              Higher Education Transparency Information

              The information published on these pages shows the number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us. It shows these numbers by reference to:

              • the gender of the individuals to which they relate

              • their ethnicity

              • their socioeconomic background.

              Click here to view our Higher Education transparency information.
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