Our new 'Meet Our Experts' blog is designed to give you a valuable insight into the different departments here at Wiltshire College. In the coming months we will be hearing from those members of staff who deal with Higher Education, Work Experience, Apprenticeships, Student Services, Exams and more. Stay tuned for insightful blogs from our heads of departments too, as well as key subject areas explored by various experts within the college.


University Level Courses

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University Level Courses

University Level Courses at Wiltshire College

Hilly Prendergast – Higher Education Manager

I believe in Higher Education at a local college. It brings University level courses to local people, who may not be able to leave home and go away and study. I have emails from students who graduated years ago who tell me how much the degree has changed their lives (for the better!). It is the best feeling in the world to teach our Higher Education students, they inspire me and the impact they make in their industry is breath-taking.

I was a student at Wiltshire College and studied an Access to HE course, which enabled me to go to university. The support I received on the Access course was phenomenal. It inspired me and gave me confidence to know I could achieve. I studied at the University of Bristol for a degree in Early Childhood Studies. I have since gained teaching qualifications, master’s level qualifications and am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have worked at the College for 15 years, teaching mostly on the Degree Programme in Early Years. For the last two and half years, I have been the Higher Education Manager (but do still sneak in and teach some early years).

Wiltshire College is in the process of expanding the number of Higher Education courses it currently provides and the College has partnerships with four universities. The College currently offers prospective students a number of university level courses that are delivered at each of the college’s four main campuses at Chippenham, Lackham, Salisbury and Trowbridge as well as at a dedicated Higher Education study centre at Castle Combe race circuit where students can study for University level qualifications in Motorsport Engineering.

Why study Higher Education at Wiltshire College?

You have a university level course ‘on your doorstep’. You can stay at home and study. But if you do want the full university experience, we do have accommodation at our Lackham and Salisbury campuses. The academic standard is equal to that of a university. Higher Education in the college is quality assured by an external agency to ensure academic standards meet the required expectations.

Small classes and small academic teams mean that a positive relationship develops between you, your peers and the tutors. Students have access to their tutors, face to face, via email and by phone. This contact with the tutors is part of the secret of our success. Students tell us that support from tutors is “exceptional”.

The ethos of the higher education community at the college is nurturing and supportive. We work in partnership with students, enabling them to realise and exceed their potential. Tutors know their students well, their strengths and areas to develop. This enables differential learning to support the individual needs of students. Our focus is always on the student, their learning and our teaching.

University Level courses at the College are all closely linked to industry. This work related ethos supports high employment on graduation.

What university level courses are offered?

  • HNC / HND Mechanical Engineering
  • HNC / HND Health and Social Care
  • HND Computer Game Animation
  • HND Sports Coaching and Development
  • HND Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Public Services
  • Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Computing
  • Foundation Degree (FdA) in Business and Management (* subject to validation – new course*)
  • Foundation Degree (FdEng) in Motorsport Engineering (*subject to validation – new course*)
  • Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Animal Science and Management
  • Top-up year (BSc) in Animal Science and Management
  • Foundation Degree (FdA) in Early Years (*subject to validation – new course*)
  • BA (Hons) Photography
  • BA (Hons) Film Production and Cinematography
  • Certificate in Education (Cert. Ed) / Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Which universities do you work with?

  • Royal Agricultural University
  • Bournemouth University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • The University of Greenwich
  • University of Bath

How does that relationship work?

Each university has a different way of working. The similarity is that the Partner University oversees the academic quality of the programmes and approves the academic staff teaching on the programme.  You can be assured that the standard of academic work is equivalent to that of a university. The College also works in conjunction with Pearson who accredit the HNC and HND programmes

Each year we organise the students’ graduation that takes place in the picturesque surroundings of Salisbury Cathedral. 

Where are the university level courses offered?

  • Campus Course (s)
  • Chippenham HNC / HND Mechanical Engineering
  • HND Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Public Services
  • Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Computing
  • Foundation Degree (FdA) in Business and Management (*)
  • Lackham HND Sports Coaching and Development
  • Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Animal Science and Management
  • Top-up year (BSc) in Animal Science and Management
  • Salisbury HND Computer Game Animation
  • BA (Hons) Photography
  • BA (Hons) Film Production and Cinematography
  • Trowbridge HNC / HND Health and Social Care
  • FdA in Early Years (*)
  • Certificate in Education (Cert. Ed) / Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Castle Combe Race Circuit Foundation Degree (FdEng) in Motorsport Engineering (*)

What qualifications will I get?

Students will obtain a range of qualifications ranging from Higher National Certificates and Diplomas as well as Foundation Degrees and full honours Degree certificates.

How long will my course be?

Generally, most courses have a duration of either two or three years.  Some courses may be longer depending upon the student’s mode of study and the course on which they are studying. Courses vary between full time and part time.

What have alumni gone on to do?

Generally, the majority of our alumni have gone into employment within a variety of settings whilst some graduates have engaged in additional higher-level study courses such as Masters and PhD qualifications.

What finance / funding information do I need to know?

There are finance opportunities available for Higher Education students. Students can apply for a student loan via the Student Loans Company that students will be required to pay back once they commence employment and are earning more than £22,000 per year (subject to change each year).  Any loan remaining 30 years after the student is due to start making payments will be cancelled. If this is not possible, after a number of years, the government will pay this off. 

Additionally, if students have any special educational needs, they can apply for a Disabled Students Allowance and a report will be required by a student’s previous institution to be submitted to the college’s Learning Skills and Development Services Department who will then schedule a meeting to discuss the process and what happens next.

Is there accommodation?

Yes, accommodation is currently available at the Lackham and Salisbury campuses for Higher Education students and please visit the website below for more information: http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/student-services/accommodation 

Why should I study Higher Education?

Studying Higher Education offers students opportunities to develop themselves educationally whilst gaining the required skills that will enable them to be a successful professional within the workplace. Here are some of the main reasons to study HE:

  • Better work opportunities
  • You develop as a person
  • You will be inspired and inspirational
  • You become more confident
  • You develop high-level skills in your industry
  • You become a critical thinker with the ability to write academically, which means you have very transferable skills
  • You develop graduate attributes which are excellent employability skills
  • You meet lifelong friends
  • It opens doors of opportunity that you did not know were there

How do I apply?

If you are planning to study Higher Education, please check our website (www.wiltshire.ac.uk) for information on how to apply to your course.

What is the application timeline?

UCAS Applications:

Applications via UCAS are open from September. If you are applying via UCAS for your course, their ‘on time’ deadline for applications is 15th January.  All applications received after this date are welcome.

  • 25th February: Extra opens
  • By 31st March: You should have received a decision if you have applied by 15th January
  • 3rd May: You should have accepted your offers
  • 30th June: Applications closes
  • 5th July: Clearing opens
  • July / August: Joining information sent out
  • Mid-August: Results day and confirmation
  • Beginning of September: Courses start

Direct Applications: 

  • Application received
  • Decision made and delivered to applicant
  • July / August: Joining information sent out
  • Beginning of September: Courses start

Admissions to the College’s Higher Education programmes are open all year around.  Wiltshire College has a welcome and induction day for Higher Education students on each campus. This event ensures that Wiltshire College enrolment forms are completed with support on hand if required. There are also opportunities at this event to discuss in a confidential manner any additional learning needs that students may have or any financial difficulties.

Where can I get more information?

You can get more information by visiting http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/Study/University-Level, e-mailing the College’s Higher Education Student Services Department at HEAdmissions@wiltshire.ac.uk or by telephoning 01225 756200.


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