University Courses

A pathway to your chosen career, our University courses put you first and give a greater understanding of a specific subject and develop your analytical, intellectual and writing skills.

University courses at Truro and Penwith College are run from our dedicated, modern buildings at both the Truro and Penwith College campuses. Outdoor Education courses are also run from our Tregye campus taking advantage of its proximity to some of the best land and sea environments in Cornwall on which to complete your training.

All our courses put you as the learner first, are centred around you as an individual and your specific requirements with one-to-one tuition the norm and smaller, more personal class sizes. Many of our current and graduating students comment on this personal approach to learning giving them a significant boost to achieve their best.

Our university level courses have been rated 'gold' by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), this rating is only awarded to institutions with the 'highest quality teaching, learning and outcomes'.

Many of our 2016 students recently graduated at a grand ceremony held at Truro Cathedral.

Top-up Degrees (Level 6 Qualification)

A top-up degree is the equivalent to the final year of an honours degree. The College offer a wide range of top-up programmes. These programmes offer local progression routes from our Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).  

I had the best years of my life so far at Truro and Penwith College. I am proud to say I studied at the College and shall represent them wherever I go.

Paris, BSc Sports Performance and Coaching

Foundation Degrees (Level 5 Qualification)

Foundation degrees are a Level 5 qualification. They were first introduced in 2000 and over the last 15 years have become recognised as an Higher Education qualification designed to meet employer needs. The Foundation Degree also opens up the potential for progression to a Top-up Degree thus enabling students to graduate with a full Bachelor's Degree.

HNCs (Level 4) & HNDs (Level 5)

Higher Nationals (HNs) are an established Higher Education vocational qualifications. They are designed to meet specific skills sets that employers require. The Higher National Certificate/Higher National Diploma (HNC/HND) are nationally recognised in the world of work. With these programmes students develop skills such as creative problem solving, planning and applying theories to work related scenarios. Progression from HNC is normally to an appropriate HND. Progression from an HND can in some instances be to a Top-up Degree or, on occasion, to the second year of a Bachelor's Degree.

SUCCESS courses (Levels 4, 5 and 6)

Perfect for at work who wish to undertake higher level study, SUCCESS courses enable you to study a whole range of individual modules from our Plymouth University programmes on a flexible, part-time basis. Credits from these courses can be used towards a Plymouth University accredited Degree, Foundation Degree or Certificate of Professional Development (CPD).

From the course

Siobhan, BA (Hons) Education and Training

Taking a slightly unconventional route, Siobhan originally studied for a Zoology Foundation Degree before deciding to complete her final top-up year in BA (Hons) Education and Training at Truro and Penwith College.

She said: “I may have come from an unnatural progression route, but I had so much support from the lecturers that the transition was seamless.”

Volunteering with local wildlife organisations while studying, Siobhan was able to gain a breadth of knowledge around her specialist subject area. She said: “My advice is to volunteer in as many different places as possible because you never know what valuable skills you could gain.”

Motivated by the enthusiasm seen in how her lecturers teach at the College, Siobhan now mimics the same techniques in her own work with school children. “If you’re going to work with children in secondary schools and above, you really need this enthusiasm to keep lessons interesting.”

Her advice to any student transferring to the College from a different programme is to follow your passions and don’t let anything get in the way of it.

She said: “Don’t be deterred if you’re coming from a slightly unusual progression route or if you have a different background. The BA (Hons) Education and Training course will help you to succeed in any aspect of education and training after you graduate, there’s not just one option.”

Donna, FdA Childhood Education

Donna Harvey, mother of three and mature student from Penryn completed the FdA Childhood Education degree after making the decision to further her career beyond the role of a Teaching Assistant.

She said: “I wanted to take more ownership of what I was doing, and I just wasn’t getting that fulfilment as a Teaching Assistant – I needed to be the Teacher.”

Previously working at a secondary school with children who have special educational needs, Donna decided that it was younger children that she wanted to teach, supporting them earlier on in their lives. The FdA Childhood Education degree helped to lay down the foundations for her primary school teaching career, and encouraged her to find a volunteer placement at a local school.

Owed to her volunteer work, Donna now holds a part-time paid job as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant at the school, meaning that she can teach her own cover lessons to boost her teaching experience.

First in the family to go to College, Donna studied her A Levels at 16 and went straight into work, thinking that she would need to move away to get a University level education. Fortunately she was able to stay and study in Cornwall for her degree, deferring her place until her youngest child started pre-school.

Although slightly apprehensive about studying, Donna knew that it was the right thing to do for her: “It’s okay that I’m not at home with the children all of the time, because I will soon become a role model for my three girls.”

She said: “I thought that my biggest issue would be studying as a mature student, but it has in fact been an advantage, because I already have many life skills such as organising a family household, which is transferrable to essay planning. I also learnt to arrive at College early to transition out of ‘mum-mode’ and into ‘study-mode’.”

With smaller class sizes, it’s much easier for students of all ages, to bond and work well together: “I was never made to feel older, and because there was only a small group there was a lot more opportunity for discussion during lectures, meaning that you become much more involved in directing your own learning.”

Donna proves that the right study-life balance can exist if you organise yourself and your schedule, creating something that works for you and your family. The challenge is that you need to stick to the schedule, but you also need to be flexible at the same time.

Family time in the Harvey household was scheduled for a Thursday evening, ensuring that Donna always had time to spend with her children: “I’m really looking forward to my three daughters seeing me graduate, so I can show them that mum’s can work too. The best part of this so far is when my 12 year old daughter said to me ‘I’m proud of you mum’, it really summed up my achievements”

Having now completed her foundation degree, Donna will study the BA (Hons) Education and Training degree, before continuing onto her teacher training year: “The two year course has been hard but now I feel really accomplished, coming out with a 2.1 – if someone had told me that I would be at this point now, I really wouldn’t have believed them!”

In addition to her excellent results, Donna was also presented with a Principal’s Commendation and the Bianca Trew Award which is usually given to a student who takes a creative approach to teaching and learning throughout their academic studies.

Lecturer Diane Forrester describes the reasons behind presenting the award: “Donna is a mature student, wife and mother to three girls, who has achieved consistently high grades evidencing the time and commitment she afforded her studies. In conjunction with her degree work, Donna also works in an educational setting giving her a breadth of experience which was demonstrated throughout her assignments. Her work within school enabled her to be creative whilst still maintaining academic rigour.”

Donna certainly has excelled within her field of study and looks to have a promising future ahead within the teaching industry.

She said: “It’s now or never – I decided that it’s my time to do something for myself, so my advice to other mature students is to just go for it!”

Megan, FdSc Sports Coaching

FdSc Sports Coaching student Megan Hilley would describe herself as ‘the little Scottish one’, bursting with enthusiasm and personality. This confidence and determination to succeed encouraged her to start studying for her degree in her mid-twenties, not letting age become a barrier to achieving her dream career.

Discovering that the transition back into education was a much more positive experience than originally anticipated, Megan’s optimism only improved throughout the year.

 “I think my first year as a whole has been an incredible experience. I have learnt so much about myself and I can even do things I never knew I could - it feels great!”

After being awarded a fantastic result for the first year of study, Megan now hopes to complete the Foundation Degree and top-up year before progression on to a PGCE course to pursue her teaching ambitions. She said: “After teaching for a year or two in this country, I would love to travel and learn new languages whilst utilising my qualifications to teach.”

Encouraged by her tutors, Megan always goes above and beyond what is expected, participating in extracurricular activities to boost her experience and knowledge. “I have got involved with the Health and Wellbeing Services scheme at the College which is brilliant. As well as this, I became a Student Rep and a Student Ambassador which gives me the opportunity to encourage others to come and be a part of what we have at Truro.”

Volunteering her spare time working as a Sports Activator for the Health and Wellbeing Services scheme, Megan has already gained valuable experience in training and delivering sporting activities for students and staff every week. Following this, she has also been selected to support Get Active Cornwall’s ‘This Girl Can’ challenge, coaching and encouraging women who want to increase their confidence and become more active.

Megan then took on some additional responsibility when she decided to apply for a step up from her volunteer Student Rep position and became the Lead Student Rep in 2017. She said: “Although I am a little nervous to have this responsibility, I am looking forward to working towards a more cohesive student body. I was told about the Student Rep position by my tutor and was advised to apply. I like the fact I can feed back what my fellow students think about the University experience and then return with a viable solution for them.”

Utilising her new coaching abilities, Megan gives us some great advice about what a good Student Rep should do: “Listen to people, try to bring out what they really feel and don't be afraid to raise these issues in the meetings because all thoughts and ideas are welcome. Try to think of solutions to problems with a positive frame of mind.”