18+ Qualifications

Whichever way you choose to continue your education, Truro and Penwith College are here to help you learn what you love, where you love.

Degree level students enjoying the surroundings of the dedicated university centre at Truro and Penwith College

Access to HE

How long is it?
Courses normally start mid-September and end in mid-June.

What do you need?
Differs depending on the subject, but for some you don't need prior qualifications.

What is it?
Access courses are designed to get you back into the swing of studying whilst also giving you the formal qualifications to obtain a place at university. They are taught with parents in mind - three short days a week.

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HNC (Level 4)

How long is it?
One year.

What do you need?
Normally GCSE English, Maths at grade 4 or above and any relevant subjects at Grade C or above, together with a minimum of 24 tariff points at A Level or an equivalent Level 3 qualification.

Applicants with an Access to Higher Education Diploma and mature students without academic credentials will be considered on an individual basis. Please check your desired course for specific entry requirements.

What is it?
A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a vocational Higher Education qualification that is specifically designed to meet the needs of employers and is a reputable qualification that they highly value. Successful completion of an HNC means you can progress to Stage Two of a related Foundation Degree or HND. Alternatively, students may progress to professional qualifications or employment within their chosen area.

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HND (Level 5)

How long is it?
Two years.

What do you need?
Normally GCSE English, Maths at grade 4 or above and any relevant subjects at grade C or above, together with a minimum of 24 tariff points at A Level or an equivalent Level 3 qualification. Applicants with a relevant HNC can progress to Stage Two of an HND.

Those with an Access to Higher Education Diploma and mature students without academic credentials will be considered on an individual basis. Please check your desired course for specific entry requirements.

What is it?
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a vocational Higher Education qualification that focuses on the world of work. HNDs provide a thorough grounding in practical skills and key theoretical concepts. They are recognised nationally by employers and therefore support students in finding relevant higher level vocational employment. All Higher National Diplomas will help develop essential career skills such as: creative problem solving, planning and scheduling your work, and applying complex theories to work related challenges.

Successful completion of an HND means you can progress to either the second or third year of a related degree programme. Alternatively many students progress on to professional qualifications or to occupational vocational qualifications in their chosen area of employment.

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Foundation Degree (Level 5)

How long is it?
Two years.

What do you need?
Normally GCSE English, Maths at grade 4 or above and any relevant subjects at grade C or above, together with a minimum of 24 tariff points at A Level or an equivalent Level 3 qualification. Applicants with a relevant HNC can progress to Stage Two of a Foundation Degree.

Those with an Access to Higher Education Diploma and mature students without academic credentials will be considered on an individual basis. Please check your desired course for specific entry requirements.

What is it?
A Foundation Degree (e.g. FdA or FdSc) is a vocational higher education qualification which combines academic study with work based learning. Foundation degrees are designed in collaboration with employers to ensure students completing the programmes are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue their chosen profession. Foundation degrees are suited to students from a variety of backgrounds: post A Level/Level 3 vocational; employees wanting to improve their skills; those wanting to change career; those wanting to return to education or those who are unemployed and looking for a way into work.

Upon successful completion of a Foundation Degree, there are normally one or more articulated progression routes, typically to the third year of a Bachelor's Degree. Completion of a Foundation Degree can also lead to other professional qualifications.

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Certificate in Education (Level 5)

How long is it?
One year full-time, two years part-time.

What do you need?
Maths and English GCSEs or equivalent at grade 4 or above; successful completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service; Level 3 qualification or equivalent in your subject specialist area; and positive references from two referees.

What is it?
A Certificate in Education (CertEd) is a professional teaching qualification. It involves theoretical, practical and self-directed learning, combining in-class tutoring, a professional placement and independent study and research. Your professional placement will be at either Truro or Penwith campus.

This programme of study provides an opportunity to learn the skills, knowledge and professional values necessary for a teaching career within the Further Education (post 16) and Skills Sector. This area of teacher training covers the teaching of academic and vocational subjects. The Further Education and Skills Sector includes Further Education colleges, adult and community education, work-based training providers, offender learning and public sector organisations.

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Bachelor's Degree Top Up (Level 6)

How long is it?
One year.

What do you need?
A relevant Foundation Degree, HND or equivalent Level 4 qualification.

Applicants with an Access to Higher Education Diploma and mature students without academic credentials will be considered on an individual basis. Please check your desired course for any specific entry requirements.

What is it?
Top-up degrees are the equivalent to the final year of a BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) degree. Students who have completed an HND, a Foundation Degree or equivalent are eligible to apply for top-up degrees and on successful completion will graduate with a BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons).

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Cornwall SCITT (Level 6 & 7)

How long is it?
One year.

What do you need?
Grade 5 or above for GCSE Maths and English Language; a relevant degree class 2:1 or above (other degrees and overseas qualifications will be considered); a minimum of two weeks school placement experience prior to starting the programme; successful completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service.

What is it?
The Cornwall School Centred Initial Teacher Training (Cornwall SCITT) programme combining academic study at Truro College campus and school-based professional practice at a variety or partnered primary and secondary schools. You’ll develop the skills, knowledge and values needed to progress in the teaching career, and will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status. You will have the choice to complete the course as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with 60 Master Level 7 credits or as a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education at Level 6, validated by the University of Cumbria.

For more information, view the Cornwall SCITT website.

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Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Level 7)

How long is it?
One year full-time, two years part-time.

What do you need?
Maths and English GCSEs or equivalent at grade 5 or above; successful completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service; a Bachelor’s Degree in your subject specialism; and positive references from two referees.

What is it?
A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a professional teaching qualification. It is similar to the CertEd, though at a higher level. The course involves classroom learning, a professional placement at Truro or Penwith campus and self-directed study and research. On completion, you will have the skills, knowledge, professional values and nationally recognised qualification needed to teach in Further Education (post 16) and the Skills Sector.

Successful completion of the PGCE can enable you to progress on to the Masters in Education (International Masters Programme) at Plymouth University.

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