Blog Post: Study locally, go far? Why Swindon College Think Local is Better!

16 August 2019

You’ve got your A Levels / BTEC qualifications and you are thinking about starting a higher education course such as a foundation or bachelor’s degree this September. But is it too late? And where should you go to study it?

It’s not too late!
Now is the time to get your qualifications so you can improve your job prospects. Plan now for a more interesting future and a higher earning potential. Higher Education (HE) is open to students usually aged 18 and over and many of our courses have options for studying full-time and part-time, which may mean that you can fit them in around your current employment.
And don’t worry, it’s not too late to apply for courses starting in September. UCAS clearing is open until 25th October – but we do advise you apply as soon as you can before the spaces fill up. Here at Swindon College we have set up a HE Hotline for advice and guidance on all of our university level courses, simply call (01793) 491591, option 3. You can also attend our HE drop-in session TODAY 16th August, 9am -12pm, where experienced staff will be on hand to have a chat with you!

Why study a degree locally?
Studying locally is a great way for our students to remain connected with family and friends, feel comfortable in familiar surroundings as well as attending courses that work around their lifestyle.
We have got HE courses that range from £2,295 to £8,000 which means our students are guaranteed to save money each year in comparison to most universities, not to mention the savings they will also make on accommodation and travel costs whilst studying locally.
You can also apply for a maintenance loan to help with your living costs whilst studying higher education courses. Maintenance loans are available even if you are living at home with your parents/carers, depending on household income.

Why Swindon College?
As well as lower fees, you could benefit from smaller class sizes, with dedicated tutors, allowing you more support. We also run part-time courses that will allow to study around your lifestyle.
Our HE Students have access to our Learning Development Centre (LDC - library) and a separate HE Student Centre which has a common room, kitchen facilities and a PC room. This is available to you for periods of quiet time and study. Additionally, we have an HE support team who are available for you throughout your entire studies.
Swindon College also received a Silver in the TEF Award (The Teaching Excellence Framework). This award recognises and measures excellence in three areas: teaching quality, learning environment, and the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students. A Silver Award indicates that Swindon College regularly exceeds the bench mark of quality expected from Higher Education providers.

Which course?
If you feel you need help in choosing the right course for your ideal career path, you can contact our HE admissions team on or (01793) 498106.
 We will help you to gain a better understanding of the courses we offer, as well as course flexibility to work around your lifestyle. Finally, we can help give you a breakdown of how much it will cost, how to apply, as well as any financial support that will be applicable.

I’ve not applied for a course yet, what should I do?
Don’t worry, it’s not too late! You can contact our HE Admissions team on or (01793) 498106 for course advice and guidance.
I didn’t get the grades I needed, help!

 Please call our HE Hotline on (01793) 491591, option 3 and speak to a member of our team who will be able to support you. You can also attend our HE drop-in session on Friday 16th August, 9am -12pm, where experienced staff will be on hand to have a one to one with you.
What is clearing?
Clearing is a great way for you to change courses or make a late application for courses starting in September. Higher Education providers use clearing to fill any course spaces still available. Find out more HERE.
Should I do a higher level apprenticeship or a degree level course?
This completely depends on your situation and how you want to study. If you would like to earn whilst you gain your qualification then apprenticeship are a great opportunity. If you would like to study full time, we advise you join a degree level course.

HND: Higher National Diploma is a full time course that runs for two years. Usually a HND is equivalent to 2 years of a university degree. HND are work-related courses.

HNC: Higher National Certificate is a Level 4/5 higher education qualification. This is equivalent to the first year of a university degree.

PGCE: A Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a popular 1 year course that provides a qualification for teaching. To teach in the UK you will usually need a degree and a recognised teaching qualification and Qualified Techer Status (QTS). Most students have a school placement during their time on a PGCE which is great work experience.

BA (Hons): A Bachelor degree with Honours is a university level qualification in the UK that runs for 3 years.
Foundation Degree: A Foundation Degree is a Level 3/4 vocational qualification which helps students get onto further study or employment.

ABE Courses: Association of Business Executive courses are higher level courses at Swindon College that contain business management, human resources and marketing modules.