There are so many choices available that sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. You need to make sure you’re choosing a course for the right reasons and consider questions such as whether you are you going to be happy studying on the course, or, if you have a specific career in mind, whether a specific qualification will be necessary. We have 6 types of course available to you. These are:
Higher National Certificates
Higher National Diplomas
Joint Honours Degrees
Which course should I choose?
There is no one course that suits everyone, so we know how important it is to find the right one for you. The best way to decide what you would like to study is to ask yourself the following questions:
• Which subjects interest me?
• What are my talents?
• What will I enjoy spending possibly three years or more of my life doing?
• What level would I feel confident studying at?
• What job would I like to do after graduating?
• Which academic skills would I like to improve?
There’s a wealth of resources available over the Internet which might make your choice of course easier. Visit UCAS for information on some well recognised resources. We hope you will enjoy browsing the courses that we offer here too.
Higher National Certificates
Higher National Certificates are set at an introductory higher education level (Level 4). They are broadly equivalent to the first year of a standard, honours, three-year degree programme. HNCs are generally suitable for candidates who do not have the necessary skills or experience to progress immediately onto the higher levels of degree programmes. This qualification is designed to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for a general vocational area. HNCs are usually studied two years part-time or one year full-time and many candidates then go on to other qualifications or areas of study. HNCs are substantially coursework based and do not involve any examinations. All of our HNCs are validated by Edexcel.
Higher National Diplomas
Higher National Diplomas are set at an intermediate higher education level (Level 4-5). They are broadly equivalent to the first two years of University level study and can often be used to progress to an Honours Degree programme. Higher National Diplomas allow progression at a slower pace than a Foundation Degree. HNDs are substantially coursework based and do not involve any examinations. HNDs are also designed to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for a general vocational sector. We also have a range of HND programmes purely for International Students that you can join at any time.
Foundation Degrees are set at an intermediate higher education level (Level 4-5). They are employment related qualifications designed to prepare students for work in a particular sector of business or industry. Work-based learning forms a large part of the course content. Emphasis is on coursework and often involves live research projects. These courses are very flexible in design but are usually studied over two years full-time and three years part-time. There are also opportunities for those currently in employment. This qualification allows progression to the final year of an Honours degree.
Honours Degrees are set at an advanced higher education level (Level 4-6). They are the traditional academic route suitable for students with higher entry qualifications. Assessment is likely to include examinations. Graduates should be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to reach sound judgments and be able to communicate effectively. Skills developed throughout these programmes will be transferable to a variety of occupations. Degrees are usually studied over three years but part-time options apply for many courses.
BA (Hons) Social Care (Top-up)
Joint Honours Degrees
This type of Honours degree, in which each subject carries equal weight, combines breadth of subject matter with depth of understanding.
If you study a subject in a Joint Honours programme, you work at exactly the same level and to the same academic standard as students taking that subject in a Single Honours programme. Joint Honours students are simply required to choose fewer topics from the range of options available in each half of the programme.
The particular needs of students taking two subjects are looked after by the Course Leader for Joint Honours and each student will have a dedicated personal tutor.
Why choose Joint Honours?
- You already know you don’t want to specialise in just one area
- The intellectual range of a Joint Honours degree, together with the communication and organisational skills acquired by combining disciplines, makes you very attractive to employers
- You want a mix of skills to move your career on
- You like lots of flexibility in the way you study
- You enjoy more than one subject that you’ve studied before, at A level for example
- A Joint Honours degree also equips you to proceed to a higher degree in either subject area, or to conduct research on a topic that combines your chosen disciplines
- If you’re thinking of a career in teaching, a joint Honours degree will qualify you to teach either subject (at the appropriate level) once you’ve also taken a suitable graduate training course, like a PGCE.
Masters Degrees and qualifications are set at a higher advanced education level than degrees (Level 7). Masters degrees are qualifications that are usually taken at post-graduate level – after you’ve already completed an Honours Degree programme or a relevant Professional Qualification. Masters degrees can be research-based or taught programmes or, as is more common at University Centre at Blackburn College, a combination of the two. Assessment on Masters programmes usually involves the production of a dissertation or thesis. This course is likely to be delivered over one year full-time or two years part-time.
The Teacher Training we offer at University Centre at Blackburn College is geared towards people who wish to work with adults and young people aged 16+. This is sometimes referred to as the Lifelong Learning or Post-Compulsory sector. This means the qualifications are suitable for people who wish to work in Further Education Colleges, Sixth Form Centres or who wish to work teaching adults. There are a range of qualifications available to you, and the one that is right for you will depend very much on your background and situation as well as what you want to achieve. Alternatively, you may already be engaged in teaching or training but feel you need to enhance your skills and gain a qualification. The qualifications we offer are:
Preparing to Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)
A PTLLS qualification is ideal if you want to acquire basic teaching skills, ideal if you are planning for a limited, or part-time, teaching or training roles. The course can also be used as a taster should you wish to explore what teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector might be like. The course involves 30 hours attendance which would typically be organised over a ten-week period although alternative delivery patterns are possible. Teaching practice will largely take place within the class activities designed to develop awareness and a range of classroom skills. You can use the course to progress on to the other qualifications we offer.
Certificate to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS)
A CTLLS qualification is ideal for you if you might only be doing a limited amount of teaching or wish to work as a Trainer/Assessor within the Lifelong Learning Sector. You can go on to complete the Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector should you wish upon successful completion of the course. The course lasts for one year and during this time you’ll need to complete 30 hours of teaching practice.
Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS)
A DTLLS qualification is a full qualification suitable for those doing larger amounts of teaching – rather than being employed as a trainer or assessor. If you are joining the programme without a degree (for example you wish to teach in an area where a degree might not be necessary such as hairdressing or hospitality) you’ll complete the course with a Certificate in Education. If you are a graduate, you’ll complete the course with a Post-graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) qualification. Part-time and full-time options of this course are available. You will have to conduct a larger number of hours of teaching practice on this course.
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