by Assistant Principal for Further and Higher Education, Alexandra Moruzzi
It is that time of year once again when many people look to improve their skills, further progress in work, decide to change careers or begin their journey towards gaining a degree qualification.
As potential learners begin to consider their options, we spoke to City of Bristol College’s Assistant Principal of Higher and Further Education, Alexandra Moruzzi, to gain an insight into the benefits of higher education courses and why the College should be the top of your list.
What is available?
The University Centre at City of Bristol College offers a range of higher education courses, ranging from our Access to HE programme for adults who do not hold A Levels or similar to help them gain a university place, through to degree-level courses and apprenticeships. We offer nearly 50 courses which can be studied full-time, part-time, online, through higher apprenticeship programmes and are designed to fit around your personal and professional schedule, with options of day-time and evening courses
We offer Higher Nationals (HNCs/HNDs), HN Flex, access to Higher Education, foundation degrees, degrees, higher apprenticeships and accredited professional courses.
Who studies a higher education course at the College?
One of the great things about our courses is the diverse range of students they attract. We have students who have been out of education for many years, those who have completed their A Levels and are continuing with us and those who are studying with support from their employer, and everyone has a different background and story to tell.
Many learners fit their studies around both jobs and family commitments, so need to be near work or home. Some younger learners want to stay local and reduce the debt they accrue while studying, so opt to study at our University Centre. We know that our students balance many competing priorities and being able to study and continue to work is an important factor in choosing where to study.
Why study a higher education course at City of Bristol College?
We have more than 20 years’ experience of delivering higher education courses and all courses are taught by our expert lecturers who are up-to-date in their sector and hold strong employer contacts. We work closely with UWE Bristol, Bath Spa University and Plymouth University as well as awarding bodies such as Pearson, CMI, AAT, CIM and many more.
Our class sizes are smaller than you will find at many places of study and with affordable fees, we offer a number of payment options and bursaries to reduce as many barriers as possible.
How successful are students?
Very! We love to celebrate our student success and the main way we do this is with our annual HE Graduation celebration which is held at Bristol Cathedral.
We also see a number of our students succeed through progression. Many students gain university places at top institutions around the country after completing our Access to HE course and many continue from Level 1-3 through to higher level courses.
We also know our students enjoy their time with us, National Student Survey (NSS) 2020 data said 91% of students felt they were a part of a community of staff and students at the College and said ‘the course provided [them] with opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics’.
If someone already has a degree, what could they study?
We have a range of professional courses designed to further support those working in specific sectors including courses in marketing, accounting, finance, human resources and management. A number of the students on our management courses are already in the industry and have gained promotions through their studies with us.
So, what is a Higher Level Apprenticeship?
Higher apprenticeships provide an opportunity to achieve Level 4 qualifications or above, with most apprentices gaining an NVQ Level 4, HNC/D, or foundation degree and some progressing to Level 7 (postgraduate degree level).
A higher apprenticeship can take from one to five years to complete and involves part-time study while working.
Anyone can be an apprentice, so if you are working and want to gain a degree level qualification, speak to your employer about going onto an apprenticeship. This is a great way to gain or continue to gain the skills on-the-job, but also gain a higher-level qualification without the cost you would have otherwise.
Can employers encourage their staff to gain higher level qualifications?
Absolutely! We work with a large number of employers from national companies to SMEs to help them provide the training needed for their employees. We can tailor courses to certain needs and if the employer is an apprenticeship levy payer, we can support them in using this levy to pay for the training. We want employers to tell us what their training and development needs are, especially as businesses adapt and return to normal working practices. Our college can work with employers to provide bespoke, flexible training either delivered at an employer’s site or at one of our campuses.
How can someone apply?
We have made applying as easy as possible. Visit the College’s website, call 0117 312 5000 or come into the College and speak to someone. We will arrange a course meeting with the lecturer so you can both chat through the course, what it involves and check it is right for you.