Take your skills to a higher level

If you’ve finished a level 3 course or have a wealth of industry experience, you can take your education, knowledge and confidence to the next level. As the only college in the borough offering HE, with campuses north and south of the river, you can study a higher national certificate/diploma (HNC/HND), foundation degree or Access to Higher Education (HE) with South Tyneside College. We’ll give you award-winning teaching and training to expand your skills, work-related learning in small classes, and excellent support like fitting learning around your lifestyle.

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Got a Question?

Do I not have to go to a university to study higher education?

Absolutely not.

You can study higher education right here on your doorstep with the highest Ofsted rated college in Tyneside. With campuses north and south of the river, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality higher education programmes designed to help you achieve your career aspirations. We’re the real alternative to university.

Why study Higher Education at college? What is different?

We offer students a personal touch to learning.

Throughout your time with us, you will benefit from 1-2-1 support and guidance, flexible learning, smaller classes, industry standard facilities, fantastic industry links, knowledgeable lecturers and a culture you will achieve and excel in.

Can I study Higher Education part-time?


We offer flexible, condensed learning to our higher education students. We know how tricky juggling life and work commitments are, so we’ll work with you to make sure it’s right for you.

For Higher Education, what subjects can I study and at what levels?

We offer HNCs, HNDs, and foundation degrees, which will set you up for a career in your chosen industry, or you can continue to university for your final top-up year.

We offer HE programmes in the following areas:

  • Art and Design
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Computing
  • Counselling
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Years
  • Education and training
  • Engineering
  • Hairdressing
  • Health and Social Care
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Management
  • Media Production
  • Games Development
  • Music
  • Sport
What financial support does the College offer if I’m looking to study Higher Education and how do I apply?

There are a number of loans, grants and bursaries available to our HE students.

Head to our financial support page or www.gov.uk/student-finance/overview for more information.

Is the learning environment at South Tyneside College different to uni?

We offer students a friendly, supportive, multi-cultural environment you’ll thrive in.

With industry standard facilities, well-being spaces, coffee shops, a restaurant and a hair and beauty salon, you’ll be able to experience a lively campus.

What grades do I need to study Higher Education at college?

This will all depend on the programme and level you’re looking to start.

The best way to find out what grades you need is to pop to one of our Advice and Enrolment events. Please check our events page of the website for dates and times.

What if I don’t have the required grades for Higher Education?

Don’t worry!

We’ll work with you to find the right programme that will get you on track to achieve your career aspirations. We have a lot of support available from tutorial sessions, maths and English courses and in-classroom support.

I’ve missed the UCAS deadline, have I missed my chance to study Higher Education?

This doesn’t mean you have missed your chance to study HE.

You can apply for your desired programme directly with us. We’ll then process your application and get you enrolled on to your programme.

What is Clearing?

Clearing shows which HE programmes are still available for you to apply for.

From 5 July to 19 October, you can apply for a course using Clearing if you’re not already holding an offer from a university or college, and the course still has places. Visit our Higher Education page for more information.

What is the application process for Higher Education?

Once you apply for a HE programme, you’ll be contacted by a member of the team for an interview for the course.

It’s nothing to worry about – this is so we can assess your skills and identify any additional learning support you may need throughout your studies. Once you have completed your interview, you’ll be able to apply for any funding you need. Once this has been finalised, you can complete your enrolment ready to start your programme.

What other support is available?

Supporting all our students is our number one priority.

We want all students to flourish and excel while helping them develop confidence, self-motivation, and achieve their career aspirations. Our support comes in many forms, including (but not limited to):

  • Mental health and well-being counselling service
  • Careers guidance and higher education advice
  • School Liaison Team and Gateway Team
  • Financial support
  • Tutorial Coaches

Additional Learning Support:

  • Special exam arrangements
  • Help with personal care needs
  • Support assistants
  • Communication support workers
  • Dyslexia support
  • Maths and English support
For Higher Education, what are the progression opportunities?

Depending on what level programme you start with, you can progress from level 4 up to a foundation degree.

Our strong links with employers means we can help you look for a career in the industry of your choice. If you would prefer to top-up your qualification, you can also do this through a university. We can help you with any job or university applications, offering you advice and guidance throughout the process.

Get in touch

Our team is always ready to help. So if you have questions on courses, your career, or anything else, complete this contact form and we’ll be in touch.