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Higher Education

Study a degree-level qualification

Gaining a Higher Education qualification can help you access greater academic and career opportunities allowing you to boost your future prospects.

Studying a degree-level course at HSDC offers many benefits over attending traditional universities:

  • Significant savings on fees – but still with full access to tuition fee loans via Student Finance England
  • Staying close to home – save on accommodation costs and/or stay close to family and friends
  • Earn while you learn – most courses take place one day a week; allowing for time to earn, for industry placements and professional development
  • On-campus Children’s Nursery – for children between 6 months and 5 years
  • Small class sizes – approximately 15 students in each class, providing greater quality tutor support and guidance, helping you progress and excel
  • Links to local employers – providing opportunities for employment, work experience and mentoring
  • Awarded by reputable universities – the course curriculum is provided, supported and awarded by local universities such as University of Portsmouth, University of the Arts London and University of Chichester providing you with access to their on-site resources and highly regarded qualifications

We offer degree-level qualifications in a wide range of subject areas:

Business & Engineering

two females in high vis jackets with engineering machinery

Creative Industries

colourful portrait artwork by a student

Education & Childcare

a toddler playing outside

Health & Social Care

someone holding an elderly persons hands

All of our courses cost substantially less than studying at a traditional university and you will still qualify for a student loan from Student Finance England.

Student Loans

Student loans are only repayable when you have finished your Higher Education course and are earning over £27,295 a year.

Free Higher Education Courses for under 19s

The Art & Design, Music Performance and Production, Creative Enterprise and Performance courses are free to students under 19, or can be funded by an Advanced Learner Loan which is written off, if you continue onto Higher Education.

Maintenance loans and non-repayable grants

You may be eligible for a maintenance loan or non-repayable grant whilst studying a Higher Education course at HSDC. Find out on the Student Finance England website.

Direct funding

If you do not qualify for a student loan or would prefer to fund your studies directly, you can pay upfront or set up an instalment plan via our internal student finance team. Terms and conditions will be stated on your application. Go to the Financial Support page for more information.

Higher Education courses are normally studied after achieving A Level or Level 3 qualifications, however applicants who have relevant work experience are also welcome to apply. Please see specific course requirements for your chosen subject in our course finder.

Our courses range from Level 4 (HNC), Level 5 (HND) and Level 6 (Full BA Degree).


BA (Hons) Degree

With two of our courses, you can gain the full recognised BA (Hons) degree, which is exactly the same qualification you would receive when studying at a traditional university. On completion of the course, you can then progress on to employment or further study, such as a Masters Degree at university.

Foundation Degrees

A Foundation Degree is the equivalent to the first two years of a BA (Hons) degree. Designed in consultation with employers, they focus on developing the skills sought after by employers. Because of this, they are ideal for those who are seeking progression into employment or are wishing to further their current career. Also, upon completion, you also have the opportunity to top-up your qualification to a BA (Hons) degree.

HNC & HND qualifications (Level 4 & 5)

Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses are equivalent to the first (HNC) and second (HND) year of a university BA (Hons) degree. Once you have completed your course, you’ll have the opportunity to top-up your qualification to a full degree either with us or other universities.

Annual course fees for HNCs and HNDs are less than a full degree.

UAL Professional Qualifications

All of our Creative Arts courses are awarded by the University of the Arts London (UAL). The pre-degree Level 3/4 is desired by many art colleges for entry onto their degree courses. The Level 4 qualification is equivalent to an HNC or the first year of a degree and can achieve entry onto the second year of an arts degree. UAL is the leading provider for creative and performing arts courses and a specialist for the creative industry.

These courses are free to students under 19 years old.

Entry Requirements

We offer different entry requirements – real world experience counts so you may not need the qualifications you would need for the same course at university. Please look at the course for individual entry requirements.

Full Time Courses (except UAL courses)

Our full time Higher Education courses can be applied for via the UCAS website. Just head to the course page you want to apply for and click ‘how to apply’. We will then explain how to complete your application on the UCAS website.

UAL Courses

Applications for UAL courses is processed by HSDC and can be applied for by clicking on the ‘apply now’ button on the course page. If you are already a student at HSDC, please contact your tutor or lecturer who will provide you with the relevant course application form and further information.

Part Time Engineering and Further Education and Training Courses

If you are applying for our Engineering or Further Education & Training part time course, you will need to apply by filling out our part time application form which can be found on our website here.

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