Your options

For many, higher education still means going to university and studying towards an undergraduate degree.

But, there’s so many more options to choose from – especially around vocational learning.

Your options include:

  • An honours degree, which takes three years to complete full-time.
  • A foundation degree, a vocationally focused qualification combining academic and work-based learning. These usually take two years full-time.
  • Higher National Diplomas and Higher National Certificates (HNDs and HNCs), vocational qualifications offered across a wide array of subjects – from engineering to art and design.

Foundation degrees, HNDs and HNCs can also provide the basis for progression to a full honours degree

It’s worth remembering that all of these qualifications can also be studied:

The choice is yours.

Seek advice

Having done your background reading, it’s essential that you get advice that is specific to your circumstances. You may have your ‘goal’ but how do you get there?

Be proactive and speak to universities and colleges directly. Many have staff dedicated to helping mature learners. They will help you to make sense of things and have events that you can attend.

The Open University remains the UK’s most popular option for distance-learning courses. These are often flexible and can be placed around the other commitments in your life.

Try before you commit

Before you commit to anything, there are thousands of free bite-size courses to try – from absolute beginner to expert. These could be invaluable in providing an insight into the subject and giving you the confidence to progress: