College and University - what's the difference?

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College and University - what's the difference?

Below, you can see some of the key differences between the courses available at college and university, and how the application process differs.

A key thing to remember is that SAAS will fund both university and college courses. Even if you go to college before progressing to a university degree, SAAS can fund you all the way through.

In the diagram below, you can also see some of the possible routes from college to university. People choose to go to college before university for a number of reasons:

  • You don't have enough Highers to go straight to uni
  • The course you want to do at university only starts in 3rd year and you have to complete an HND before you can apply
  • The course you'd like to study is only offered at college, not university
  • Perhaps you prefer the kind of environment at college compared to uni, bridging the transition between school and university.

All of these reasons for wanting to go to college first are perfectly valid. The key point is that you choose the route that works best for you.

The routes from college to university are often supported by the universities through linking or associate programmes. This is where the university that you aim to enter after you leave college gives you extra support and access to their resources while you're still at college. You may also hear people talk about progression and articulation routes. These are shown in the diagram by the horizontal (progression) and diagonal (articulation) lines between college and university.

LEAPS will often recommend you apply to college even if you're applying to university as Plan A. This is due to the brilliant routes available from college to university and the fact that you can apply separately, and with lower grades and fewer Highers.

We've also got a short clip for you explaining routes and options available to move from college to university. Check it out!

Key points:

1. There are key differences between college and university, particularly in the courses available and how you apply.

2. There are lots of routes and options available to move from college to university.

3. Whichever route you choose to take, make sure you do plenty of research so you know that it's the best fit for you.