College and university - what's the difference?

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College and university - what's the difference?

Hopefully by now you're starting to think a bit more about what your options will be after you leave school either this year or after S6. In terms of Higher Education, there are a couple of different routes to consider with college or university. In this S5Hub post, we'll explain a bit more about how college and university are different but also how the route from college to university works and might be the best option for you.

Below on the left, you can see some of the key differences between the courses available at college and university. You can also see how the application process differs as well. 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 right hand diagram, 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: it could be that you don't have enough Highers to go straight to uni; or that the course you want to do at university only starts in 3rd year and you have to complete an HND before you can apply; perhaps you prefer the kind of environment at college compared to uni. All of these reasons for wanting to go to college first are perfectly valid; the 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 also 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.

The main differences between college and university   Possible routes through higher education

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.