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“This course has made me genuinely excited for the future because [it has] helped me realise a career goal I never knew possible.”

– Megan Mcloughlin, BA (Hons) Art and Design – Photography (Top-Up)

Why study HE with us?

Small groups

Our small class sizes provide a personalised learning experience with one-to-one tutorials and support from dedicated personal tutors.

Stay local

Spend time with your family, make friends local to you and avoid debt from accommodation and living expenses whilst enjoying our five city centre campuses.


Many of our HE courses can be studied flexibly, either full-time or part-time, to fit around work, family life and other commitments.

Top facilities

Enjoy five city centre campuses, state-of-the-art workshops and several learning resource centres with computers, equipment, and other useful materials that will aid your studies.

Lower fees

There’s plenty of financial help available for HE students, including loans, that you pay back, and bursaries and childcare grants that you don’t.

Employer links

Our hands-on approach to learning and excellent employer links means you’ll be work-ready when you graduate.


From wellbeing and childcare support, to finance and personal development, we pride ourselves on the support we offer our students.

Expert Tutors

Our highly qualified and passionate tutors have many years experience of working in industry, so you’ll be learning from the very best in the business.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, helps out in the College kitchen.


Celebrate your success!

On successful completion of your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony, no different to university!


The City of Liverpool College is a partner institution of the Open University, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Huddersfield.

“The bespoke support offered to each individual is like no course I have ever been on before, and the facilities available are wonderful. In HE, the class sizes are small which is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed, as my course group have established strong relationships.”

– Melissa Higham, Teacher Education & Training

Open Events

Open Events

Attend an open event and get a taste of what’s on offer – you’ll watch demonstrations, tour the facilities, and have an opportunity to get your questions answered by staff and students.

Find out more


What is Higher Education?

If you have never heard of Higher Education before, it can be difficult to know if it’s the right path for you. As well as the term Higher Education, you may see this written or talked about as “university programmes”. These two terms are the same. 

To better understand your options, the best place to start is to think of your academic qualifications by level. Level 2 courses are equivalent to GCSEs, and Level 3 courses are equivalent to A-levels, BTECs and T Levels. 

Higher Education is the term given to courses at Level 4, Level 5, and Level 6. The first year of a traditional three-year degree is Level 4, the second year Level 5 and the final year Level 6. 

You can choose to study at these different levels, depending on your previous experience and academic qualifications. 

Who can do a Higher Education course?

If you are an adult aged 19 and over, you can study on a Higher Education course.

If you’re looking to specialise further in your chosen subject, or are looking to upskill in your current professional area, the course options available to you – including their level – will depend on your current qualifications and the courses available at the College. 

If you are under the age of 19, our Level 2 and Level 3 courses may be more suitable for you. However, we encourage you to look at the Higher Education courses we offer to help plan your next steps. 

What qualifications can I study?

There are a number of different qualifications you can study which fall under the title of ‘Higher Education’.  

These qualifications can be considered as parts of a degree, which usually takes 3 or 4 years, depending on the course. 

What is a HNC – Higher National Certificate (Level 4)?

The HNC is usually one year of study and is the equivalent of Year 1 of a degree.  

What is a HND – Higher National Diploma (Level 5)?

The HND is also usually one year of study and is the equivalent of Year 2 of a degree in a subject. Normally, you will need to have studied a HNC in your subject before you can progress to a HND. 

What is a Foundation Degree?

A Foundation Degree is usually a two-year course and is the equivalent of two years of a degree in a subject. Academically, this is the same level as a HND. 

The main difference between a HND and a Foundation Degree is the structure of the course and their entry requirements.  For example, Foundation Degrees may combine classroom study with workplace experience built in, compared to a HND. Entry requirements for a Foundation Degree may be more general than an HND, but this is not always the case. 

With both a HND and a Foundation Degree, you may have the opportunity to progress to a Top-Up Degree. 

What is a Top Up Degree?

If a course is classed as a Top-Up degree, it is the equivalent of a final year of a degree in a subject. If you have completed a foundation-level degree or have completed a HNC and HND in your subject, this course allows you to build on your learning and graduate with a full degree (also known as a Bachelors degree). 

What are the entry requirements?

Each course has its own individual entry requirements, which you can find on each course page.  

Depending on the course, you may need certain Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications and/or some industry experience to be accepted on your chosen course. 

If you are unsure about the entry requirements, or if you don’t meet the criteria, please contact our Careers Advice and Guidance team who will be happy to help you find the best option for you. 

Email or call 0151 252 3607 to speak to the team.