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Is university the right choice for you?

9th August 2019 – Tags: Degrees and Higher Education, university

It’s time to think about what you will do next after your sixth form or college studies.  Friends, parents, and teachers may be talking to you about going to university – but a uni isn’t your only option for getting a degree.  If you would like to continue learning to a higher level, but are unsure whether university would be the right option for you, read on.

To uni or not to uni?

It is natural to ask whether a traditional university degree, spending 3 or 4 years studying away from home, is right for you.  Yes, there are lots of great opportunities at uni, but it’s important to be clear what you want from the next stage of your learning. 

Are you someone who enjoys an academic style of learning or are you more interested in courses that can be applied to a specific area of work?  Do you want to move away from home or stay closer to friends and family?  Will the high costs of a university course ultimately be worth it?     

City College Norwich School of Higher Education

City College Norwich School of Higher Education

There is an alternative to university

If the idea of studying to degree level appeals, but you don’t necessarily want to go to university, the good news is that there is another option: college-based Higher Education.   

Colleges like City College Norwich offer a range of Degrees and Higher Education courses that enable you to be qualified to the same level as if you went to university, with the crucial difference that – in many cases – you can combine your course with employment in the industry you want to go into, without having to move away from home.

City College Norwich Graduation

City College Norwich Graduation

A degree with a job at the end of it

For many of our students, a key attraction of college-based Higher Education is that it is closely linked to the world of work. If you already have a clear idea of the industry you want to work in – for example, the fitness industry, or one of the public services (such as police, fire, health), or construction, or the aviation industry – we have specialist degrees that are focused on these and other areas.      

Our focus on vocational degrees is a key reason why 97% of City College Norwich’s full-time graduates, and 100% of our part-time graduates, are in employment or further study 6 months after completing their degree (Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework 2019).  Our Higher Education is in the top 10% of providers for this performance measure.

The same high quality of education

You don’t need to worry that a degree from a college is going to be worth less than one obtained from a university. Why? Because college degrees are validated by a university partner. Higher Education students on degree courses with City College Norwich graduate with a degree from University of East Anglia, a UK top 15 university which is in the top 200 globally.

What’s more, the smaller scale of our specialist courses means that you will learn in smaller classes, with greater access to your lecturers, and more scope for one-to-one support, than you would typically find on a traditional university degree course.

Norfolk House - City College Norwich's Higher Education campus

More affordable

The costs of a college-based Higher Education course are generally lower than those of traditional universities.  At City College Norwich, most of our courses have fees of £7,500 per year. Because most of our students are from Norfolk and Suffolk, they benefit from studying close to home and having a lower cost of living.     

What’s more, most of our courses are designed to allow you to work as well as study.  Not only does this allow you to build up invaluable experience for your future career, but you are earning too, making the whole experience more affordable.

City College Norwich Degree and Higher Education students


You are not alone

While college-based Higher Education might not get talked about as much in schools or by careers advisers, it is a popular option. Higher Education courses are offered in 204 colleges throughout England, with 149,000 students choosing college-based Higher Education.

Find out more at our Open Day

If you're interested in studying a degree or higher education course at our College, you can find out more at our Degree & Higher Education Open Day on Saturday 21st September. At the event, you can learn more about our courses, have a look around our School of Higher Education and speak to students and staff about life at our College.

Find out more