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Qualifications Explained

With a plethora of options, all valued by employers, sometimes it can be hard to decide what option what option will be best for you. Ultimately, it depends on how long you’d like to study, whether you’re currently employed and how much work experience you need while you’re studying. Here’s a handy guide explaining all of the options.

Professional Courses

  • Accredited by a professional awarding body (entry level to Level 7)
  • Linked to a specific industry
  • Develop relevant skills to a particular career path

Foundation Degrees

  • Equivalent to two-thirds of a bachelor’s degree
  • Combine study with workplace learning in your chosen industry
  • Option to ‘top-up’ with additional study to achieve a full degree either at college or a university


  • A Level 6, three year course
  • GC offers degree pathways in conjunction with our partner universities.

Higher Apprenticeships

  • Combine on-the-job training with studying a degree-level qualification (Level 4 to Level 6)
  • Many offer the opportunity to gain professional accreditations and memberships too
  • Earn while you learn and get ahead

HTQs, HNCs and HNDs

  • HNC (Level 4) is equivalent to the first year of a degree, and HND (Level 5) is the equivalent of the first two years’
  • Work-related qualifications that focus on skills for a particular job
  • Option to ‘top-up’ with additional study to achieve a full degree at college or university

Why Gloucestershire College?

We guide any ambitious and motivated person on their journey through education and their career, by providing the right environment that encourages and nurtures individual talents.

Our industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching team provide our students with the skills businesses truly need.

We are here to help

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90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

Ofsted has rated us good.

  • We offer industry relevant facilities
  • Our lecturers are passionate subject specialists
  • Employers value our students' skills

We'll look after you. We have dedicated teams to help you and a great Learning Mentor scheme.