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Qualification Guide

At West Herts College, we offer our a wide range of qualification types. Here we've broken down our qualifications and course levels to help you understand which one is correct for you. If you are still unsure, give us a call on 01923 812345 and we'll identify where you need to get started! 

Entry Level

Gain essential skills for life and progression at College. Each entry level qualification is available at three sub-levels - 1, 2 and 3. Entry level 3 is the most difficult.

What do I need?

There are no formal entry requirements, feel free to give us a call on 01923 812345 to find out more.

What can I do next?

Continue to improve your skills with higher entry level study, move on to Level 1 or find employment.


Level 1

Get the fundamental knowledge and skills you need for success at College and your chosen career. Many technical courses such as Motor Vehicle, Engineering, Plumbing or Electrical Installation, will require students to start at Level 1 regardless of their prior academic achievement - this is due to these courses requiring technical knowhow to succeed. 

What do I need?

2 GCSEs or a suitable Entry Level qualification.

What can I do next?

You’ll be ready to join a Level 2 course, find an apprenticeship or junior level employment.


Level 2

Equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C/9-4, you’ll concentrate on your preferred subject and cover all the essentials to progress to employment or next-level study.

What do I need?

3 GCSEs grades A*-D/9-3 or a suitable Level 1 qualification.

What can I do next?

You’ll be ready to step up to Level 3 courses, begin an apprenticeship or find employment/further training in your chosen industry


Level 3

Fine tune your skills and add specialist knowledge to prepare for a career doing something you love. Choose an Extended Diploma and you’ll work towards a Level 3 Diploma in your first year and complete your Extended Diploma in your second year.

What do I need?

4 GCSEs grades A*-C/9-4 or a suitable Level 2 qualification. Most Level 3 courses require English Language and/or maths. Some courses have more specific entry requirements.

What can I do next?

Choose from employment, an advanced apprenticeship or Higher Education here at College or University. Our Level 3 courses are worth the same number of UCAS points as 3 A Levels.


Access to HE Diploma

An Access to HE Diploma is a one year full Level 3 qualification that prepares you for university-level study.  This one-year intensive course is designed for students aged 19 or over, no longer in full-time education.

What can I do next?

Successful completion of the course could enable you to progress onto study at university.


Higher Education Qualifications

HND – Higher National Diploma

A HND is a Level 5 qualification the academic equivalent to the second year of a Bachelors degree. It takes two years of full-time study to complete and is designed to equip you with the skills relevant to your chosen career. HNDs are focused on ‘learning by doing’ to gain and develop hands-on skills ready for the workplace. These qualifications are highly valued in the eyes of employers.

What can I do next?

As HNDs are designed to give you the skills for a particular field of work, they can lead straight to a career. HND graduates have the advantage of gaining a wealth of practical, specialised experience prior to securing their first graduate position.

HNDs can also be extended via a top-up course into a full Bachelors degree, this is another effective route into employment. Holding a Bachelors degree opens you up to jobs and internships that would otherwise be unavailable to you.


Extended Degree

A Extended Degree is a one-year programme to prepare you for university. You will gain the necessary subject knowledge to bring you up to the required standard to progress on to the first year of a degree.

What can I do next?

By the time you complete the course you’ll be ready to progress to an Honours programme. You could also put your theory into practice by entering the world of work. 


Foundation Degree

A Foundation degree is a two-year course equivalent to a Level 4 and Level 5 qualification. This is a stand-alone qualification with the opportunity to progress further to top-up to a full BA/BSc honours degree. Created in partnership between universities, higher education colleges and employers, these courses focus on developing in-demand skills.

What can I do next?

Foundation degrees provide a strong platform for candidates seeking employment - but also open doors for those looking to study a full undergraduate qualification further down the line.


Part-time Qualifications

Part-time Professional Qualifications

Our professional part-time qualifications aim to provide you with the specialist skills you need to move on in your existing career or make the jump to something new – and because we offer a range of start dates and times, the course you choose can work for you and your life and work.


Part-time leisure courses

There are lots of great opportunities to get involved in new hobbies and interests, or pick up on an old one. So, whether you’re looking to gain skills, meet new people or get a taste of something different, a part-time leisure course is a fun and friendly way to spend your spare time.


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