A Higher Education (HE) course at SERC leads you to a recognised and respected qualification. SERC offers a range of degree and foundation degree courses in partnership with the Open University, Liverpool John Moores University, Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast.
Some Open University-validated courses will begin an additional January enrolment from 2023. These courses will offer full and part-time study in Culinary Arts; Cloud Computing; and Cyber Security and Digital Forensics.
Higher Education at SERC also encompasses Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Higher-Level Apprenticeships.
A degree course at SERC means you can graduate close to home, with lower fees than university. SERC consistently scores very highly in the National Student Survey, showing high levels of student satisfaction, and has a proud record of student success.
More than a qualification
At SERC, we understand that you want more than a qualification; like employers, you value experience and skills which prepare you to join the workforce and unlock the future career you want.
We are very proud that project-based learning, which engages students in practical problem-solving and develops a range of skills such as collaboration and time-management, is at the core of our teaching.
The Higher Education experience at SERC includes:
- Learning on campus and online
- An enterprise-driven curriculum
- Work placements and links with industry
- SERC support services
- State of the art facilities
- Small classes with professionally-experienced tutors – no sitting in a lecture-hall!
- Flexibility and opportunities for progression
You can browse our courses below, or find out more through our recorded HE webinars.
Find the perfect course
Please Note: To ensure students get the best experience possible our Higher Education programmes will run subject to numbers. If we are unable to meet our minimum threshold, we will aim to direct you to a provider who has a similar offer. Please also ensure that you are familiar with our Terms and Conditions before you apply.
Higher Education Prospectus
If you are completing A Level or equivalent courses Higher Education is most likely the next option for you. Higher Educations courses are those from Level 4 to Level 6 and include Degrees, Foundation Degrees, HNDs, HNCs and Higher Level Apprenticeships.
Clicking on a course will redirect you to the latest course description and allow you to apply online.View Download
HE Student Handbook
The HE Student Handbook is intended to be a reference point for all HE students. It is an overall summary of HE structure, regulations and support services at SERC. You will also receive detailed information directly related to your programme in your Programme Study site. Used together they will provide the information needed through your Programme of Study (POS).
We offer each of our students a career enhancing experience where there are opportunities to work on industry based projects, solving problems for businesses or developing your entrepreneurial skills by setting up a SERC Student Company.
To develop a deeper understanding of the world of work many programmes require you to undertake work placements or complete industry visits to discuss how the skills you are learning can be best used to undertake employment upon finishing your qualification.
Ensure that you are best placed to undertake employment upon finishing your qualification.
At SERC we’re always here to support you to ensure that you get the most out of your time with us.
Our flexible part-time courses allow you to fit study around work and personal commitments.
All of our Higher Education qualifications provide opportunities on completion to further progress your study at local and national universities and specialist colleges.
Widening Access Agreement
SERC's commitment to widening access and participation is embedded within the College Development Plan and the aim of shaping the curriculum to provide programmes that promote greater engagement with hard to reach learners and provide progression to higher level courses. This is supported through widening participation activities to encourage fair access, retention and performance.
SERC aims to:
- Provide appropriate support for those within the SERC catchment area who fall within the Access to Success target groups to progress in the long-term towards higher education.
- Respond to the changing needs of the target groups through review and evaluation of strategies and data.
- Continue to promote suitable progression routes towards higher education.
Find out more:
Click on the headings to expand them.
Equivalent to: BA (Honours) Degree
Typical Entry Requirements: Level 4/5 or Relevant level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A-levels). See individual courses for details. Certain GCSE grades may also be required. Industrial or other experience may also be acceptable as part of APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning Process).
Progression: Progress to a Master Degree or use your skills to start work.
Equivalent to: Second year of a Bachelor Degree
Typical Entry Requirements: Level 4 or Relevant level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A-levels). See individual courses for details. Certain GCSE grades may also be required. Industrial or other experience may also be acceptable as part of APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning Process).
Progression: Progress to a Degree course at College or University or use your skills to start work.
Equivalent to: First year of a Bachelor Degree
Typical Entry Requirements: Relevant level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A-levels). See individual courses for details. Certain GCSE grades may also be required. Industrial or other experience may also be acceptable as part of APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning Process).
Progression: Progress to Higher Education at SERC/University or use your skills to start work.
*Please check specific entry requirements for specific courses
BA (Hons) Degree offered in conjunction with John Moores University, Liverpool. This is a Higher Education qualification that helps you develop a true understanding of a subject and usually takes three to five years to complete if studying part-time. You can also study for a degree part-time or through flexible learning which usually takes four years to complete. The qualification is designed to help you develop your analytical, intellectual and essay or dissertation writing skills.
This is a Higher Education qualification that combines academic study with work-based learning. Designed jointly by universities, colleges and employers, Foundation Degrees are available in a range of work-related subjects and are awarded by Ulster University. They are designed to equip you for a particular area of work, as well as giving you the general skills that are useful in any type of job. Progression opportunities to enhanced level 6 Degree entry may also be available.
HNDs are a work-related, vocational Higher Education qualification. While Degrees tend to focus on gaining knowledge, HNDs are designed to give you the skills to put that knowledge to effective use in a particular job. HNDs are highly valued by employers both in the UK and overseas, and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations. . Progression opportunities to enhanced level 6 Degree entry may also be available.
HNCs are a vocational Higher Education qualification that are usually studied part-time over two years or full-time over one year. HNCs are popular with students who are already in employment as they enable you to put the skills you learn into practice in your current job. Progression opportunities to enter Degree programmes may be available.
Qualifications which are accredited by professional industry bodies and demonstrate a student’s depth of knowledge and understanding of a subject and also a commitment to succeed within the industry.
Many students return to study with us who have been out of education for several years and have relevant experience at an appropriate level. If you are returning to study you may be eligible through the Accreditation of Prior Learning Process (APL) :
- Accredited Prior Certification Learning (ACL) – this is learning associated with a formal course of study that has been assessed either in Higher Education, by a professional body or achieved through staff development.
- Accredited Prior Experience Learning (APEL) – this is learning acquired through life, work experience and study not previously certified through formal education.
At SERC we welcome students from far and wide, from China to Poland and Belarus to Sudan.
Our International students have the opportunity to study in a safe environment for a wide range of courses in one of the world’s most advanced education systems. Our students benefit from a high standard of teaching provided by well qualified, committed staff, delivered through small class sizes for a more supportive environment.
We have an International Office, from where you can get advice about preparing to come to the UK to study, including advice on visa issues where relevant, finding accommodation, opening a bank account and other issues related to helping you settle into a new country.
For more information please visit our International Department
Fees are applicable for all HE courses. The rate of fees that you pay will depend upon where you live. Northern Ireland domiciled students can apply for a loan for tuition fees, a maintenance loan for living costs and a non-repayable maintenance grant (for lower income households).
For further information please visit: www.studentfinanceni.co.uk
Students from England, Scotland and Wales will pay a higher rate of tuition fees and should contact the agencies below for further information on the support available:
- Student Finance England (in England) www.gov.uk/student-finance
- Student Awards Agency for Scotland (in Scotland) www.saas.gov.uk
- Student Finance Wales (in Wales) www.studentfinancewales.co.uk