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Advice and Guidance

STUDENT INFORMATION

1: ADVICE AND GUIDANCE FOR HND APPLICANTS

The following advice, guidance and questions are designed to help you think about whether you have chosen the right course, the right level of study and about other things which may be important to consider when deciding to study including the time and financial commitments involved.

Established in 1979, The City College is an independent institution for local and international students. Over the years thousands of students have successfully completed their studies at The City College and have progressed to higher studies in British and American Universities or secured successful careers in a variety of fields.

1) Do you think this is the right level of study for you? BTEC Level 3 is equivalent to A’ level and the BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) is at level 5 which is equivalent to the first two years of a University degree.

2) If you are paying for your studies yourself, the first year’s tuition fees must be made before the start of the course. For your second year, you maybe be able to pay in instalments for which be an instalment surcharge will be added to the total that you pay.

3) If you plan to study part-time, you can apply for a loan to cover your tuition fees only (there is no maintenance loan) as you are expected to be working at the same time. If you are in receipt of benefits, you may continue to claim if you are on a part-time course – you do NOT get any benefits if studying full-time.

4) If you plan to study as a full-time student you are expected to give priority to your studies (ie. arrange your working hours/holidays/childcare around the timetable.). Once a timetable has been allocated for the semester, it cannot be changed and the student must follow the given timings. The timetable and subjects change every semester.

5) If you apply for a student loan, you apply to Student Finance England (SFE). You can do this online and it is quite straightforward. Your college will be “The City College” and you can find your course from the list that SFE provides when you start to type your course name “HND in ..…You just have to pick the right title of your chosen HND course. SFE do all the checks on your application and ask for any extra information that they may need. Once they have approved your loan application, they will write to you to let you know how much money you are being lent and the schedule of payments. SFE then instruct the Student Loan Company (SLC) to pay you. The College can only speak to the SLC about your tuition fee loan and you can only speak to SFE about your application, payments etc. The College cannot ring SFE to ask any questions about you or your loan (as a matter of data protection).

6) Full-time students will have 15 hours per week in class and are expected to spend an extra 10 hours per week on the studies in their own time. HND part-time students will have 6 hours of classes a week and are expected to spend a further 4 hours per week on their studies in their own time.

7) You must realise the importance of coming to all classes and making complete submissions for all subjects in every semester by the given deadlines. A complete submission comprises both a paper copy and an electronic copy. You must make every effort to PASS units during the allocated timescale for the programme and not fall behind.

8) Have you chosen the right course? For example, anyone wishing to becoming a psychologist will NOT benefit from following an HND in Health & Social Care Management.

9) Do you feel that anything in your life outside college might affect your ability to complete the course successfully – such as family or work commitments?

10) How would you rate your computer skills? It is your responsibility to learn the computing skills required to be able to follow an HND programme such as web research, word -processing, keeping back-ups of your work, uploading files etc.

11) All applicants must take a Numeracy and Literacy test and attend an interview for a place on the course.

Are you applying for an HND in Health & Social Care?

1) If you have never worked in the sector, you will be required to commit to find suitable work early on in your course. The College will assist you with this, but the responsibility for finding suitable work experience rests with you. Please be aware that you must be able to prove that you have a minimum of 200 hours of relevant work experience in order to be able to achieve the HND in Health & Social Care. This is a mandatory requirement of the course and there is no way around this. Please be aware that caring for a relative will not count towards this course requirement as it cannot be verified by an impartial agency/employer.

2) If you require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance, you will be responsible for arranging this. You will not get DBS clearance if you have a criminal record and so, are unlikely to get employment in the Care sector now or in the future. You must declare all criminal convictions to the College immediately otherwise we cannot advise you appropriately.

2: HND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND ADMISSIONS

The City College is required by Pearson to ensure that every student we enrol has a reasonable expectation of success on the programmeAll applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Applicants aged over 21 years at the start of their course and who have been out of education for at least three years are classed as ‘mature students’. The prior qualifications and/ or work experience of such applicants will be reviewed by the College to consider if their individual profile shows they have the potential to achieve the qualification. If we believe it does and all other requirements of the admissions process are met, such applicants may be enrolled.

For those who have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • A relevant BTEC Level 3 qualification
  • A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades A* to C and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as Maths and English
  • Other related Level 3 qualifications
  • An Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved further education institution
  • Related work experience
  • An international equivalent of the above.

2.1: HND application process

All applicants must first submit all relevant documents in the following checklist to the College with a completed application form:

  • Completed Application form which has been signed on the back
  • Passport size photo
  • An up-to-date CV
  • Passport or other form of photo ID
  • Qualification certificates
  • Next of Kin/ emergency contact phone number and address
  • Proof of address which includes your full name and current address.

After all the documents have been checked, the applicant must sit an entry test as part of the admissions process. If the test is passed, applicants are invited for an interview. After the interview, all components of the process are considered, and the student will be informed of the decision, normally within 48 hours.

2.2: Compulsory work experience/placement requirements (HND Healthcare Practice only)

The Level 4 HNC in Healthcare Practice requires at least 225 hours of work experience/ placement in health and/ or social care settings and a ‘Professional Learning and Development’ portfolio (PLAD), including reflective accounts, to be completed.

The Level 5 HND in Healthcare Practice requires at least 450 hours of work experience/ placement in health and/ or social care settings and a ‘Professional Learning and Development’ portfolio (PLAD), including reflective accounts, to be completed over the two-year period of the qualification.

Students can undertake placement in more than one setting, providing they meet the minimum requirement for types of setting as indicated above.

All work hours should be evidenced in the individual student’s ‘Practical Learning, Assessment and Development Portfolio’ (PLAD), which will be given at the start of the course.

In order to work in the care sector, you would require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and you will be responsible for arranging this. You will not get DBS clearance if you have a criminal record and so are unlikely to get employment in the care sector now or in the future. You must declare all criminal convictions to the college otherwise we cannot advise you properly.

2.3: Compulsory work experience/ placement requirements (HND Social and Community Work only)

The Level 4 HNC in Social and Community Work Practice requires at least 225 hours of work experience/ placement in social or community care settings. A minimum of 75 hours in one social or community care setting is required. Students must keep a ‘Professional Learning and Assessment Document’ portfolio (PLAD) as a means to gather evidence of reflective learning and development.

The Level 5 HND in Social and Community Work requires at least 375 hours of work experience/ placement in social or community care settings. A minimum of 100 hours in two different social or community care settings is required. Students must also keep a ‘Professional Learning and Assessment Document’ portfolio (PLAD) as a means to gather evidence of reflective learning and development.

Students can undertake placement in more than two different individual settings, providing they meet the minimum requirement for hours’ placement as indicated above.

In order to work in the care sector, you would require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and you will be responsible for arranging this. You will not get DBS clearance if you have a criminal record and so are unlikely to get employment in the care sector now or in the future. You must declare all criminal convictions to the college otherwise we cannot advise you properly.

2.4: HND English language ability for non-native speakers (not born in the UK)

Non-native English speakers who have not undertaken their final two years of schooling in English, must demonstrate capability in English at Level 2 (or equivalent) before being admitted to the programme. Equivalent grades to Level 2 include CEFR B2, PTE 51, and IELTS 5.5 (reading and writing must be at 5.5). After gaining admittance, such students are still encouraged to enrol on the Level 2 English course because it should still help with their HND study, career development or further study.

2.5: HND English language ability for non-native speakers who were taught in English for the final two years of school (or more)

Some applicants will not be native-speakers but will have studied the final two years of school in English (eg. those from West Africa). These applicants are also encouraged to enrol on the Level 2 English course, either as a useful refresher or because it should help them with career development or further study (eg. university entrance).

Applicants will need to prove they have any qualifications claimed and that they studied in English. If any examination certificates have been lost, applicants should apply for new copies or provide a letter from their school/ college, or provide some other proof of their educational history, so the details can be verified.

2.6: HND English language ability for native speakers (born in UK)

All applicants are encouraged to enrol on the Level 2 English course, even if they already have an appropriate English qualification. This is because it is a good refresher course for those who have perhaps been away from education for a while, and because it should prove helpful with career development or further study (eg. university entrance). If they don’t have an English qualification or can’t prove what they claim, the same applies.

3: AET AND DET ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND ADMISSIONS

Applicants must be aged 19+. Applicants aged 19 or 20 must possess either a level 3 qualification (or equivalent) or at least 4 GCSEs, one GCE A level, and have a good spoken/written command of the English Language. Equivalent overseas qualifications are also accepted.

Applicants over 21 years of age, who have the minimum requirements of a Level 2 qualification in English and Maths, plus appropriate work experience, may also be accepted.

Please note, all DET students must be able to meet the requirement for 100 hours of teaching practice plus the requirement for observation and assessment of performance and must realise that, without this, it is impossible to achieve successful completion of the Diploma in Education and Training.

Applicants may not be required to sit an entry test if they already hold suitable qualifications. All applicants will be asked to provide evidence of their proficiency in English Language equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 5.5 with no section scoring less than 5.00. All candidates will either have a GCSE C grade and above in English and Maths, or hold a level 2 qualification in English and Maths. It is desirable to hold experience, or a qualification, in the subject area you wish to teach at the appropriate level and good written, and spoken, English.

In order to work in the education sector, you may require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and you will be responsible for arranging this. You will not get DBS clearance if you have a criminal record and so are unlikely to get employment in the education sector now or in the future. You must declare all criminal convictions to the college otherwise we cannot advise you properly.

3.1: AET and DET application process

All applicants must first submit all relevant documents in the following checklist to the College with a completed application form:

  • Completed Application form which has been signed on the back
  • Passport size photo
  • An up-to-date CV
  • Passport or other form of photo ID
  • Qualification certificates
  • Next of Kin/ emergency contact phone number and address
  • Proof of address which includes your full name and current address.

All applicants will be interviewed. After the interview, all components of the process are considered, and the student will be informed of the decision, normally within 48 hours.

4: ACCOMMODATION

If you are looking for accommodation, the college can assist in finding suitable accommodation. The College is based in Old Street, with excellent rail, bus and tube links.  If you wish to visit the College and need to stay overnight, there are a number of hotels within the area.   There are also student halls of residence close by, such as ‘iQ Accommodation’, which has a branch in Shoreditch, virtually across the road from where we are based:

https://www.iqstudentaccommodation.com/student-accommodation/london/shoreditch/location

Local estate agents would also be able to help you find rented accommodation, as well as websites, such as Gumtree, who advertise Flatshares, etc. in the area:

https://www.gumtree.com/property-to-share/hackney/double-room/room+to+rent

Old Street is a vibrant, central location, easily reached from not only any part of London, but also from most parts of the country.

5: BURSARIES

Unfortunately, the College does not provide Bursaries.   However, students can apply for student loan through the student loan company:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login

Should you require any help to complete this form, we have trained Student Finance Advisors, who will be happy to guide you through the process.

The Student Loan Company does not offer grants, bursaries or scholarships, however, if you have children, or dependent adults, you may be able to apply for Childcare Grant, Parents Learning Allowance or Adult Dependents’ Grant.   Your personal details will be assessed by the Student Loan Company once you have completed your application (please note that some EU students are not eligible for ‘maintenance money’ outside of the loan for their course fees).

6: NUS

The City College is not currently a member of the National Union of Students because this has to be arranged and run by students.  The City College is happy to support any students who wish to take on this role.  If any students are interested, please do come and speak to us.

7: EMPLOYABILITY

At The City College we are always aiming to teach, not only to the highest standard, but to allow our students to increase their career prospects.  As such, with everything we do, we have future employability in mind – to give our students a set of skills which will help them gain employment and allow them to be successful in their chosen occupations; which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy.   Some of our students, especially those in the Health and Social Care course, are already working in this area and have at least one unit in which they are required to have work experience.   In other courses, we encourage students to try to gain work experience in the area in which they are studying.

In addition, we have a representative from the National Career’s Service who visits regularly and is able to help students find part time employment as well as help them write their CV, prepare for interviews and more.   We also have in-house course advisors who are able to help students with advice on their higher education pathways and career prospects.   Lastly, we organise regular guest speakers to come in and give talks to our students about various career prospects and further education paths.   We pride ourselves on giving each student individual attention and advice to prepare them for the future.

8: STUDENT LOANS – A QUICK GUIDE (WWW.SLC.CO.UK)

If you are applying through Student Finance England, funding for full-time courses is currently made up of a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan. The maintenance loan is intended to pay for travel to and from college and books. It is not intended to pay rent, food, gas or electric or other living expenses. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be eligible for a childcare grant and / or a maintenance grant. Grants do not need to be repaid but all loans (maintenance and tuition) must be repaid, on a monthly basis, once you are working and earning more than the threshold which is currently £21,000).

If you are applying for student funding, then your fees will be paid directly to us in three instalments on confirmation of attendance at three points throughout the year.

If you are applying for a Student Loan then it is essential that you do so as soon as possible. The quickest way to do so is to apply online through Student Finance England. Please note that, if you are applying / have applied for maintenance, all queries about maintenance grants or loans must be directed to the Student Finance England student helpline on 0300 1000607.

In order to qualify for a student loan, your attendance has to be confirmed at three different times throughout the year, so it is essential that you come to your classes and tutorials regularly. NOT attending regularly may jeopardise your tuition fee loan and maintenance loan (if applicable).

In order to speed up the process of your Student Loan Application:

  • Please make your initial application to Student Finance England as soon as possible. It is quickest to make an online application.
  • Please bring copies of any correspondence from Student Finance England to the College.
  • Sometimes Student Finance England (SFE) will contact you, asking for further information. If this is the case, then please let us know. We are always available to offer advice and help should it be necessary.
  • Please attend your classes/tutorials regularly, so we can approve your attendance as soon as possible.
  • Please also note that we CANNOT approve attendance until after two weeks of attendance. That will only happen once SFE has processed your application successfully. Therefore, if you have any requests from the SFE – to provide additional information – it is essential you deal with them as soon as possible, or it will hold up your application.

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