Progressing from College to University

Thinking of your next steps after college?

Many students progress from an HNC or HND to University. In a typical year, more than 220 of our students apply to university. College staff support students to make their university applications via UCAS.

We have many formal agreements with universities across Scotland. These are often referred to as 'articulation agreements'. The agreements allow students to progress to particular degrees with advanced entry e.g. to year 2 or 3 of a degree. Some universties allow College students to enter some degrees in years 2 or 3, even without an articulation agreement with the College in place.

As the majority of HNCs and HNDs at Forth Valley College have entry requirements of 2 Highers at C grade, articulation agreements help many students to progress towards a degree, even when they may not have achieved at school the Highers usually required by universities to take on degree-level study. This is because universities recognise the content of HNCs and HNDs as relevant to many of their degrees, especially as an HNC is broadly equivalent to year 1 at university, and an HND (year 2) is broadly equivalent to year 2 at university.

What is 'articulation'?

Articulation is simply when a student enters a degree at year 2 or 3 by using an HNC or HND which they have completed at college:

• HNC to year 2
• HND to year 3

This helps students to complete a 4-year undergraduate Honours degree by going to college then university. By using advanced entry, it takes the same amount of time to achieve a degree, which means you don't 'waste' any time or SAAS funding by studying at college first.

According to Universities Scotland, over 4,000 students articulated from college to university with full credit for their Higher National (HN) qualification in 2017/18.

We've worked with the majority of universities throughout Scotland to create agreements where most of our HNCs and HNDs are linked to degrees. This is to help make progression to university as easy as possible. We work with most Scottish universities, and most universities deliver on-campus and online information sessions for our HNC and HND students during term-time.

Some universities welcome applications from all students on HNC and HND courses for entry (e.g. year 1, 2 or 3), even where a formal agreement is not in place. Applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please note, even where we have a formal agreement in place, this does not guarantee any student a place on any degree at any university - each university admissions team decides on which students are made offers. Universities strongly encourage college students to apply, and many universities have staff who specialise in supporting college students to apply, and move on to university.

Degrees in partnership with four of Scotland's leading universities

We have partnership arrangements in place with four Scottish universities to allow students to complete the first stages of their degrees at Forth Valley College, while moving on to the university to complete the remainder of their degree.

We are currently accepting applications for courses starting in September 2022 via UCAS.

Find out more


Progression Options

Most pathways to universitiy are noted on each College course webpage, under the 'progression' section.

For example, HND Business to year 3 of BA (Hons) Business Management at Edinburgh Napier University.

There is also a website called Pathways which shows which degrees you can articulate to at various universities in the East of Scotland.

Students are welcome to join the FVSA Student Community Teams group and access the University Info and Events channel. Staff advertise university open days, information sessions, and other events and information about applying to university and researching your options.

Our staff are on-hand to help explain your options. If you are in any doubt, you are welcome to speak with a member of staff for more information either before you apply to a course at Forth Valley College, or at any time during your studies via the contact details at the bottom of the page.


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Applying via UCAS

We encourage and support our students to apply to university via UCAS from various HNC and HND courses. The application deadline each year is 26 January and we have a system in place to manage applications and support students to meet the deadline. Please note, this is an online application process which is be done via the UCAS website.

Lots of useful information about the applications process is available on the UCAS website, including a degree search facility, tutorial videos and infographics to help illustrate each step of the application process.

Students may request a reference statement from one of their lecturers, and staff help with questions about the application form, and make sure that all students who complete their applications before the deadline have their application forms submitted on time.

Visit UCAS for more info

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Contact Details

University Partnership Officer
Telephone 01324 403009
Support and Guidance Team
Telephone 01324 403000