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Working and learning

Combining work and a degree

You might think that the only way to get a degree is to study full-time but over 30% of current degree-level students study part-time.

There are also more and more opportunities to study towards a higher-level course alongside work.

These courses offer higher education alongside work:

  • A Higher Apprenticeship or Degree Apprenticeship involves working while also studying for a qualification such as a Foundation Degree or Higher National Diploma but you do need to find a vacancy to do one.
  • An Employer Sponsored Degree offers sponsorship in return for your commitment to working for them during your course and upon graduation.
  • The Open University, offers degrees through distance learning meaning you will be able to learn in your own time, at home or wherever you choose and at a pace to fit you and your commitments.
  • Many colleges, universities and some training providers offer both full and part-time higher education level courses – so you should be able to find a study option to suit your circumstances and commitments.

Many employers offer training opportunities and courses related to specific job roles, such as BTECs, NVQs, etc. Some of these opportunities could be at Level 4 or higher (Level 4 is equivalent to the first year of a university degree).

If you do have to fund your higher education level study while you work

The great news is that, if you want to study a higher education level course part-time, you will not have to pay tuition fees upfront. Providing you are studying at least 25% of a full-time course, you will be able to access government subsidised loans to cover your tuition fees.

It is perfectly possible to combine study and work. It demands hard work and commitment, but the opportunities can be many and varied and the rewards high.

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