Not everyone can attend university to get a university degree.
Normally if you want to get a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, you will need to study full-time on campus for 3 years to obtain an undergraduate degree and 1 year for a postgraduate.
However, whilst this is the main way to get into further education for a degree, this isn’t necessarily the only way that people are able to start a degree course.
If you are someone who has a full-time job or the university bachelor’s degree you are looking at is on a campus too far away for you to travel or live at, then you may be looking at alternative ways that can still get you the degree you want without going to university.
Today we will look at what ways you can get a degree without going to university and what the process will be for them.
A degree apprenticeship is offered by employers when they partner with educational facilities such as a university.
You have to be over 16 years old to do a degree apprenticeship and you will be able to obtain a level 6 or 7 qualification in the span of 3 to 6 years.
As a student, you will spend the majority of your time in the workplace (around 80%), and the rest of the time will be spent studying for the qualification through a provider such as a university or others in the same line
This would be a good opportunity for school leavers who are not fully committed to doing a full bachelor’s degree on campus at a traditional university, and would rather be a part of the workforce.
You Will Get Paid
Luckily, those who go for degree apprenticeships will get paid by the company they are with, however, it is not as high as a regular salary, and it will be around £4.81 per hour according to the 2022-23 tax year.
It is still worth it to earn as you learn and sometimes the government will cover tuition fees as well as some other study costs, so you don’t have to worry about using your salary or going for student finance, however, you will still need to check and see if you are eligible to have your tuition fees paid for.
Distance Learning Degrees
With distance learning, you can do online courses from your own home without having to go onto campus.
This can be a lot better for people who still want a university education but are unable to go to campus at all and would find it easier to do online learning instead of in-person learning.
There are many universities nowadays that offer online learning courses such as the Open University which is the most well-known.
The courses are taught the exact same way, so you can get a foundation degree or bachelor’s degree without having to live the traditional campus life.
You Can Save A Lot of Money
It has also been said that doing it this way is cheaper, maybe because it is done from home so no need to pay for campus/student living quarters, plus, you won’t need to pay for transport going into campus which can be a bonus for those who don’t have the extra money.
International students can also find this a benefit, especially if they want a degree from another country without having to make the travel there.
Want a college degree/university degree? Then you are in luck with higher apprenticeships as they will get you a level 4 and above depending on where you are based in the UK.
Level 5 qualifications are equivalent to foundation degrees and level 4 is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree.
You can then work your way up and get a master’s degree, but not all places offer that so if this is your goal then you will need to look around and see what else is out there for you to go for.
They Are Similar to Degree Apprenticeships
It can take around 2 to 5 years for you to complete these apprenticeships and you will have to work a full-time job whilst you are studying, and luckily your tuition fees can also be paid by the employer.
School Leavers Programs
These are similar to apprenticeships, but they are more focused on pupils who are leaving school and do not want to do full-time college courses or take on a full honours degree with a university, but they still want to have higher education.
It helps students go straight to a place of work as well as helps them learn along the way.
It is very flexible and the shortest courses are around 1 year with some going up to 5 years depending on the content and what they are aiming for.
Leavers will be able to gain valuable experience as well as skills that will help them put themselves out there for work in their chosen field.
They will have a better chance at finding a job, or the job that took them on for their studying and working may hire them full-time in the end.
Higher National Diplomas
An HND qualification equivalent is a foundation degree or 2 to 3 years of a bachelor’s degree.
Once you have completed your higher national diploma, you can go straight into work with your qualification, or you can use what you have learned to go for a bachelor’s degree at a university if you feel like you want to progress even further and think that a university education will help you get there.
If you already have an existing qualification that you got previously or even recently and you would like to top it up – a HND, foundation degree, or diploma – then you can do so by looking at what bachelor’s and master’s degrees are available in your field.
Is University The Right Choice For You?
Not everyone will look at university and think that it is the best choice for their career, however, there is a lot of talk about how beneficial university can be for many people, but the fear of student debt and choosing the wrong course can make people move away from that and worry about what may happen.
Here are some questions that you may want to ask yourself before making that choice:
Where Do You Want to Study?
Do you want to leave home and go somewhere else for your studies, or would you like to stay close to home as you have a job you still need to attend to or family issues that you need to deal with?
Location is not important for everyone to care about, sometimes it is the pull of the course that will make them want to go, but, if you need to factor in the location, then it is important that you look at your options and what your limit is with your studying.
Some people will opt for studying overseas and completely get away from their country to get the full educational experience somewhere else, but you have to ask yourself if you will be able to afford that or if there are student programs that suit what you want to study.
What Subject Do You Want to Study?
In some cases, the subject you want to study can be done either part-time, in an apprenticeship, or through college.
You can google what you want to study and the path to get there to see if you actually need to go to university to get your qualification or you can go down a different route that won’t be so jarring or won’t upheave your life too much.
What is Your Preferred Way to Study
Sometimes, people don’t need to be in class constantly to study, there are people who are able to still get a fruitful education experience without going to university and being in classes all the time.
If you find that you thrive in studying when you are at home or in a place where it is not filled with people, then this can help you decide what course of action you want to take with your studying.
Distance learning could be the better option, so Open University might be the preferred path when you make your decision.
What Are Your Employment Prospects?
What do you see yourself doing as a career when you graduate/get older?
Is a degree needed to get to where you want to go or are there other ways that you can get the job you want without having to go into student debt to get there?
A lot of jobs do offer on-the-job training and take on people who may only have a foundation degree or a college education, it all depends on what level you want to get to and how you are willing to get there.
Through your research into your chosen field, you will be able to see what way you can go, plus it doesn’t hurt to ask others who are in their current careers how they got there and if they know of any new alternative pathways.
So, can you get a degree without going to university?
It looks like you actually can do it, plus you have multiple ways of reaching your end goals through various educational programs.
It is important that you don’t just jump into a university course and think that it is going to be the right one for you.
If you look at statistics for university dropouts you may be surprised by what you see, but you have to factor in the reasons why as many people might drop out due to ill health, money problems, family issues, or they just didn’t like the course.
It is up to you at the end of the day, so take your time and keep reading to learn more about where you want to go in life.