Higher Education

Gain the academic and employability skills you need for the career you want.

Higher Education Clearing

If you are looking to start with us on a Higher Education course this September, don't miss out on securing your place during Clearing. Contact us on our Clearing hotline 07912 516589 or he@activatelearning.ac.uk 

Aim high, stay local!

If you're looking to progress into Higher Education in 2021/22, or you want to improve your employability, get in touch today to find out how Activate Learning can help! 

At Activate Learning we offer a range of undergraduate learning options from HNCs and HNDs to Foundation Degrees, PGCEs and top-ups for BA and BSc Degrees. Each course is recognised for its focus on employability by the Quality Assurance Agency and designed to build the very skills you need to have a successful career.

Undergraduate study options are validated by partner Universities including Oxford Brookes, University of Reading, University of Greenwich, Kingston University and Pearson.

City of Oxford College is based in Oxford city centre, with our specialist Technology campus located in Blackbird Leys. Despite its central location, the college’s riverside location is a peaceful and safe environment to study in, with all the facilities you could need.

What Higher Education can do for you

Employability

Develop the technical skills required for your future career in industry-standard facilities

Industry Backing

Develop professional practices in programmes co-created with industry

Specialist courses

We offer unique courses, such as our Furniture Design and Make programmes

Internal progression

Clear pathways to progress to higher level courses

Location

Study locally and maintain work or family commitments

Satisfaction

Meet new people, develop new relationships and learn with professionally experienced tutors

More support

Smaller class sizes mean more individual attention and support

Student Experience

Access to facilities at our colleges and partner universities

Lower cost

Save on living and travel costs if staying close to home and benefit from our lower tuition fees

Higher Education bursaries 2021/22

Activate Learning recognises that funding is a big part of your decision to embark on a higher education programme, consequently we have put in place additional funding in the form of bursaries to support you. 

All bursaries are paid as grants and so do not to be repaid.  In addition, all bursaries are paid directly to you, giving you full control over how and where you spend them.

If you are studying and registered on a course with either Oxford Brookes University of the University of Reading, you should in the first instance, seek support from the relevant awarding university.  If you are unable to access support due to circumstances such as the fund at the university having been exhausted, you may make a subsequent claim for any of the available Bursaries or the HE Support Fund.

Applications should be made using the online form available on the HE Portal within ALO or available here.

The HE Maintenance Bursary exists to provide you with some extra financial support while you’re studying with us.  You can use this money for whatever you need, whether that’s a helping hand with your rent or travelling to campus.

What’s it worth?

The HE Maintenance Bursary offers a grant of up to £1000 paid in two instalments (55% at the beginning of the academic year with the balance of 45% paid in April) subject to sufficient attendance and academic progress on the part of the student. Application is not a guarantee of award as a limited number of awards are available.

Who is eligible?

  • Be eligible for funding as a home student;
  • Be normally resident in the UK;
  • Be in receipt of the full SFE maintenance loan;
  • Have a family income of £25,000 or less; and,
  • Studying on a FdSc/BSc awarded by Kingston University or a FdSc/BA awarded by the University of Greenwich.

All applications must be made using the online form.

You will as part of your application be required to provide evidence to show that you meet the eligibility criteria. It is important to note that you can apply for a HE Maintenance Bursary in each year of study.   

You will be able to apply for an Activate Learning HE Maintenance Bursary from May 2021 onwards provided Activate Learning is your firm choice through UCAS.

You should be aware that funds are not unlimited and that applications for the HE Maintenance Bursary will be processed in the order they are received. The application process will be closed once the funding has been used. Please note that should it be necessary, preference will be given to students where neither parent holds a higher education qualification.

The HE Care Leaver Bursary is a grant of £1000 paid in one instalment in October to eligible students.

Who’s eligible?

In order to be considered for HE Care Leaver Bursary you must meet our definition of a Care Experienced or Estranged student: someone who has been in the care of their local authority/had experience of the care system after the age of 14 for a minimum period of 3 months. You will also need to registered on a full-time undergraduate course, and classed as a Home student and under the age of 25 at the start of your course,

You will receive the HE Care Bursary in each year of your course on the condition that you meet attendance requirements and progress normally on the programme

You should be aware that you can apply for both a HE Maintenance Bursary as well as a HE Care Leaver Bursary.

All applications must be made using the online form.

You should be aware that funds are not unlimited and that applications for the HE Care Leaver Bursary will be processed in the order they are received. The application process will be closed once the funding has been used.  Payments will be made at the beginning of the academic year.

Activate Learning have put in place a HE Study Support Bursary to provide students with access to financial support in meeting the additional costs of their course this might include obtaining digital technology to aid remote/online studying, material to support studying i.e. research papers, equipment/material for coursework, travel arrangements for an event or project directly linked to their course of study i.e. field trips, off-site research * or undertaking a dyslexia assessment. This is not an exhaustive list and as such, an application will be considered for this bursary as long as the eligibility criteria is met and financial support can be justified.

*Students studying on either a FdSc or a BSc awarded by Kingston University at Merrist Wood College can apply for a HE Study Support Bursary to help in meeting the financial costs of undertaking the work experience requirement within their course.

What’s it worth?

This offers a grant of up to £500 is available and will be subject to sufficient attendance (at least 80% attendance) and academic progress on the part of the student.  You will be required to provide evidence that you meet the eligibility criteria. Application is not a guarantee of award as a limited number of awards are available. 

You should be aware that requests for support in purchasing IT equipment will be limited to 50% of the cost of the equipment unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible to apply for the HE Study Support Bursary if you are an active student on an undergraduate programme or PGCE student and normally resident in the UK.  You will need to be up to date in the payment of tuition fees. 

Please note that you will need to be able to demonstrate relevance to your studies of the support requested.

All applications must be made using the online form and will be limited to a maximum of two applications per student per academic year.

Funds are not unlimited and applications for the HE Study Bursary will be processed in the order they are received preference will also be given to students where neither parent has a higher education qualification. The application process will be closed once the funding has been used.  Please note that you may be required to provide receipts to validate the expenditure and applications must be submitted at least 15 working days prior to the date on which funds are required.

You should be aware that payments will not be made until the start of the academic year and if you withdraw from your programme of study prior to the end of the academic year you may be liable to repay all or part of any HE Study Support Bursary paid to you.

HE Financial Hardship Fund provides limited discretionary financial support for students on higher education programmes who are experiencing financial difficulty and are unable to meet basic or unexpected additional costs from other sources of support. The fund can also offer limited support to students who have experienced a change in financial circumstances due to unforeseen events.

The HE Financial Hardship Fund is intended to act as a safety net for those in financial difficulty rather than as a main source of income. The size of the fund is limited and so may not be able to meet your need in full or guarantee that funds will be available, especially towards the end of an academic year. Awards are discretionary and are paid in the form of a non-repayable grant.

The HE Financial Hardship fund cannot fully compensate for the lack of parental contribution; especially where a student has only been able to take out the non-means tested part of the Student Loan though some limited support may be available. If you already hold a HE qualification which is the same or higher than the course you plan to study then you may not be eligible for statutory funding from the Student Loans Company you may though still be eligible to receive an award from the Hardship Fund.

What’s it worth?

The maximum payable for each individual award is £250. 

You can apply to the fund during any and every year of study and there is no limit on the number of requests that can be made during each academic year. The fund is open to full and part-time students.

Students who are studying on a franchised HE course should in the first instance, seek support from the hardship fund of the relevant awarding university.  If they are unable to access support due to circumstances such as the fund at the university having been exhausted, they may make a subsequent claim to the Activate Learning HE Hardship Fund.

Who is eligible?

  • You are eligible to apply for the HE Hardship Fund if you are an active student on an undergraduate programme or PGCE student and normally resident in the UK
  • You must be up to date with the payment of tuition fees.

All applications must be made using the online form and will need to be supported by evidence of financial hardship and need which will include the last 3 month’s bank statements.

How are applications assessed?

Applications will be assessed based on individual need preventing attendance or full participation in the programme of study. 

If you are entitled to welfare benefits these should be applied for before submitting an application to the fund. Any award from the fund may affect your benefit payments, but on request we can produce a letter for your Job Centre Plus/Housing Benefit office, which will confirm whether or not the award will affect your benefits.

Students should be aware that they may be required to provided additional evidence and/or a reference to support their application.

Students should note that payments from the fund may take at least 10 working days to process.

Why choose Activate Learning?

Activate Learning offers high-quality teaching and learning outcomes for its students and has been awarded TEF Silver Status. Activate Learning offers:

  • Smaller class sizes: for more personalised learning and individual support than traditional university studies
  • Affordable: Higher Education with lower competitive tuition fees, plus there’s finance options to help you spread the costs
  • Shared resources: access to Activate Learning’s facilities across campuses in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey and partner university resources too, where appropriate
  • Close to home: with six campuses you can remain living at home whilst studying, reducing the costs of relocation and/or travel
  • Flexible: a range of part-time and full-time options so you can balance study with work or other commitment
  • Community: be part of a wider group; libraries with online learning, well-equipped IT suites, cafés and shops, hair and beauty salons, Students’ Unions, transport links, virtual learning environment and more
  • The best of both worlds: vocational and academic programmes, all combine theory with practice
  • Practical learning: a wide variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods, designed to develop academic as well as vocational and employability skills, such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork
  • Support: access to additional learning support through a dedicated team of HE study support tutors who provide a wide range of services

All programmes provide students with work-based learning opportunities supported by employers, external organisations and/or professional practitioners, and significantly enhance students’ employability skills and progression opportunities.

Awarding body partners

Visit the Activate Learning Group site for a complete list of our HE policies. 

Our HE policies

The Office for Students describes Access and Participation plans:

Access and participation plans set out how higher education providers will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress from higher education.

They include:

  • the provider’s ambition for change
  • what it plans to do to achieve that change
  • the targets it has set
  • the investment it will make to deliver the plan

Activate Learning Access and Participation Plan 2019-2020

Activate Learning Access and Participation Plan 2020-2021

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 requires higher education providers to maintain a Student Protection Plan to protect students’ interests in the event of material change, e.g. programme changes, suspensions, closures, or institutional closure. These events may be triggered by situations such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • institutional closure
  • a strategic decision by Activate Learning to close a course or campus
  • withdrawal of designation for student support purposes
  • removal or suspension of the Tier 4 Sponsorship Licence
  • notice given by awarding body to close a course
  • loss of accreditation from regulatory bodies eg, PSRB
  • industrial action by staff or third parties
  • the unanticipated departure of key members of staff
  • changes to regulatory framework affecting a specific course

Download our HE student protection plan

All providers of higher education in England are required to publish student transfer arrangements in accordance with the Higher Education Research Act 2017 and Office for Students Regulatory Framework 2018 (Condition F2).

This plan explains our institutional arrangements for students to transfer between programmes of study or higher education providers in a manner that facilitates the continuation of study.

Download our HE student transfer arrangement plan

The information published on this page shows:

  • the number of applications for admission on to recognised, undergraduate higher education courses that we have received from UK domiciled applicants
  • the number of offers we have made in relation to those applications
  • the number of those offers accepted and the number of those who have registered with us
  • the number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us

It also shows these numbers by reference to:

  • the gender of the individuals to which they relate
  • their ethnicity
  • their socio-economic background

It is important to note that the data presented has not been contextualised. This means, for example, that you will not be able to see from this data how many of those applying to courses met the entry criteria. It is also the case that universities and colleges will often receive many more applications than they have spaces on courses and so offer rates will necessarily be lower than application rates in those circumstances.

Our HE transparency return 2019

The Assessment Procedures for Higher National programmes are designed to safeguard the quality and academic standards of assessment practice for the benefit of learners and to ensure that learners have access to redress if they require it.

Assessment Procedures for Higher National Qualifications

Assessment Appeals Procedure for Higher National Qualifications

Assessment Board procedure for Higher National Assessment Boards

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a method of assessment [leading to the award of credit] that considers whether learners can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning.

Recognition of Prior Learning Procedure

Activate Learning is committed to ensuring that all higher education provision within the Group continues to meet the needs of employers and students, is of high quality, and enables students to progress to employment and/or further study.

This procedure applies to the development of all higher education programmes, including those which form part of a higher or degree apprenticeship. The procedure has been written in accordance with the Expectations and Guiding principles outlined in the ‘Course Design and Development’ section of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.

Procedure for approval of new Higher Education provision

Activate Learning is committed to ensuring that the academic standards of the Higher National programmes it delivers are maintained and that the quality of learning opportunities provided for students on these programmes is enhanced through regular monitoring and periodic review.

All Higher Education programmes are required to undergo a Periodic Review in line with the Quality Assurance Agency’s UK Quality Code (Monitoring and Evaluation). For franchised programmes, this is undertaken by the awarding University.

Periodic review of Higher National Programmes procedure

Activate Learning is committed to protecting the interests of students, applicants and its own reputation in the event of the closure of a Higher Education programme to new entrants. These procedures have been established to provide a clear statement of the arrangements to secure both the quality of provision and the student experience following a decision to close a programme. The Student Protection Plan provides the main reference point for consideration of any potential impact on the student experience.
With the exception of Activate Learning being given notice to close a programme by one of its awarding bodies, the decision to close a programme will be made by the Group Higher Education Academic Board.

Procedure for the closure of a Higher Education programme

Activate Learning is committed to ensuring that published information is accessible, accurate, complete and timely in order that existing and potential students and other intended audiences are able to form an accurate impression of the higher education provision offered across the Group and to make informed decisions.

Procedure for approving information related to Higher Education provision