Pursuing A Degree At College? Here Are Three Reasons Why It Makes Sense

Written by Pareeshti Rao

"You can make anything by writing" - a great man once proclaimed. On both a professional and personal level, I'd regard it as fuel for my soul.

November 15, 2022

There’s little doubt that, to many people, taking a degree means going to university. Indeed, studying at a university is a big part of why people decide to pursue a degree in the first place. 

Especially for school graduates, the excitement of moving to a new city and immersing themselves in student culture is as much a draw as the qualification and what it will mean for their career prospects further down the line. But that doesn’t apply to everyone. Flip it around, and for many people, it’s the prospect of going to university that puts them off taking a degree. Not everyone is in a position to up sticks and move to a new city for the sake of studying. Especially older would-be students have work and family commitments to think about.

Fortunately for people in that position – as well as those of a younger age who like their home comforts too much to want to move out just yet – university isn’t the only place you can take a degree. Royal College London (RCL) is one of 240 higher education colleges around the UK where you can study for a Bachelor’s degree

It offers a great range of options – Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) courses in Accountancy, Marketing and Business Management (with a number of different specialist strands available); Bachelor of Science degrees with Honours in Health and Social Care, Computing, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Mechanical Engineering; and a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) course in Software Engineering.

So what are the advantages of choosing to study at a college rather than a university? Here are the key benefits to bear in mind.

Stay Closer To Home

As mentioned above, having to move away to go to university is a big barrier for many people who would otherwise love to study for a degree. There are more HE colleges offering degree courses than there are universities. 

When you consider that many of the country’s biggest cities are represented by two or more universities, that leaves large swathes of the country without a university within easy commuting distance. HE colleges that offer degree courses increase the geographic distribution considerably, providing more opportunities to more people.

Get More Flexibility In How You Study

Admittedly, being based in London, providing opportunities where there aren’t any universities locally doesn’t apply to an institution like RCL – there are some 20 universities in the capital! However, as a HE college, they have strengths which make them a more attractive option for some students compared to any of the university neighbours.

One of them is flexibility. Just as moving away to study doesn’t suit everyone, neither does studying full-time for three years, or attending lectures and seminars in person on weekdays. Again, this is especially relevant if you have other commitments in life around work and family. 

At RCL, as at many other HE colleges, you can choose to study full-time or part-time, you can attend classes at any of their four London campuses in person or you can access their courses remotely, you can study weekdays, evenings or weekends. Their goal is to make studying work for everyone, whatever their circumstances.

Benefit From A Helping Hand In Your Chosen Career

At RCL, their focus is on vocational education. They can’t compete with the range of academic courses that large universities offer, and they don’t try to. That’s not what they’re here for. The mission is mainly to provide qualifications that act as stepping stones to successful careers.

As an institution, they specialise in four broad subject areas – health and sports science, business and enterprise, law and social science, and engineering and computing. They offer a range of courses up to and including degree levels in all of these disciplines, some of which are explicitly focused on work-based learning and career-based skills development.

Tying it all together, they have fantastic faculty staff who are not just specialists in their chosen subjects but they are also extremely knowledgeable about the industries they represent. Many of their staff end up teaching and lecturing with them after successful careers in their respective fields.

So although Bachelor’s degrees are academic in their focus, at RCL they are taught by specialists who have a deep understanding of the vocational side of education, too. They understand the link between academic learning and application in the workplace, they know first-hand what employers look for in prospective employees, and they appreciate the qualities that help individuals get ahead in their careers. These are things that they aim to nurture in all their students.

In addition, because of the work-based and vocational learning opportunities they offer, as an institution they maintain excellent relationships with employers across all subject areas, which gives them a head start in helping their students find routes into their chosen careers once they qualify.

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