Student explaining something to another student while holding a notebook.

Different Course Types Explained

You can study at Edinburgh College in a range of ways, to meet the needs of our students. You can study at the College during the day or in the evenings, at home at your own pace, or in a work-based environment.


Full-time study of National Qualification (NQ) and other non-advanced courses generally requires you to attend college approximately 20 hours/3.5 days per week for a year (August to June).

We also offer full-time courses starting in January which run for six months, as well as some short courses which could run for any time between eight and 12 weeks, and as short as three weeks. 

Full-time study of Higher National Certificate and Diploma (HNC/D) courses require you to attend college approximately 15 hours/3 days a week. Full-time HNC courses run for one year; full-time HND courses run for two years starting in August/September and finishing in June.


Part-time courses allow you to be part of a class in college and have regular teaching time without having to commit to a full-time class schedule.

Course options include evening, afternoon or require 1 or 2 days teaching time per week. Every course will state the study modes available.


Learn while you earn with work-based courses. Gain new skills and qualifications while working, to help you stand out from the crowd and reach your goals.

Work-based qualifications include Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), Professional Development Awards (PDAs), Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) and Professional accredited courses.

We work in partnership to provide training to hundreds of employers, offering packages to build skills and knowledge within a broad range of industry sectors.

Open Learning

Open-learning courses are an ideal way to study if you are unable to attend college regularly or have been out of formal education for some time.

We offer open-learning qualifications in a wide range of subjects including accounting, administration, computing, Highers and languages. Study for these courses is mostly completed online, with the help of a tutor who will offer guidance and support by email or phone, meaning you can arrange your study time to suit your schedule.


Apprenticeships are a great way of getting valuable work experience which can lead to enhanced employment opportunities. They are a great way to get valuable on hands experience within a workplace while receiving college based education.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships (SCQF Level 6) are specially designed for S5 & S6 school pupils and combine college learning, qualifications and work experience with top organisations while you are still at school.


A range of our part-time courses are available at our outreach community centres across Edinburgh and the Lothians, bringing learning to you.

The range of community outreach courses will allow you to have regular contact and support from teaching staff, in your local area.