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01 December 2021

Busting Some Myths About College

We believe that college is for everyone! We’re busting some myths about college to show that diverse training opportunities and options for life-long learning are available for everyone.

Myth: A full-time course at college is Monday to Friday

We are so used to the standard school and work week being Monday to Friday that we might think college will be the same, but college offers a bit more flexibility which will allow you to have a good balance between life, work and study. A full-time course at Edinburgh College will see you attending classes about three days per week, with some additional independent study time on top of that. This means that if you’re studying full-time you will be able to have time for a part-time job, volunteering and spending time with friends. We also offer courses that are part-time, in the evening and open learning so you have options to fit your studies around your life and work. 

Myth: Colleges only offer vocational courses  

Some people think you can just go to college to train as a plumber, mechanic or decorator by doing a vocational course. We are proud to offer lots of vocational courses to train the next generation, but we also offer a wide range of more academic courses at Further Education and Higher Education level.  

As well as our Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), we offer Higher National Qualifications, Degree programmes, accredited professional qualifications and qualifications to support entry to university through the Scottish Widening Access Programme (SWAP). Learn about qualifications on our website. 

At college you can train to be a plumber or mechanic, but you can also study to become an accountant or counsellor, or prepare for university entry. 

Myth: College is just for people who haven’t got the grades for university 

College is sometimes seen as a ‘Plan B’ and the fall-back option for a place at university. College is a pathway to university that should be considered as a ‘Plan A’. It is a great stepping stone between school and university that can help you gain more confidence while getting a qualification and finding out what you’re interested in. If you study a HNC or HND at college you can sometimes move directly into year two or three at university, depending on the course and grades you achieve at college. Coming to college for a year or two doesn’t put you behind and can give you a different experience compared with your peers who went straight to university.  

If you’ve been out of education for three years or more and don’t have the entry requirements for university, one of our SWAP Access courses can help prepare you for university. 

We also offer Advanced Highers, Highers and National 5 courses if you need some additional qualifications for university entry.   

Myth: College is a waste of time if you want to go straight into employment or already have a job  

Spending time on your education and learning new things will never be a waste of time! You may well already have a job lined up for after school, but if you are going to be job hunting after school, college is a good option as you will be able to grow in confidence while gaining skills that employers look for, like communication, team work and time management. 

We also welcome lots of students who are already in employment and want to upskill or retrain for a new career. A part-time or evening course can make it possible to study while in employment.

If you're a student with us, are there any myths about college that have been busted now you've started your course?