Short Courses

Certificate of Higher Education

A certificate programme of 3-5 years of flexible part-time studies towards a nationally recognised university qualification.


The Certificate of Higher Education is a nationally recognised university qualification. There are no prerequisites to apply for this programme.

In order to gain this award, students must accumulate 120 credits chosen from any of the credit courses (SCQF level 7) offered in the Short Course programmes. To be awarded the Certificate, students must complete their study within a period of five years. This allows for considerable flexibility throughout the period of study.

Many participants will find it possible to achieve the required credit points within three years, however, the flexibility of the fourth and fifth year is to allow for special circumstances where a pause in study may be necessary.

Previously acquired credits

Credits from another institution

If you have successfully acquired credit from another institution or from previous studies at the Centre for Open Learning at SCQF level 7 you may be able to count all or some of this credit towards the 120 points required for the award of the Certificate of Higher Education.

Applicants with APL may count up to a maximum of 40 level 7 credits, or one third of the total number of credits needed for the Certificate. Evidence of the qualifications and credit is required.

Acceptance of such qualifications would be at the complete discretion of the University and would be conditional, pending the final approval of the next meeting of the Board of Examiners.

How to apply

In order to apply for the Certificate of Higher Education, you must complete the Certificate of Higher Education Application form and return this to the Centre for Open Learning.

Applications for 2018/19 are now open!

Certificate of Higher Education Progression

Each year we will review your progress at our progression board in August. More details can be found in the following document:


Studying for Credit Guide, Rules and Regulations and Terms and Conditions


Centre for Open Learning

  • The University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Paterson's Land
Holyrood Road

Post Code


  • Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm