Short Courses

Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)

A flexible, part-time study programme.


The Cert HE is a flexible, part-time study programme which enables students to earn a nationally recognised university qualification in subjects they are interested in; choose from Art and Design, Humanities, Social Sciences and STEM. The flexibility of the programme means you can select classes which reflect your interests, gaining credits at your own pace.

Please note: Applications for academic year 2022/23 are now closed and will reopen in summer 2023. 

Students must earn 120 credits – typically over a 3 year period or less – at Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) Level 7. This level is equivalent to 1st year of undergraduate study.

Students can use our credit-bearing Short Courses at the Centre for Open Learning (COL) to achieve the credits needed for the Cert HE. 

If you are interested in pursuing the Cert HE, we will be accepting applications for the programme between June and August 2022. If you are going to apply, it’s important that you do not self-book onto credit-bearing Short Courses, either online or at the COL reception desk. You must apply for the Cert HE first using our online form, and our COL admissions team will then contact you to arrange course enrolment. See our new applicants section below for more details on what the Cert HE programme involves, and how to apply.

If you are an existing Cert HE student, please do not self-book onto credit-bearing Short Courses – instead, our COL admissions team will contact you in June 2022 to arrange your course enrolments. See our existing students section below for more details.

Why choose the programme?

There are many reasons to choose the CertHE at the University of Edinburgh.

New Cert HE Applicants

Information for new CertHE applicants.

Existing Cert HE Students

Information for current students on the CertHE.

Student Testimonials

Former CertHE student Helen shares her experience of the programme.