New Cert HE Applicants
Information for new CertHE applicants.
If you are a new applicant for the CertHE, please read the following information for details on what the programme involves, what will be expected of you, financial support that may be available, and frequently asked questions. When you are ready to submit your application, click the ‘apply now’ button at the bottom of the page to complete our online form.
As a reminder, do not self-book credit-bearing Short Courses, either online or at the COL reception desk. Our COL admissions team will organise your course enrolments after you apply for the programme.
The CertHE is open to everyone with a desire to study for credit and work towards the Certificate. There are no prerequisites.
The Cert HE is a standalone award, and it cannot be used to gain entry onto a University of Edinburgh degree programme. If you are looking for a pathway into undergraduate study at the University of Edinburgh, the Cert HE will not be suitable for you. Instead, you may wish to consider the Access programme.
When you apply for the CertHE and begin taking credit-bearing courses, you will have to formally matriculate as a student of the University of Edinburgh. This is an online process which uses the university’s online systems and tools. When enrolled on a credit course, students will receive details and a step-by-step guide about the matriculation process once you have been enrolled on the Cert HE programme. You will only have to matriculate once.
You will have to submit assessments for your credit-bearing courses and successfully pass the course in order for the credits to count towards your Certificate. Credits will also need to be officially ratified at COL’s Board of Examiners, which happens once per year.
You will be assigned your own Personal Tutor, who will be available to discuss your CertHE progress, your learning goals and offer academic guidance.
The CertHE must be completed within a 3 year period. This means you will need to acquire the full 120 credits needed for the Certificate within this timeframe. The majority of our credit-bearing courses are offered for 10 credits (although some are offered at 20 credits across two terms). This means that most students take on average 4 courses per year, across 3 terms. Students have the freedom to take as many courses as they like, when they like, as long as they achieve 120 credits within a 3 year period.
As with all university credit programmes, unpredicted or extenuating circumstances may disrupt studies. CertHE students are encouraged to speak with their Personal Tutor whent his happens so they can discuss available options.
You will need to take credit-bearing courses from the Short Courses programme.
There are no prescribed courses you must take, so you have the flexibility to choose credit-bearing courses from a range of disciplines which interest you.
Courses can be spread across Terms 1, 2 and 3, as we offer credit-bearing courses throughout the year (September to June).
You must choose all your CertHE courses in advance for the upcoming year; you won’t be able to enrol on credit-bearing courses on an ad-hoc basis each term. This is very important, as amongst other things it will have ramifications on SAAS funding that you may wish to apply for. See the financial support section below for more details.
Our COL admissions team will be in touch with you following your CertHE application to arrange course enrolment.
If you have successfully acquired SCQF Level 7 credits already, from credit-bearing Short Courses you have previously taken for example, you may be able to transfer these credits into the CertHE programme. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
You can transfer a maximum of 40 credits (or one third of the required 120 credits needed for the Certificate). Evidence of qualifications and credits earned will be required to transfer them into the Cert HE. Acceptance of these qualifications is not guaranteed. It is at the sole discretion of the University and conditional on approval from COL’s Board of Examiners.
You can tell us about any credits you wish to transfer in your application form.
We offer concessions on Short Course fees. Please see our Help with Fees webpage for more details about eligibility.
Additionally, as a CertHE student you may be eligible for SAAS funding in the form of the Part-Time Fee Grant (PTFG). More details can be found on the SAAS website.
You can only submit one SAAS application per year for the Cert HE. As such, you will need to choose all your CertHE courses in advance for the upcoming year. Our COL admissions staff will guide you through course enrolment after you apply for the programme, and will provide information on available concessions and SAAS funding.
It’s important to note that if you are eligible for SAAS funding, any award you receive is not guaranteed to cover the full cost of your courses. If this is the case, you will be responsible for paying any outstanding balance owed for your courses and payment must be made in full to enable you to progress on the programme.
Once you complete your first year of CertHE courses, our COL admissions team and your Personal Tutor will get in touch with you to discuss and arrange course enrolments for the next year. This usually happens each summer. If you are eligible for SAAS funding, you will be able to apply for this again for the upcoming year.
Applications for 2022/23 CertHE entry are now closed and will reopen in summer 2023.
Once you submit your CertHE application, you will receive an acknowledgement email with details on what happens next. A member of the COL admissions team will contact you within 3 working days to confirm your registration on the programme.
If you have successfully obtained a CertHE placement, our COL admissions team will provide details on how to matriculate as a student of the University of Edinburgh, and will organise enrolment onto your chosen courses (you do not need to self-book your credit-bearing Short Courses – wait for the COL admissions team to contact you). If course fees are due, they will arrange payment with you as appropriate.
In addition, you will be assigned a Personal Tutor who will make contact to discuss the programme and your study aspirations. Personal Tutors are responsible for guiding you through your academic journey, and will be pleased to offer advice and support.