How to Apply

There are different routes to applying for a course at New College Swindon University Centre. Below you can find the details on how to apply for full or part time higher education courses whether you’re a current or prospective student. 

Applications to all our full time HND, Foundation Degree and Degree programmes are made online via the UCAS website.

Full Time and Current Students 

Applications to all our full time HND, Foundation Degree and Degree programmes are made online via the UCAS website. You will apply as an ‘individual applicant.’ 

If you are a current New College Swindon student and you are applying for a full time course through UCAS you will need the college ‘Buzzword’. You can get this from your Progress Coach/Tutor or by emailing the Careers Team at

Part Time Students 

Our part time study options vary and so you will apply directly to the college using an online form. Simply find a course you would like to apply for, click the ‘apply now’ button and complete the form. A hard copy of the form is also available on request.

Need help with your application? 

Call 01793 498400 or email to speak with our friendly New College Swindon University Centre Admissions team.

Entry with Credit or Prior Learning/Experience

You may have studied elsewhere for all or part of a qualification and wish to progress or complete your study at New College Swindon University Centre. There are two terms which define these possibilities Accredited Prior Learning, and Accredited Prior Experiential Learning.

Accredited Prior Learning 

This is a way of gaining access or ‘direct entry’ to a course using previous learning, which has been certificated or for courses partially completed, that credits have been or will be awarded before entry.

To accept applicants we will need to see an official transcript of results. Generally to enter directly into a programme, the programme you had studied previously should be very similar to the course you wish to study here.

The following conditions would also apply:

  • Level 5 entry (year two of a degree or HND programme): requires you to have gained 120 credits at Level 4.
  • Level 6 entry (year three of a degree*) requires you to have gained 240 credits at Level 5. This is subject to the awarding university regulations on APL.

*entry to a defined one year ‘top up’ programme may not require APL, unless the previous course studied is not sufficiently comparable to the level 5 programme offered here.

Where Modules differ between the course previously studied and the course you wish to enter, a ‘mapping’ exercise will need to be undertaken. You will provide us with the Module Descriptors detailing your Learning Outcomes, which are usually provided in a course Handbook or on-line. Academic staff will then determine if our course compares to the course you have done or are currently doing, and if they are satisfied, we will consider your application. If we recognise gaps in your learning through the mapping process, we may require you to do additional work to bridge the gap/s before joining the course.

In cases where you studied some time ago or your qualification is out of date, we may not be able to accept you with APL. This is because courses change over time and we may have the necessary information to conduct adequate mapping, or your prior knowledge may not be sufficient to meet current professional standards.

In all cases, we must be assured that you have the same knowledge as students studying the whole course with us, and are therefore fully prepared for the next academic level and subject areas, and will not be disadvantaged in any way by transferring to our course.

Oxford Brookes University information on Accreditation of Prior Learning can be found here.

Accredited Prior Experiential Learning

This includes knowledge and skills gained through other experiences such as working, volunteering or interests. It can also be used to demonstrate that you already have the skills and knowledge for a particular module or unit of study, and if evidenced sufficiently, can allow exemption of that particular module or unit.

Generally this process can take some time, so it is advisable to contact us well in advance if it is your intention to gain APEL. We will require evidence from you of the learning that has taken place in the workplace or through relevant activities which demonstrate that your knowledge and skills are comparable to students who have undertaken the unit/module for which you are seeking credit or exemption.

In most cases this will involve a professional portfolio of evidence, workplace projects, evidence of CPD such a short courses, or work related training.

It is worth noting that this evidence must be substantial to allow exemption, and a thorough assessment of the evidence will need to take place to ensure this maps to the learning outcomes of the module in question. You need to consider carefully whether this evidence is readily available and sufficient for your APEL application.

How to Apply with APL/APEL

To apply using APL or APEL you will need to contact our HE Admissions coordinator. You will be advised on how to apply through to ensure that you select your Point of Entry as year 2 or 3 as appropriate. They will also advise you on how to progress your APL/APEL application, provide advice on submitting evidence and may put you in contact with an appropriate academic tutor.

In all cases we will need a Certificate and/or transcript of your results from your previous institution along with your application. For international qualifications, it is the applicant’s responsibility to gain a statement of comparability from NARIC prior to application. We recognise that when you apply, transcripts of results may not yet be available, and so once we confirm that the mapping of learning outcomes has been successful, we may then make a conditional offer subject to receipt of your Certificate/transcript of results. This should include the module titles, marks and grades, and the number and level of academic credits gained for each module.

The tuition fees that you will be charged will be assessed on an individual basis and will be dependent on the number of modules/units to be studied, your previous qualification and dates of study.

In some cases other requirements will need to be met prior to entry. You may need to demonstrate that you have met professional standards such as those required for teaching practice placements and any non-contributory elements in terms of credit, which must be passed.

For any courses that involve a placement, such as Health and Social Care, you will need occupational health clearance and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance prior to registration.


Applications are considered on their individual merits. The typical entry requirements listed on our website are stated in terms of A levels, BTECs or Access Diplomas. However, we are happy to accept equivalent/alternative qualifications. We will also consider applications from individuals with combinations of qualifications or relevant work experience.


After we receive your application you will be invited for an interview. Some courses such as Media Make-up or Textiles will require you to bring a portfolio of work along to your interview. Others such as Early Years or Health and Social Care or will require you to undergo a DBS Check.

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