Adult learners who are looking to enhance their career prospects with a university level qualification now have an expanded range of Higher Education options with the Nelson and Colne College Group.

University level qualifications are renowned for having a transformative effect on career prospects, and even more adult learners in East Lancashire and beyond can take advantage of this option through outstanding delivery at the recently-merged Nelson and Colne and Accrington and Rossendale Colleges.

Higher Level qualifications in the new 2010-21 offer include Applied Sciences, Building and Engineering, Business and Professional Services, Education and Childhood Studies, Health and Social Studies and Humanities. January starts are specifically available in the following courses:

  • HNC/D in Computing
  • BEng (Hons) Manufacturing Engineering Top-Up
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering Top-Up
  • HNC/D in Business
  • Foundation Degree in Coaching and Mentoring
  • Foundation Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Alternative study pathways are also available, including Access to Higher Education for those who need that essential knowledge and qualification in order to progress onto a full university-level qualification, and there is the option of Higher Apprenticeships – providing students with the chance to gain a qualification at Level 4 and above while working within a job role.

A series of adult advice events will be held in East Lancashire in January for visitors to find out more about the courses on offer. These will be held at:

  • Nelson and Colne College on Tuesday 7 January, 5pm-7pm
  • The Waterside Centre Accrington on Wednesday 8 January, 11am-3pm
  • Accrington and Rossendale College on Thursday 9 January, 5pm-7pm

At the events, information will also be available on a wide range of leisure, wellbeing and Functional Skills courses offered by Lancashire Adult Learning in Spring 2020, as well as a variety of Professional Skills qualifications for anyone seeking to enhance their professional credentials in the new year.

Nelson and Colne College Group has the highest satisfaction rate of colleges and universities in Lancashire for Higher Education, with a 95% satisfaction rate in the Higher Education National Student Survey. Following its recent review, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) recognised the quality and standards of the colleges Higher Level provision – a genuine hallmark of excellence.

Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group, Amanda Melton, said: “Whether you are aiming to boost your career prospects, are looking for a change of direction, or are hoping to gain a Higher Level qualification locally, flexibly and affordably, we can support you in achieving your aspirations.

“With the successful merger of Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College in November 2018, our Higher Education offer for 2020-21 has expanded with provision delivered from two campuses; Nelson and Accrington, and our offer is aligned to the skills needs of the area.

“The merger also linked together Accrington and Rossendale’s stature and experience for providing high quality Higher Education courses with Nelson and Colne’s long history of outstanding achievement and expert teaching, meaning improved prospects for adults in East Lancashire and beyond.

“At our upcoming adult advice events, we will be ready to share with you the broad number of progression routes available, the strong partnerships we share with leading universities and employers, and key information on the financial support available to you that makes studying a Higher Level qualification possible.”

Simon Cocker, 38, from Barnoldswick, achieved his HND in Manufacturing Engineering, almost 20 years after completing his HNC, and was named Student of the Year. He said: “Coming back into learning after such a long time was pretty terrifying at first but I have found the tutors to be excellent and very helpful, and classes were very personable.

“The classroom environment was not for me when I was younger, but my motivation now is learning something that I enjoy and I’m doing it for career development, so I have approached it with a totally different mindset. I love the manufacturing aspect to engineering, but I want to progress more into design. I have chosen to continue studying at College with the BEng Top-Up degree to support that aim.”

For more information about university level study options with Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College, visit or

If you wish to enrol on to a course, please contact the Higher Education Admissions Team on 0333 003 1717 or email