Higher Technical Qualifications - The new route to rewarding careers

Employers and awarding bodies have collaborated to develop Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs), so you can get the right training and skills that employers are looking for, to succeed at work.

HTQs are an alternative to apprenticeships or degrees. They will suit you if you want a more practical, employer-led study programme.

Some are new and others are already being delivered, such as Higher National Certificates (HNCs) at Level 4, Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Foundation Degrees (FdAs) at Level 5. The Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education has approved HTQs, so you can get a head start in your career or further study.

Not all HNCs, HNDs and Foundation Degrees are approved HTQs, so look out for the logo or banner, which will always show approved qualifications.

What subjects are available?

HTQs in digital occupations lead to careers such as network engineer, software developer and data analyst.

In September 2022 we introduced the HND Computing for England (HTQ). Further details on this course can be found here

In September 2023 we introduced HTQ courses in construction and quantity surveying with more planned for 2024 including digital technologies.

Who are they for?

School leavers (18+) who are looking for an alternative to degrees or apprenticeships.

Those who want to upskill and gain a qualification, whether they are already in employment or want to retrain.

How much do they cost?

Tuition fees vary depending on the course and provider. Course fees for HTQs at the University Centre Wigan & Leigh College can be found here

What are the entry requirements?

Providers set their own entry requirements. Your grades or qualifications depend on the type of course. The entry requirements at the University Centre Wigan & Leigh College are generally lower than most universities, to allow for adults to retrain or upskill. Information on the entry requirements for all of our courses are here

Can I apply for student finance?

HTQs are eligible for the higher education student finance offer. This means that full-time and part-time students starting a HTQ, that is a minimum of an academic year, will be able to apply for both tuition fee and maintenance loans.

HTQ courses that are shorter than an academic year will be eligible for the Advanced Learner Loan, which covers the tuition fee but not maintenance fees.

Why should I choose HTQs?

As employers and businesses have a strong input to the course content, you will gain the practical and technical skills that they are looking for, unlocking highly-skilled and highly paid jobs.

You can gain qualifications without the commitment of three years of study.

Although work placement is not a mandatory part of a HTQ, at the University Centre we offer you the opportunity to complete a work placement, as well as gaining the practical skills and experience studying in state-of-the-art workshops and labs.

What are my options after studying a HTQ?

Once you have completed your HTQ, you will be ready to jump straight into your chosen career. There are also clear progression pathways to higher-level study or a degree apprenticeship for those who want to complete a degree.

Search Get the Jump to find out more