What is a Certificate of Higher Education?


A Certificate of Higher Education, also known as a CertHE, is the equivalent to Level 4 (year one) of an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree.

Your CertHE qualification then allows you to continue your degree studies at Level 5 (year two), and also serves as a valuable addition to your CV right from the get-go.

Plus, at Arden University you can complete your CertHE in just 12 months.

Why study a CertHE?

A CertHE at Arden can act as a gateway to a full bachelor’s degree; once you complete the CertHE you’ll be eligible to enrol straight onto Level 5 at Arden.

A CertHE is a fantastic option if you do not hold any standard academic qualifications, such as GCSEs, or extensive (more than two years) work experience. 

CertHE’s are also a good option if you’re uncertain about or unready to commit to full-time university study, but want to gain some of the skills and benefits of higher education. You then have more time to find out if completing a full 3-year degree is the right choice for you.

What are the entry requirements?

Academic requirements

There are no academic entry requirements to study a CertHE at Arden University. You simply need to show us that you have the eagerness needed to study, and that you have some basic study skills that will allow you to complete your course. 

You’ll just need to complete our one-week Introduction to Higher Education, which mirrors the timetabled hours of your programme. Once you’ve passed this, you’ll be able to start on your CertHE. Don’t worry, we’re here to support you every step of the way. And, as a CertHE student, you’ll have additional study support from us as your work through the 12-month course. 

English language requirements 

You’ll need an IELTS 6.0 overall score, or equivalent,  but don’t worry if you need additional English language support. If you get at a 6.0 and English is your second language, we’ll provide you with an hour and a half of weekly English language support to help you succeed.

What support will I have?

In addition to our usual eight hours of face-to-face teaching per week, you’ll have an extra two hours of support for academic knowledge and study skills development. You’ll also have access to the excellent student support services which are available to all Arden students.

How do I progress to a full-time undergraduate degree?

Once you’ve completed your CertHE with Arden, you’ll be able to continue onto Level 5 of your course if you wish to do so. You may also be able to use your existing credits from your CertHE course to study a related course at Level 5 if you change your mind about which degree topic you want to study.  Our dedicated student support team will be on hand to help you explore your options.

Your course lecturer and our student advisors will be available to support you in your transition towards the end of your course.

How do I fund a CertHE?

We expect that you'll fund your CertHE via the Tuition Fee Loan, however we have a number of options available to make sure your studies are as affordable as possible. You can view our fees and funding page here.

Can I get a maintenance loan with a CertHE?

Yes, as a CertHE student at Arden you will be able to apply for a maintenance loan from the Student Loans Company (SLC). You can find out more here.

What are the CertHE courses available at Arden?