Articulation is a process that enables students with Higher National (HN) level college qualifications to gain advanced or direct entry to partner universities. Care-Experienced students are more likely to begin their higher education journey at college, so articulation can be an effective route to achieve a degree.

Articulation is the movement of students from Higher National Qualifications at college to second or third year university degree
Graph 4 Articulation from HN qualifications at college into degree level study

Mapped across the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), HN qualifications are considered to have parity to corresponding years of study at university. Full credit for the HN award may be available when the college and university have an articulation agreement in place which maps the curricula of each institution to a direct-entry route. This means an articulating student could complete a four year undergraduate degree in the same time as a student who started university in first year. However, not all universities have articulation routes in place.

Case study: Carol

My learner journey has been, well, disjointed, to say the least. Academically I struggled when I was younger, I didn’t take things in as quickly as others and carried the barriers that people associate with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). However, I left High School with the grades needed to get into university.

I finished first year and decided I didn’t want to go back. I dropped out, leaving University with no additional qualifications and plenty of additional debt.

I gained employment in an insurance department which then led to me working in accounts for the next 13 years. Within that time, I had two children, who are now 8 and 6.

In 2015 I enrolled onto the HNC Social Care course, at Fife College as a mature student. Once I’d completed that I moved onto a two-year HND in Social Sciences.

At that point I was 6 months pregnant with my third son but with the support of Fife College I embarked on the two-year journey.

The second year of my HND was my most enjoyable year where I got involved with Fife College Students’ Association as a Care Experienced Officer. I was able to use my own personal experiences to help remove barriers for other students in the same situation.

During this year I was also introduced to the OU, through my criminology tutor, who works in Fife College as well as the Open Uni. Until this point, I had completely ruled out the idea of achieving a degree. I couldn’t go back to university; it didn’t work in the past and I now had too many other commitments.

But the OU meant that maybe I could finally achieve this goal. I then transferred my credits from my HND to the OU through the articulation route that Fife College has with them and began my one-year (120 credit) course in October 2018.

I’d picked social sciences because when I’d told a lady I knew, who had dealt with my adoption file when I was younger, “I’d love to do a job like you”, she said “do social sciences, it’s a great course to have.” You learn about society and the relationships people build with each other, and the factors that affect that.

The journey this year has been challenging to say the least between work, kids and studying but it’s very rewarding.

Fair access for Care-Experienced people

Care-Experienced Student Bursary