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Higher Education

Belfast Met offers a selection of Higher Education (HE) courses that are closely aligned with industry demand and run in conjunction with top UK education providers.

Our HE partners include Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, the University of Dundee and Pearson Edexcel. We also offer a range of professional and technical awarding
organisation programmes including Institute of Leadership and Management, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

All of our HE programmes face the same rigorous external checks and audits as a university programme as we are all assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency. But, as you’ll experience, Higher Education in the College is also fundamentally different – in a good way.

Why study a HE course at Belfast Met?

  • You will benefit from significantly less costs for your qualification than universities which means less student debt to repay. Staying at home can also drastically reduce living expenses compared to living away at university.
  • Staying at home to study a HE course also makes it possible to hold down a full-time or part-time job
  • You’ll be studying a course that will help fill the ‘skills gap’ – Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are at level 4 and 5 – which are in high demand by industry. Belfast Met delivers courses that are in demand by employers, meaning you will have a better chance of getting a job at the end of it. This is why our slogan is ‘leading the city to work’
  • It may be a direct route to university – Students who successfully complete a Foundation Degree or HND may progress to an Honours Degree at university subject meeting entry requirements.
  • You’ll benefit from smaller classes with lecturers who are focused on teaching and can provide individual learning support
  • Many of the courses have work-related learning opportunities

If this suits your way of learning and lifestyle, Belfast Met could be the right match for you. 

Our HE students are all ages and come from many walks of life. To qualify for our courses, students are usually aged 18 or over and must have previously completed study paths such as A Level or BTEC National Diplomas. However applications from mature students who have relevant industry experience will also be considered.

Belfast Met Higher Education courses run in conjunction with other universities

Ulster University
Belfast Met students completing a course run in collaboration with Ulster University can become ‘Associate Students’ of the University when they enrol on their course which provides them with a number of benefits eg: library and sports centre access.

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB)
Students enrolled on a Belfast Met course run in collaboration with QUB will also have a number of benefits such as access to the library and computers centres, membership of the sports facilities, clubs and societies.

QUB Courses:

QUB in conjunction with St Mary’s and Stranmillis University College

The Open University 

University of Dundee

Higher National Certificates (HNC) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs)

In addition to Degrees and Foundation Degrees, Belfast Met also offers a number of HE courses which are a stepping stone to a full degree such as Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas via Pearson Edexcel – the UK’s largest awarding body.
e.g. HND Level 5 in Computing and HND in Games Development.

As Level 4 and 5 qualifications with the focus on ‘learning by doing’, these vocational programmes are highly valued by employers. These internationally recognised qualification may also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations.

Our HNDs include:

Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs)
Belfast Met’s other HE offering is the Higher Level Apprenticeship which are designed to help those in work develop higher skill levels, awarding qualifications equivalent to the first stages of Higher Education (i.e. Level 4 or Level 5). They are aimed at anyone who has completed A Levels (or equivalent).

This new model for apprenticeships is appealing to employers too. Our programmes align with the needs of businesses by meeting their growing demand for higher level skills. Today, upskilling is the key to growing our local economy.

As a work-based programme, a Higher Level Apprenticeship enables you to ‘earn while you learn’ and to gain an internationally recognised academic or professional qualification. Visit for more information on the range of HLAs available.

Please note:
For specific entry requirements and any updates for individual courses check or full-time prospectus

Entry criteria for each programme differs depending on the university/awarding body. Please see individual course pages for more information.

Browse Full-time Course Subjects