Sunderland College's message to A-level students who didn't get a place at their chosen university

A college has sent out a message to students disappointed about not getting into their chosen university.

Saturday, 27th August 2016, 8:00 am
Ellen Thinnesen, principal and chief executive at Sunderland College.

A-level students who haven’t quite made the grade are being told that Sunderland College could provide an alternative route to success.

The learning provider – which has four campuses across the city and last week announced A Level results had reached a 99 per cent pass rate for the eighth year running – is reminding students that they can apply to study for a HND or HNC qualification with them, through clearing.

Unlike university degrees, Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Higher National Certificates (HNCs) are vocationally-focused.

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They are two-year qualifications and can also be used as a stepping stone up to a higher qualification.

They can be converted into a full bachelor’s degree by ‘topping up’ with an extra year of study at university.

College principal Ellen Thinnesen said: “The college enjoyed a tremendous week, last week achieving a 99 per cent pass rate for the eighth year running. As one of the largest sixth form centres in Sunderland we are delighted with another fantastic set of results for our students.

“However, there will be many students throughout the region that unfortunately didn’t receive the grades they were hoping for, and for those, it is important they remember that they still have the opportunities and capabilities to realise their potential.

“Many people think university is the only route to a degree, but we offer a number of vocational courses for students wishing to gain a higher qualification, leading onto a thriving career.”

The college offers a wide selection of HND and HNC course, along with a range of Foundation Degree courses in partnership with the University of Sunderland.

Students wishing to apply to Sunderland College’s vocational courses through clearing, can apply via UCAS for full time undergraduate HND courses and Foundation Degree courses or apply directly to the admissions team for part time undergraduate HNC courses.

For more information about Sunderland College, visit or follow @SunderlandCol on Twitter.