University Courses

A pathway to your chosen career, our University courses put you first and give a greater understanding of a specific subject and develop your analytical, intellectual and writing skills.

University courses at Truro and Penwith College are run from our dedicated, modern buildings at both the Truro and Penwith College campuses. Outdoor Education courses are also run from our Tregye campus taking advantage of its proximity to some of the best land and sea environments in Cornwall on which to complete your training.

All our courses put you as the learner first, are centred around you as an individual and your specific requirements with one-to-one tuition the norm and smaller, more personal class sizes. Many of our current and graduating students comment on this personal approach to learning giving them a significant boost to achieve their best.

Our university level courses have been rated 'gold' by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), this rating is only awarded to institutions with the 'highest quality teaching, learning and outcomes'.

Many of our 2016 students recently graduated at a grand ceremony held at Truro Cathedral.

Top-up Degrees (Level 6 Qualification)

A top-up degree is the equivalent to the final year of an honours degree. The College offer a wide range of top-up programmes. These programmes offer local progression routes from our Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).  

I had the best years of my life so far at Truro and Penwith College. I am proud to say I studied at the College and shall represent them wherever I go.

Paris, BSc Sports Performance and Coaching

Foundation Degrees (Level 5 Qualification)

Foundation degrees are a Level 5 qualification. They were first introduced in 2000 and over the last 15 years have become recognised as an Higher Education qualification designed to meet employer needs. The Foundation Degree also opens up the potential for progression to a Top-up Degree thus enabling students to graduate with a full Bachelor's Degree.

HNCs (Level 4) & HNDs (Level 5)

Higher Nationals (HNs) are an established Higher Education vocational qualifications. They are designed to meet specific skills sets that employers require. The Higher National Certificate/Higher National Diploma (HNC/HND) are nationally recognised in the world of work. With these programmes students develop skills such as creative problem solving, planning and applying theories to work related scenarios. Progression from HNC is normally to an appropriate HND. Progression from an HND can in some instances be to a Top-up Degree or, on occasion, to the second year of a Bachelor's Degree.

SUCCESS courses (Levels 4, 5 and 6)

Perfect for at work who wish to undertake higher level study, SUCCESS courses enable you to study a whole range of individual modules from our Plymouth University programmes on a flexible, part-time basis. Credits from these courses can be used towards a Plymouth University accredited Degree, Foundation Degree or Certificate of Professional Development (CPD).

From the course

Siobhan Hamilton-Tredinnick, BA (Hons) Education and Training

With the desire to educate people about wildlife, Siobhan Hamilton-Tredinnick has ensured that her passions are translated across her educational journey and throughout her career.

Taking a slightly unconventional route, Siobhan originally studied for a Zoology Foundation Degree before deciding to complete her final top-up year in BA (Hons) Education and Training at Truro and Penwith College.

She said: “I may have come from an unnatural progression route, but I had so much support from the lecturers that the transition was seamless.”

Volunteering with local wildlife organisations while studying, Siobhan was able to gain a breadth of knowledge around her specialist subject area. She said: “My advice is to volunteer in as many different places as possible because you never know what valuable skills you could gain.”

Her dedicated volunteer work ensured that she secured herself a position with Cornwall Wildlife Trust after graduating. She now delivers progress sessions to local secondary schools and runs workshops to help young people prepare themselves for employment.

Currently working on Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Your Shore Beach Rangers project, Siobhan delivers different sessions ranging from beach safety to employability skills.

Motivated by the enthusiasm seen in how her lecturers teach at the College, Siobhan now mimics the same techniques in her own work with school children. “If you’re going to work with children in secondary schools and above, you really need this enthusiasm to keep lessons interesting.”

Her advice to any student transferring to the College from a different programme is to follow your passions and don’t let anything get in the way of it.

She said: “Don’t be deterred if you’re coming from a slightly unusual progression route or if you have a different background. The BA (Hons) Education and Training course will help you to succeed in any aspect of education and training after you graduate, there’s not just one option.”

Donna Harvey, FdA Childhood Education

Donna Harvey, mother of three and mature student from Penryn completed the FdA Childhood Education degree after making the decision to further her career beyond the role of a Teaching Assistant.

She said: “I wanted to take more ownership of what I was doing, and I just wasn’t getting that fulfilment as a Teaching Assistant – I needed to be the Teacher.”

Previously working at a secondary school with children who have special educational needs, Donna decided that it was younger children that she wanted to teach, supporting them earlier on in their lives. The FdA Childhood Education degree helped to lay down the foundations for her primary school teaching career, and encouraged her to find a volunteer placement at a local school.

Owed to her volunteer work, Donna now holds a part-time paid job as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant at the school, meaning that she can teach her own cover lessons to boost her teaching experience.

First in the family to go to College, Donna studied her A Levels at 16 and went straight into work, thinking that she would need to move away to get a University level education. Fortunately she was able to stay and study in Cornwall for her degree, deferring her place until her youngest child started pre-school.

Although slightly apprehensive about studying, Donna knew that it was the right thing to do for her: “It’s okay that I’m not at home with the children all of the time, because I will soon become a role model for my three girls.”

She said: “I thought that my biggest issue would be studying as a mature student, but it has in fact been an advantage, because I already have many life skills such as organising a family household, which is transferrable to essay planning. I also learnt to arrive at College early to transition out of ‘mum-mode’ and into ‘study-mode’.”

With smaller class sizes, it’s much easier for students of all ages, to bond and work well together: “I was never made to feel older, and because there was only a small group there was a lot more opportunity for discussion during lectures, meaning that you become much more involved in directing your own learning.”

Donna proves that the right study-life balance can exist if you organise yourself and your schedule, creating something that works for you and your family. The challenge is that you need to stick to the schedule, but you also need to be flexible at the same time.

Family time in the Harvey household was scheduled for a Thursday evening, ensuring that Donna always had time to spend with her children: “I’m really looking forward to my three daughters seeing me graduate, so I can show them that mum’s can work too. The best part of this so far is when my 12 year old daughter said to me ‘I’m proud of you mum’, it really summed up my achievements”

Having now completed her foundation degree, Donna will study the BA (Hons) Education and Training degree, before continuing onto her teacher training year: “The two year course has been hard but now I feel really accomplished, coming out with a 2.1 – if someone had told me that I would be at this point now, I really wouldn’t have believed them!”

In addition to her excellent results, Donna was also presented with a Principal’s Commendation and the Bianca Trew Award which is usually given to a student who takes a creative approach to teaching and learning throughout their academic studies.

Lecturer Diane Forrester describes the reasons behind presenting the award: “Donna is a mature student, wife and mother to three girls, who has achieved consistently high grades evidencing the time and commitment she afforded her studies. In conjunction with her degree work, Donna also works in an educational setting giving her a breadth of experience which was demonstrated throughout her assignments. Her work within school enabled her to be creative whilst still maintaining academic rigour.”

Donna certainly has excelled within her field of study and looks to have a promising future ahead within the teaching industry.

She said: “It’s now or never – I decided that it’s my time to do something for myself, so my advice to other mature students is to just go for it!”

Megan Hilley, FdSc Sports Coaching

FdSc Sports Coaching student Megan Hilley would describe herself as ‘the little Scottish one’, bursting with enthusiasm and personality. This confidence and determination to succeed encouraged her to start studying for her degree in her mid-twenties, not letting age become a barrier to achieving her dream career.

Discovering that the transition back into education was a much more positive experience than originally anticipated, Megan’s optimism only improved throughout the year.

She said: “I think my first year as a whole has been an incredible experience. I have learnt so much about myself and I can even do things I never knew I could - it feels great!”

After being awarded a fantastic result for the first year of study, Megan now hopes to complete the Foundation Degree and top-up year before progression on to a PGCE course to pursue her teaching ambitions. She said: “After teaching for a year or two in this country, I would love to travel and learn new languages whilst utilising my qualifications to teach.”

Encouraged by her tutors, Megan always goes above and beyond what is expected, participating in extracurricular activities to boost her experience and knowledge. “I have got involved with the Health and Wellbeing Services scheme at the College which is brilliant. As well as this, I became a Student Rep and a Student Ambassador which gives me the opportunity to encourage others to come and be a part of what we have at Truro.”

Volunteering her spare time working as a Sports Activator for the Health and Wellbeing Services scheme, Megan has already gained valuable experience in training and delivering sporting activities for students and staff every week. Following this, she has also been selected to support Get Active Cornwall’s ‘This Girl Can’ challenge, coaching and encouraging women who want to increase their confidence and become more active.

Megan then took on some additional responsibility when she decided to apply for a step up from her volunteer Student Rep position and became the Lead Student Rep in 2017. She said: “Although I am a little nervous to have this responsibility, I am looking forward to working towards a more cohesive student body. I was told about the Student Rep position by my tutor and was advised to apply. I like the fact I can feed back what my fellow students think about the University experience and then return with a viable solution for them.”

Utilising her new coaching abilities, Megan gives us some great advice about what a good Student Rep should do: “Listen to people, try to bring out what they really feel and don't be afraid to raise these issues in the meetings because all thoughts and ideas are welcome. Try to think of solutions to problems with a positive frame of mind.”

Claire O’Hagan, FdA English Studies

Eight years ago I found myself leaving an abusive relationship, homeless with three children and completely broken both mentally and physically.  I struggled to cope with life in a various hostels and temporary accommodation for a year; before finding a more permanent home in Newquay. It was at this point, as the dust began to settle, that I realised that life had more to offer and that it was time for me to find something that made me happy. 

I was extremely nervous returning to education after so long, but the staff at Truro College put my mind at ease and did all they could to help my transition back into learning. 

I joined the Access to Humanities course in 2012 and it changed my life. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of education, achievement and potential. I was so blown away I wished I had done it years earlier.

The work was hard and juggling my chaotic family life even harder, but I pushed through, eventually joining the Foundation Degree in English Studies. Within this course I found my true calling, English. I loved every minute, and found every aspect fascinating. The Fda gave me the tools to become a professional, a step away from the minimum wage, seasonal jobs I had been used to. It was an incredible feeling to be successful at something I had never thought possible.

Progressing onto the BA Applied Media course, I successfully completed with a 2:1 Honours degree in 2014. The BA gave me the opportunity to complete my degree here in Cornwall, within reach of my familyand it is not an exaggeration to say that without Truro College, I would not be in the position I am today. 

I was then able to fulfil my dream of becoming a further education teacher. From the moment I had walked back into College, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. 

The next step was to apply to join the Post Graduate teacher training course. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. I made my dream a reality. I discovered that I could actually teach and that I loved it! 

I am now working alongside some of the people I most admire, within a team that has been fantastically supportive all the way through. It is my hope that I can go on to inspire others as I once was inspired. I am now teaching English to Access students here at the College, back where it all started, many years before, and I could not be happier. 

Anna Thomason-Kenyon, FdA Silversmithing and Jewellery

Why did you decide to do the FdA in Silversmithing and Jewellery?

It’s something I always wanted to do as I have always been creative and found art a great way of unburdening. I went to work for two local artists and they saw some textile work I had done. I the took a pottery course, before being helped to apply to Truro and Penwith College. 

How has your experience of the College been?

Really good. I have done all sorts of jobs, from point-to-point jockeying, to auditing, ending up in the care industry, and I had to wait until I was retired to fulfil the artistic side that I have always wanted to do. Luckily the College is still taking on students of my age. I am dyslexic and I have a terrific amount of help with that from the College. The other students who are much younger have given me terrific support.

What would you advise a mature person considering a course?

Never ever say it’s enough, chase your dreams. You find hidden depths within yourself that you never knew you had. My first jewellery piece has sold and the buyer has requested a private viewing of my next piece, which is fantastic. 

Rory, FdA English Studies

After moving from Hong Kong to Cornwall, Rory decided to study FdA English Studies at Truro and Penwith College. As part of his course, Rory undertook a two-week work placement with the local newspaper, The Packet. He did exceptionally well and had over 60 articles published under his own name. Largely based on the strength of the portfolio of work he produced during his work placement, Rory secured a place at Southampton Solent University to complete his degree, taking the third top-up year in a degree in Journalism.

Rory was accepted onto Sky News’ 2013 Diversity Scheme, where he assisted the production team with setting up and delivering the weekend content on TV. He’s now working as a researcher at the BBC. 

Daryll, FdSc Web Technology

After studying a National Diploma in Photography at Truro College, Daryll joined the FdSc Web Technology course to pursue his passion for computing and a career in web developing. He completed his top-up course at Plymouth University and graduated with a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Computing.

“My lecturer inspired me to push myself and do my best in education. In addition to helping me throughout my studies, he also helped me when I was freelancing after I had left Truro. I cannot recall a lecturer more passionate about their subject and it really showed through the high quality of teaching.”

Daryll now works at a web development agency in Truro and is an established member of the local community as a great developer.

Jessica, BA (Hons) Applied Media

Jessica was in two minds as to whether university was right for her. After attending an interview for a place on the FdA Photography and Digital Imaging course, she felt Truro and Penwith College was a brilliant place to further her studies.

Jessica said, “I felt welcomed and respected by the College from day one and the overall feel of the campus was totally different to any other institution.”

Successfully completing her FdA, Jessica went on to achieve First Class Honours in Applied Media at the College. Since graduating, she’s gained the position of Digital Media and Design Officer for Cornwall Hospice Care. She has involved a number of current students in the production of projects for the charity, giving them valuable work experience.