Committing to spending three or four years studying at university can be daunting for those considering starting a degree.

Concerns about moving to study in a different city are likely heightened for many due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Even before the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, Save the Student’s 2022 National Student Money Survey found that accommodation costs took up over half of UK students' monthly budgets.

They found that the average student's monthly living costs came to £810 with rent taking up the biggest chunk at an average of £421.  

With ever-rising travel costs also accounting for a chunk of students’ monthly budgets, studying towards a degree at a local college could be a great way of cutting down on costs that might make studying elsewhere expensive.

Studying for a degree at your local college can also be more affordable thanks to opportunities to apply for funding to help with course fees and other living costs. In addition, Fife College offers a generous range of scholarship options through their Adam Smith Scholarship scheme to support students too.

For school leavers, adult returners to education or those simply looking to boost their career options, studying at college is not just more affordable, it also offers an opportunity to take a stepping stone approach to a degree journey.

Dunfermline Press:

Rather than committing to a three or four-year course, college offers the flexibility to take things one year at a time, keeping your options open while still gaining a recognised qualification for each year of study.

Fife College works with universities across Scotland and beyond to ensure that students who study a Higher National qualification for one or two years get that full credit for their studies, as well as the option to then progress on to a degree course.

This means that having a Higher National Certificate (HNC) could give you direct entry to year two of your chosen degree course, while a Higher National Diploma (HND) could provide direct entry into year three.

Fife College has been working to increase access to degree pathways with over 450 formally agreed routes mapping HNC/D qualifications into degree courses now in place with 15 universities throughout the UK. This means that every subject area now offers at least one articulation route for every HND course on to the third year of a related degree course. 

Fife College’s close partnership working with Abertay University allows students to remain at college while studying their full degree, with some Honours courses also available, at the College’s Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy campuses in subject areas such as Business, Accounting, Computing and Learning Difficulties/Disabilities. 

This is a great opportunity for students who are unable to relocate due to personal or family commitments to complete their degree locally, often in smaller class sizes than universities too.

With a variety of study options that allow students to combine studies with work or family life, including part-time study, online and distance, and even evening and weekend options, college really does offer a much more flexible alternative. 

With fantastic facilities, smaller class sizes, greater affordability and flexibility, more and more students are already discovering why college is the perfect place to start their journey towards a degree qualification.

For more information about studying towards a degree with Fife College, visit