Bite Size Courses

Women Returners' Network Chelmsford College
Moulsham Street
Essex CM2 0JQ
Phone: 01245 263796
Fax: 01245 491712

This ninth version is the first that has been set-up online. It has been updated by Andrea Lohner, WRN's Research Assistant.

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Description of courses

These are courses designed to give students access by a recognised route into a university or college of higher education. They have been validated by an institution, which recognises the course as an acceptable access route, but other places may also accept them. There is no GUARANTEE that successful completion of the course will AUTOMATICALLY lead to acceptance, but it provides a recognised alternative qualification. In most cases such courses replace the need for A levels. In some areas, several colleges have grouped together with higher education institutions and formed an Open College system.

Professional Updating
These courses are for women wishing to return to a profession. They are available in various parts of the country and are usually short courses (e.g. 12 to 15 weeks) which include practical advice on returning, such as interview techniques, plus academic study to allow updating in the student's subject area and work experience in a professional capacity.

Women's studies
These are included in a separate category because most are not specifically provided for women returners and do not necessarily provide a recognised route back into education or training. However, many such courses have given women the opportunity to reassess their lives in a wider context and to find out what is available and what they might wish to do. There are two types of women's studies courses; those; usually short ones, which are open to anyone; and those, often one or two-year courses, which lead to a postgraduate diploma or degree.

All other courses are listed by subject or main content. This includes courses leading to traditional academic or vocational qualifications. Also listed are courses designed to provide skills or training, which will enable women to look for work on completing the course. However, many such courses also enable their students to go on to further education and training. Skills training includes refresher courses for those who previously had some experience (e.g. updating office skills), new skills training which requires no previous experience, and non-traditional skill centres for women.

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