How to apply

Just like applying to university, entry requirements for courses here at Bedford College will include certain subjects and/or grades you need to have already gained, and some will also state a minimum ‘points total’ that is based on the UCAS tariff. The UCAS tariff converts different qualifications and grades into equivalent point values.

Since October 2018, the new UCAS points will apply. The tariff has changed for a number of reasons, including ensuring that more vocational and non-traditional qualifications can attract UCAS points. For more information visit 

How to apply

1. Research your course

We offer a wide-range of courses such as Foundation Degrees & Degrees, Higher National Certificates & Diplomas, Teaching qualifications, Higher Apprenticeships and Access to Higher Education courses. Visit these pages and select a course to see in-depth course information such as Entry Requirements.

2. Attend an Open Day

Experience more and discover for yourself what higher education at Bedford College or Shuttleworth College is really like by coming along to our Open Days. You will be able to chat to students, meet course tutors and have a tour of our campus and facilities.

3. Check your application route

3.1 UCAS applications
You’ll need to apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) online application process at

UCAS applications require you to provide a unique code to identify which course you are applying for and which education institution it’s being offered at – don’t worry; the codes you need to use in your application are shown on the individual course pages accessed via the course search.

When applying for a course you must meet the entry requirements – these may include certain subjects and/or grades you need to have already gained, as well as a minimum ‘points total’ that is based on the UCAS tariff. The UCAS tariff converts different qualifications and grades into equivalent point values (e.g. a Distinction* grade for a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma is worth 56 points, a Distinction grade is worth 48 points, a Merit grade is worth 32 points and so on) – to find out what your existing qualifications are worth, just use the tariff table online at

You should aim to submit your application to UCAS by 15 January 2021. We can take applications received through the UCAS main scheme up to 30 June 2021 if there are still vacancies on your course – but we advise you to apply earlier.

3.2 Direct applications
To apply online just find your course through our course search and click the ‘Apply Online’ button next to the course you are interested in.

The BA and BSc (Hons) degree top-up courses require you to apply directly to either The University of Northampton or University of Bedfordshire. Please go to the relevant Top-up course page and see the ‘How to apply’ section for more information.

4. Attend an interview

For some of our courses, after you apply you’ll need to attend an interview with one of our tutors who’ll be able to ensure that the course you’ve chosen is right for you, as well as answer any questions you may have.

5. Confirmation

You’ll then be notified of the outcome of your application either by the College (for direct applications) or through UCAS (for UCAS applications). The notification will explain to you what you need to do next if you have been offered a place on your course.

6. Come to our HE Welcome Day

Our HE Welcome Day gives you the chance to meet your tutors, make friends with students who’ve also applied for your course and find out a lot more about what you’ll be studying in the coming year so, by the time your course begins, you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Need more information?

If you have any queries about your application please call us on 01234 291000. You can also view our Student Declaration Agreement.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

As part of our initial advice and guidance, interview and enrolment procedures, we will take into account the experience and knowledge you have gained from outside the formal education and training system. Consequently, we are open to accepting a wide range of evidence sources for RPL provided that the SCAR principle applies.

Any evidence provided should be:

  • Sufficient – to demonstrate competence
  • Current – how recent the experience is can be a factor in its relevance
  • Authentic – some evidence may require endorsement from third parties
  • Relevant – the requirements of a particular qualification will act as a determining
  • factor in identifying a suitable evidence base.