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CASE STUDY:

Approved academic partner

The University of Chester

From its roots in the North West of England, as the United Kingdom’s first purpose-built provider of higher education for teachers, the University of Chester, founded in 1839, offers a comprehensive range of foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as undertaking world-class academic research.

Now with a diverse student body of more than 15,000 (plus those at partner institutions), drawn from every continent, the University is committed to developing innovative and socially relevant curricula with a wide range of educational providers. The University of Chester also acts as the validating institution for programmes that are delivered by a partner organisation, and which lead to an award of the University.

The Further Learning Group is an approved academic partner of the University of Chester. The BTEC Higher Nationals courses and the framework (RQF) accredited by Pearson Education have led us to take our courses to the next level and allowed us to offer a degree course awarded by the University of Chester.

Our Educational partnership

The partnership process between Further Learning and the University of Chester commenced back in 2017. One year later, the University visited the Further Learning centre in Dublin, we embarked on the first stage of reviewing our processes, policies, financials and procedures.

The Further Learning Group recognises the importance of partnerships and how these can contribute to the growth and development of the business. Following our first review The University of Chester accepted our initial proposal outlining the way in which the degree course would be delivered, the policies and procedures and the organisational structures, qualifications and governance.

A programme specification proposal was created for each of the courses that we wished to offer, including Interior Design and Photography, and in 2019 the initial partnership approval was granted, and the relationship formally began. We gained final board approval in May 2020 with no outstanding actions or amendments required to our proposed programmes.

This was a milestone for our organisation. The partnership meant that we could expand our educational portfolio and now offer our Higher National Diploma students progression to degree level through our Top-Up honours degree which is validated by the University of Chester.

Degree awarded by the University of Chester

In order to have a degree validated, the university needs to be confident of the quality of education that is being provided and that the highest levels of quality and assurance are followed.

As part of the Further Learning Group, the British Academy of Interior Design, the Interior Design Academy of Ireland, the British Academy of Photography and the Photography Academy of Ireland offer the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design and Photography which is awarded by the University of Chester. This programme is intended to prepare our students for a career in Interior Design and Photography, either within employment, running their own practice, freelance, or other industry-related areas. 

We enrolled our first degree top-up students in both Interior Design and Photography in September 2020, who are registered as students of the University of Chester and will receive their final degree certificate from the university.

BA Honours Degree

Our learners will develop the knowledge and skills that are relevant to professional practice in interior design within residential and commercial contexts, and in photography within employment as well as private practice, while harnessing their creativity and enabling them to contribute to culture, society, and the economy. 

The BA Honours Degree in Interior Design programme will place particular emphasis on environmental developments to challenge the students to produce creative, sustainable designs for an international, increasingly demanding and creatively challenging market. As for the BA Honours Degree in Photography, it will focus on the student developing their area of speciality which will allow them to find a niche within the competitive visual communications industry.

For the Further Learning Group, being an approved Academic Partner of the University of Chester helps us as an organisation to not only grow, evolve and maintain our standards, but also expand the educational offers and opportunities, to continue our journey as pioneers in making learning accessible.

Other stories from our team

Educational Accreditation: How We Work With Pearson

Further Learning Group was first accredited by Pearson Education in 2014. Since then, Pearson has been helping us evolve as an organisation, as well as supporting our students to develop their skills and knowledge in multiple areas of study through the BTEC courses.

Remote Tutoring: How We Support And Engage With Our Students

At the Further Learning Group, we offer formal learning through accredited home study courses, which maintain the same level and quality of support as classroom-based learning. Our tutors play a pivotal role in providing this level of support, as they are the main point of contact between students and their academies.

Peer Assessment: Enhancing the learning experience

At the Further Learning Group, we are always challenging ourselves and each other to evolve and look for new ways to improve our students’ experiences. Athena is the result of FLG being a pioneer in delivering high-quality learning and making it accessible to anyone.

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