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Frequently Asked Questions
Who are SkillsUnion?
SkillsUnion are specialists in online, vocational courses designed to accelerate your career. We teach skills that are in demand by high-growth companies, such as software development, user experience design, product management, growth marketing and data science.
Our mission is to unlock your potential, by equipping you with the skills, tools and mindset to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving digital economy.
Is SkillsUnion an officially accredited academic institution?
SkillsUnion develops courses that, uniquely amongst our peers, are accredited to PGCert (Level 7) through our partnership with the university. (Subject to validation).
What is a SkillsLab?
A SkillsLab is what we call the partnership between the university and SkillsUnion. The university validates the academic standard of our courses, handling accreditation and certification. SkillsUnion delivers the courses and supports the student all the way to their dream job.
What is a SkillsCourse?
A SkillsCourse is a program of study that consists of participation in online lessons within a virtual classroom, plus self-directed study, project work and industry networking.
What is a SkillsCoach?
A SkillsCoach is responsible for the academic delivery of your course. They will prepare your lesson plans and materials, provide instruction, advice and support your learning throughout the course. They are also responsible for ensuring that you have fun!
What is a SkillsAdvisor?
A SkillsAdvisor is a member of our team who is completely dedicated to you achieving your career objectives. They are available to guide your decision making before, during and beyond completion of the course itself. They will help you with course selection, making an application, finance options, careers advice, and ultimately securing a job you’ll love.
Who studies with SkillsUnion?
SkillsUnion help people from all kinds of backgrounds to thrive. Most of our students have studied an undergraduate degree, but not all.
What characterises all our learners is that they demonstrate a strong desire to learn, they are not afraid of hard work, and extremely focused on building a successful career within their chosen industry.
We offer diversity and inclusion scholarships in all of our programs, and actively work with our education partners to help create a fairer, more equitable world for all.
What kind of learning experience can I expect?
You will join a vibrant learning community, where cohorts learn together, guided by your dedicated SkillsCoach who ensures the whole class is fully engaged and having fun.
You’ll collaborate with your peers on real client projects to build your portfolio, and connect with a community of industry mentors and thought leaders with a deep passion for learning.
Our learning philosophy is one of ‘active learning’ i.e. learning by doing. We will help you become independent, by developing skills such as critical thinking, complex problem solving, and effective decision making using all the resources available.
You’ll be using next-generation virtual classroom software for your lessons and will join our learning experience platform to ensure you are connected to your peers, SkillsCoach and SkillsAdvisor.
Will I get a certificate?
SkillsLabs courses are unique in that you will earn a postgraduate certificate (‘PGCert’) worth 60 academic credits in the UK assessment framework governed by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). A PGCert is great for learners who want to accelerate their career by taking a vocational course that opens pathways into employment or into full Masters programs.
Why should I choose SkillsUnion?
SkillsUnion is the only provider that offers PGCert accredited courses through the partnership with the university. That means you can be confident that the quality of our courses is verified. Your PGCert certificate will be valued by employers and academic institutions all around the world. (Subject to validation).
How do I apply?
Make an online application on this website and a SkillsAdvisor will be in touch to discuss your goals and the suitability of the course. If you are accepted, we will send you a personal checkout page where you’ll need to pay a 10% deposit to secure your position on the course.
What entry requirements do you have?
Our courses are designed to take you from beginner to industry-ready in 6 months. We do not have specific entry requirements but we do evaluate applicants mindset, aptitude, personality and skills (which we refer to as our ‘MAPS’ framework). Your SkillsAdvisor will support you, every step of the way.
How much time do I need to commit?
Our online classes are 3-hours on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. In addition, you’ll need some self-directed learning, project work and connecting with your SkillsAdvisor. You can expect to be studying 20-28 hours per week but it varies depending on the student and the course.
There’s no denying that our courses can be challenging but they are also transformational. It will be worth the effort!
How will my progress be assessed?
SkillsUnion continually assesses your progress throughout their participation in lessons and completion of projects (an approach known as ‘formative assessment’).
At the end of the course, you will work on your capstone project which mirrors a real-world industry environment, collaborating with your peers to complete the project which will then be assessed by your SkillsCoach and industry mentors.
What is your attendance policy?
You must attend at least 80% of SkillsCourse lessons in order to successfully complete the course and earn your PGCert award.
Do I need my own laptop?
Yes. Your SkillsCoach will be using and will have more experience using Apple computers and therefore we prefer our learners use them too. You may be able to use Windows or Linux but you should check with your SkillsAdvisor first. An external monitor (at least 24”) is also highly recommended.
A high-speed internet connection is essential, as is an environment where you can focus without distraction.
Do you record lessons?
Yes, we record lessons so that you can revisit them later. They are available to your cohort only.
What payment options do you offer?
We offer a range of payment options including:
Single payment – Save 10% when paying for your course in full.
Installments – Spread payment of tuition fees over three months.
Affordable financing options – Eligible learners can apply for a loan from Knoma, our chosen lending partner, to spread tuition fees over a maximum 12 months.
Employer sponsorship – Get help from an employer if the course is relevant to a job that you are doing or have been offered (upon your graduation, for example).
Can I get a student loan?
SkillsLab course tuition fees are not eligible for loans from the government Student Loans Company. However, learners can apply for a loan from Knoma, our chosen lending partner, to spread tuition fees over a maximum 12 months.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept bank transfers, debit or credit cards, and PayPal.
Any deposit or course fee you pay is non-refundable unless the course in which you are enrolled is cancelled by SkillsUnion (whether prior to or after the start of the course), in which case any course fee paid by you shall be refunded in full.
No course fees will be refunded when a course is temporarily suspended for a period of less than one month. If a course is suspended for a duration of more than one month, you may continue the course when it resumes or obtain a pro-rata refund of course fees for the suspended portion of the course (based on the number of full weeks of the course that were suspended, as a percentage of the total number of course weeks).
What is included for my tuition fee?
A SkillsCourse is an intensive experience with many benefits. Here’s what you get for your money:
Your SkillsCoach will teach you the core skills you will need to get a job in the field you have chosen.
Course materials that have been fully validated by the university to achieve 60 academic credits (PGCert). (Subject to validation).
A portfolio built on real-world projects that demonstrates what you can do and how you contribute to successful teams.
Support and guidance from SkillsAdvisors to help connect you with real-world employment opportunities and develop the soft skills you will need to be successful in the selection process.
A professional network of peers, SkillsCoaches, SkillsAdvisors, and industry thought leaders.
Need more information?
If you want to reach out directly, feel free to get in touch using the contact information below.