Support for learning

Here at West Highland College UHI we're committed to making sure you have the support you need to be successful on your chosen course.

We want you to have a more confident future with your learning study skills support, whether you're moving on to a new level of study, returning to study after a break or wondering how should you take notes that are useful and thinking about handling exams.

Not written an essay or used referencing? Or is your number work a bit rusty? Whether you would like support with a specific learning difficulty or just want to brush up on your skills, there are many people at West Highland College UHI who will support you in your learning. The first point of contact will be your course lecturer who will guide you to the right support.

Guides to help you are available in the Learning Resources Centre and the Learning Resource Centre staff will be holding study skills sessions during the first semester.

Watch out for study groups and workshops being advertised on notice boards, in the Learning Resource Centre or on other noticeboards throughout the buildings

Additional Support

Support for Students with Disabilities or Additional Needs

At West Highland College we work hard to support all of our students.

We recognise that every student is different and do our best to provide appropriate and effective support to anyone with additional support needs. We are able to support students with a variety of personal and learning needs and we have experience of working with people affected by:

  • Dyslexia
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • Visual impairments
  • Deafness
  • Mobility and dexterity difficulties
  • Health and medical conditions
  • Unseen disabilities such as epilepsy
  • General learning difficulties

If you feel you would benefit from additional support, please let us know and we will be happy to discuss your support needs with you. You can talk to us at any point throughout your course but the sooner we know about your needs, the sooner we can put in place the support you need! 

Core Skills

In all of your studies at West Highland College UHI, and in life in general, your use of what we call core skills will be very important in how you get on in life. Core skills are transferable - that means that you can use them in any number of ways and settings.

In Scotland, we recognise five core skills:

  • Numeracy
  • Communication
  • Information technology
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

If you have left school recently or done other qualifications, you may already have what is known as a Core Skills Profile. This is shown on the last page of your SQA certificate. Your profile shows what level of core skills you have had formally recognised or certificated. If you have this, bring it into College as it may help in identifying what level you should be studying at

Most West Highland College UHI courses encourage progression in core skills ability, either formally or informally. You may be assessed in core skills classes, or develop improved core skills through your learning experiences.

Core skills are not separate from your course - you may want to be an engineer, a nursery nurse, or a graphics designer - but you will all need core skills to get on with the job you want.

You will be encouraged to look at how you are able to develop your core skills with your course lecturer through a personal development plan. This will let you gather examples of how you have used your core skills in practice, and may be useful when applying for a job or another course.

Personal Development Plan

When you are at college, it is easy to get caught up in busy everyday events and pressures. This can mean that you do not give much thought to getting the best out of your time at West Highland College UHI, and in planning your next move.

West Highland College UHI supports students to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) - starting at induction and finishing at the end of your year. You will be able to think about how prepared you are for the course, what experiences you have which can help you, anything you may need to work on.

You will be encouraged to consider what you have learned and how you can use that elsewhere. Perhaps you'd like to make up a portfolio of examples of work and skills to show possible future employers or Colleges?

Remember that all your experience outside West Highland College UHI will also help you on your course and to move on to whatever you want to do.

Student Services

The Student Services Team is available to help you with issues such as:

  • choosing the right course
  • career choice and planning
  • student funding
  • support for disability
  • counselling
  • childcare
  • accommodation
  • applying to universities

You can contact Student Services in any of the following ways:

Or contact us in person either at the Student Services Office in Fort William or speak to the Learning Centre Manager at your own location.


West Highland College UHI offers a wide range of courses from one-day short courses through to four-year degrees. We also have close links with other colleges and universities to try to ensure that you can progress on to further studies if you want.

Many courses are run with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). These will usually be National Qualifications (NQ) at non-advanced levels, and may also be Scottish Group Awards (SGA). You may be studying on an advanced course such as an HNC or HND. These are grouped as Higher Education courses and are linked to our membership of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Our degree programmes are offered through the UHI as well, and you may be based in West Highland College UHI but learning with students from around the Highlands and Islands with the latest technology.

We also offer courses with many other awarding bodies including City and Guilds.

Please ask our Information and Guidance Officer if you are unsure about your choice of course or want to know more about how the main SQA and degree programmes can give you progression opportunities.