From education to employment

NCG is first further education setting to secure powers to award degrees indefinitely

Newcastle College

NEWCASTLE College University Centre (NCUC), part of the leading college group NCG, has been awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) on an indefinite basis, the first and only college-based provider to receive this award from the Office for Students (OfS).   

Since 2011, NCUC has had the power to develop and deliver its own foundation degrees, and all higher education qualifications up to level 7 (a Masters degree) since 2016. That power is now indefinite, following a rigorous application process that took over a year to complete. The power extends nationally to all colleges of NCG, and students at Carlisle College and Kidderminster College, as well as at Newcastle College University Centre, are studying for NCG awards. 

Jon Ridley, Deputy Principal of Newcastle College and NCG’s executive lead for higher education, said:

“Degree awarding powers provide freedom and space to innovate in the design of our degrees to meet the needs of students, employers, and the regions we serve. 

“It means we can continue to be responsive and forward thinking in terms of emerging skills needs, working collaboratively with employers to create higher technical awards that provide talented people for business, and nurture those with an entrepreneurial spirit. It means students are taught and can demonstrate creativity, knowledge, and skills that employers have said they need.  

“It’s also about broadening the reach of higher education, providing a high-quality option for those individuals for whom a traditional university experience doesn’t suit, or who may have otherwise not chosen to stay and study higher education. By combining the strengths of a further education college with the power to award degrees, an individual can join us with a passion to learn and we can nurture them from pre-GCSE to postgraduate Masters. The University Centre is a talent engine for our regions’ workforces, where students hone skills and knowledge, graduating work-ready to thrive in their chosen profession. We are producing the skilled workforce that is key for a prosperous and healthy place to live and work.”

The award comes in a milestone year for NCUC, which has recently celebrated a decade of growth and 10,000 graduates in the last ten years. It comes alongside news of £6million in additional funding from the OfS, to continue investing specifically in NCG’s higher education facilities in priority areas. That is in addition to recent investment of £2million, which has seen industry standard digital and engineering equipment installed for students, including the education sector’s biggest Powerwall and a brand-new Premier 1 jet.

Jon concluded: “This investment is being made to create state-of-the-art hubs in key infrastructure and growth sectors that will support the advancing skills needs in construction, engineering, energy and digital technologies. The investment, combined with the indefinite status of our awarding powers, demonstrates our commitment to our work-ready graduates are equipped with the skills to succeed now, and in the future.”

To find out more about courses at Newcastle College University Centre, visit

Related Articles