Firstly, apologies if this is the wrong section. Mods can feel free to move this to the correct section.
I'll try to keep all of this short and simple. I'm age 22, live in the north coast area of Northern Ireland, and at the moment, I'm into my 2nd year of my 3 year part-time (one day a week) foundation degree course in event management at a belfast metropolitan college campus in Belfast. When I complete this year, I gain my Certificate in Higher Education qualification, and if I decide to participate in the 3rd year of the course and complete it, I gain a full HND qualification. I'd love to go to university. I currently suffer from clinical depression and social anxiety (I'm on medication for these, and have received counselling in the past after a suicide attempt - plus a drug addiction wasn't helping either). After my last place of employment went out of business in February (I was hired in September), I've been unemployed and registered on jobseeker's allowance. I've been trying to actively find employment since with no luck (though I have 3 interviews over the next week, so hopefully I can gain employment again soon. It's really not easy today). Aside from that, I've been relying on my parents too for finances (if I need anything).
I'd love to go to university to experience it, and try to change my life. I don't have any friends at all (all live abroad/other countries now), and I really want to change my life and go far in it. As this area where I live in (and the areas around it) are a total dump, I'd love to go to university in Scotland or certain areas in England (Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds would appeal to me). I just want to leave here. When I bring up going to university to my tutors at college, they try to say that I can go into a 'top up year' after the third year of the course, and go to a university for a year, but I really want the full monty. Along with that, they seem pretty clueless about the whole uni thing.
I've tried calculating UCAS points online, but aside from a BTEC level 3 course I've done in the past and all (which I gained an overall Pass/Pass/Pass in to get into my current course), I can't find the points for a CertHE or HND, and how much they'd be worth. So what I'm basically asking is:
1) Would a CertHe be enough to gain entry into a university? I wouldn't do the third year of my course if so.
2) Is it harder for me to gain entry into a university in Scotland or England as I'm from Northern Ireland?
3) Not really relevant to the topic - but would it be bad for me at age 23 or 24 to only be going to university at that age, rather than 19 or whatever?