These degree qualifications focus on a particular job or specific industry and are a combination of academic study along with practical placements in their targeted profession. Their objective is to furnish students with the necessary credentials, knowledge and capabilities to go directly into a particular area of work.

Originally introduced in September 2001 they are on the same level as a HND (Higher National Diploma) and can be taken at both colleges of higher education and universities. One of the main aims for its creation was to encourage working people into higher education. They are ideal for people who have a large amount of professional work experience behind them and want to convert and use all of that knowledge to gain an academic qualification. They are suitable for individuals who may want a career change or to enter a new profession or who just want to continue their professional development.

They are designed to be flexible. Delivery modes and study patterns are all more flexible that traditional degree structures. Courses can be work based, part time and fitted around times that suit the learner.

Financial support
Individuals who enrol on a course are eligible to the same financial support as all other higher education students. However be aware that some courses have exam fees or special modules with a specific cost.

More information about foundation degrees

  • When they were the first introduced they were the first kind of new degree in the UK for over 100 years.
  • They are designed and created in partnership by universities, colleges and employers.
  • They are equivalent to two thirds of a full honors degree, although it normally takes a extra one year to gain a full honors degree.
  • They combine study with work-based learning and practical work experience.
  • In the academic year 2004 to 2005 there were just under 47,000 foundation degree students, these were roughly split in half between full time and part time students.
  • A foundation degree is different from a Foundation Course and a Foundation Year.

Entry requirements for a foundation degree
Entry requirements are specific to each particular course. Unlike other degree courses there are no particular set requirements for entry. Relevant commercial or professional work experience is often more valued than formal academic qualifications.

How long does a foundation degree course last
Full time courses normally take around two years to complete, part time courses can take longer.

The advantages of enrolling on a foundation degree

  • You can earn whilst you learn.
  • It’s a ideal way to get into the formal education system.
  • It can improve you career prospects within your own industry.
  • Provide you with a academic background.
  • Can help to develop the attributes that are valued by today’s employers.
  • It is a stepping stone to getting a Honors degree.
  • For employers it can help to increase their employees skills.
  • You gain the skills necessary to be competitive in the workplace.
  • They are ideal for anyone returning to learning after a break.

Foundation degree letters
After successfully completing your Foundation Degree you can use the letters;

  • FdA in a arts related course
  • FdSc for science based course.
  • FdEng for any engineering courses.


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