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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Foundation Degrees

Foundation Degrees are higher education qualifications that combine academic study with work-based learning. Designed jointly by universities, colleges and employers, they are available in a range of work-related subjects.

Foundation Degrees: how they work

Changing career can be daunting, but Mark is confident of reaching his potential - with the help of a flexible Foundation Degree in computing...

Foundation Degrees are designed to equip you for a particular area of work – as well as giving you the general skills that are useful in any type of job.

They’re university-level qualifications, like other degrees. But Foundation Degree courses are designed with a particular area of work in mind, with the help of employers from that sector.

Typically, you’ll get the chance to learn in the workplace as well as the classroom. And because it’s often possible to study flexibly, in a way that suits you. So whether you’re looking to change job, return to work or boost your career prospects, Foundation Degrees offer a route into higher education for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Choosing a Foundation Degree course

There are hundreds of Foundation Degree courses available. They cover a wide range of subjects, from engineering and e-commerce to health and social care and veterinary nursing.

Getting onto a Foundation Degree course

Universities and colleges set their own entry requirements, but it’s not always necessary to have formal qualifications. Universities and colleges will often take into account your experience, achievements and commitment to learning.

How Foundation Degrees fit in with other qualifications

A Foundation Degree is a university-level qualification in its own right, equivalent to the first two years of an honours degree. But once you’ve got a Foundation Degree, it’s possible to ‘top up’ your qualification to an honours degree. This usually involves an extra year studying full-time (or the part-time equivalent).

Studying for a Foundation Degree

Sarah’s Foundation Degree led to a medal at Hampton Court: now she hopes it will give her an edge as she starts a career as an architect…

A Foundation Degree usually involves learning in the workplace as well as at university or college. You’ll get the chance to work on real projects, making a real difference - and picking up the technical and practical skills needed for your chosen line of work.

Typically, you’ll be able to learn in a way that suits you: whether it’s at college, through distance learning or online. It usually takes around two years to complete a full-time course. Part-time courses may take longer.

How you are assessed

Different Foundation Degree courses assess your work in different ways. It may involve project work, reports, exams, practical work and presentations - as well as looking at the learning you do in the workplace.

More useful links

See ‘University and higher education’ for more information on higher education qualifications, choosing a course and student finance.

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