Want to learn practically? A foundation degree could be for you…
Whether you’re looking to start studying but you don’t want to commit to a full degree, you want to train in a particular profession, or further study is needed to help secure a promotion at your current company, a foundation degree could be exactly what you need to achieve your career goals.
Here’s everything you need to know about foundation degrees:
What is a foundation degree?
A foundation degree is a higher education qualification that combines academic learning with work-based skills.
Designed in conjunction with universities, colleges, and employers, these qualifications focus on helping students gain in-demand, job-specific skills that they can practically apply in the workplace.
As a result, it opens the doors for employment opportunities as well as the option to continue onto a full undergraduate qualification.
Types of foundation degree
There are two main types of foundation degree:
- Courses for people who are already in work. These foundation degrees allow you to gain a qualification in an area you’re currently working in, and ultimately progress in your career. They’re perfect for people who want to study alongside their current role.
- Courses for people who are looking to enter a specific area of work. Ideal for people who want to break into an industry, but don’t meet the formal entry requirements for a full degree. Includes practical, hands-on learning that boosts your employability in a particular field.
The structure of your course will depend on the type you take, and whether you study full-time or part-time, or if you choose an online foundation degree – but it will always involve a combination of academic learning and practical work experience.
How long is a foundation degree?
Whilst sometimes referred to as a ‘foundation year’, a foundation degree will typically last two years.
If you choose to study part-time, the length of study will increase to four years.
What subjects can I study?
Foundation degrees are generally based around a job or profession, making them available in a wide range of subjects.
Popular areas of study include:
- Social work
- Animal studies
- Leisure and tourism
What level is a foundation degree?
A foundation degree is a Level 5 qualification, according to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).
It’s the equivalent of two thirds of an honours bachelor’s degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND), and a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE).
Foundation degree entry requirements
Unlike a bachelor’s degree, there are no specific entry requirements to start studying – so what you’ll need will usually vary from course to course.
Formal qualifications aren’t always required, and you might find that relevant work experience is more valuable when applying for a foundation degree.
To find out more, check the entry requirements on your chosen course.
How much does a foundation degree cost?
The cost of a foundation degree may vary depending on your course and where you study.
Generally, you can expect to pay around £2,600 per year in tuition fees.
However, there is a range of financial support available – especially if you’re studying alongside a job. You’ll also be entitled to a student loan if this is your first undergraduate degree.
How to find a foundation degree
Foundation degree courses are advertised in a number of places.
Here’s where you can find them:
- On a university’s website or prospectus
- On a college’s website
- On a course provider’s website
- On UCAS’ website
- On a courses marketplace
- On social media
How to apply for a foundation degree
There are a few ways to apply for foundation degree courses.
If you’re looking to study part-time, you’ll need to enquire and apply directly via the university or college’s website.
For full-time foundation degrees which are offered by a UCAS provider, you’ll be required to complete a UCAS undergraduate application.
What can I do with a foundation degree?
A foundation degree provides a pathway to a number of opportunities.
Since it’s made up of work-based learnings, you may be able to go straight into your chosen career after completing a foundation degree. Or progress within your current role.
You could also decide to ‘top up’ your degree with further study, allowing you to achieve a full undergraduate degree. You can choose to do this at any time, whether it’s directly after graduating or a few years down the line.
Still searching for your perfect learning opportunity? View all foundation degrees now.
To find out more about undergraduate degrees, visit your preferred university’s website, or check UCAS.