Which HE Course?
Higher National Certificates (HNCs) are generally suitable for candidates who do not have the necessary skills or experience to progress onto a HND or degree programme and will provide you with an introduction to a subject. This qualification is designed to equip you with the basic knowledge, understanding and skills required for a general vocational area. HNCs are usually studied two years part-time or one year full-time and many candidates then go on to other qualifications or areas of study. If you imagine higher education courses to be on a ladder, the HNC is the first rung before you move on to an introductory higher level qualification.
Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are equivalent to two years of undergraduate study and can often be used to progress to an Honours Degree programme. HNDs are substantially coursework based and do not generally involve any examinations. HNDs are also designed to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for a general vocational sector. These courses are usually two years full-time or three years part-time.
A Foundation Degree is a degree level qualification that combines academic study with Work Based Learning. Foundation Degrees are designed in association with employers and are qualifications that equip you with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve academic results as well as improve performance and productivity in the workplace. Because of this, Foundation Degrees focus on a particular job or profession and are intended to increase the professional and technical skills of current or potential staff within a profession, or intending to go into that profession. A Foundation Degree can be compared to a degree-level apprenticeship.
Degrees are the traditional academic route suitable for students with higher entry qualifications. Assessment is likely to include examinations. Degrees are generally usually studied over three years full-time. If you have a Foundation Degree already then you may choose to ‘top-up’ your Foundation Degree to Honours level. You should look out for the ‘Top Up’ courses in the prospectus that run alongside the Foundation Degree courses. These allow you to ‘Top Up’ your Foundation Degree to an Honours level.
If you already have A-Levels or a Level 3 qualification such as a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma or NVQ, or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship, then a Foundation Degree/HNC/HND is a good option for you, giving you the opportunity to improve your skills, understanding and knowledge in line with employers needs. You can study all programmes on a full or part-time basis.
Honours Degrees aim to provide graduates with the ability to investigate, think independently, research and innovate. Graduates will develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject, elements of which will be at the forefront of current academic thinking and research. Employers require graduates who can analyse current practices and processes, evaluate evidence and then use sound judgement to make decisions, often in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
We offer Honours Degrees in a number of vocational subjects to enable students to understand both the detailed academic theory and, to a lesser extent than in the Foundation Degree, the practical knowledge of their chosen discipline. If you have already studied a Foundation Degree or a Higher National Diploma and would like to gain an Honours Degree, many of our subjects offer final year BA/BSc (Hons) progression routes or bespoke one-year top-up options.
Professional Accredited Qualification
Professional Qualifications are the qualifications required to practice at a high level in certain jobs or professions. They are as suited to younger members of staff as they are to senior management. Courses are approved by well-respected organisations such as the Association of Accountants or the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) for example.
Typically a full-time Foundation Degree/HNC/HND takes one to three years, covers three to six modules per year and up to 12 hours attendance per week at college. Part-time Foundation Degrees/HNDs generally take a minimum of three years to complete.