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Undergraduate qualifications are courses that are an academic step-up from A Levels or equivalent Level 3 courses.

Our undergraduate qualifications include foundation degrees, bachelor’s degrees, BA top-ups, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, higher apprenticeships, and higher professional qualifications.

MKT1732 0521 Levels of Study
Foundation degrees, degrees and top-ups

A foundation degree (FD) is the academic equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, Level 4 and Level 5. These courses are vocational, are two years full-time or four years part-time and have a strong focus on developing in-demand skills. An FD can give you flexibility while you work and are ideal for those who don’t want to commit to three full years of a degree but want the option to progress further down the line. These courses develop role-specific skills, making you more desirable when seeking employment.

Bachelor’s degrees are the most widely studied undergraduate qualification and are usually studied over three years full-time or six years part-time. These courses are designed to give you an in-depth understanding of one or more subjects, giving you the knowledge required to progress into your chosen sector. The Department for Education’s (DfE) Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2021 report highlights that graduates have higher rates of employment and earn on average £10,000 more than non-graduates.

‘Topping up’ - those who have studied a foundation degree or HND may choose to ‘top up’ to a full bachelor’s degree. To ‘top up’ means to extend your study by one year full-time or two years part-time. There is no time limit on ‘topping up’ a foundation degree and you can therefore return to study at a later date. When ‘topping up,’ it is expected that your FD is in a relevant field of study with relevant modules studied, and depending on your previous qualifications, you could enter at the second year or start the bachelor’s degree from the first year.

Our foundation degree, degree and top-up programmes are validated by The Open University.

Higher National Certificate and Diploma – HNC/HND

HNC and HND qualifications could be the perfect fit for you. These are qualifications at Level 4 and 5 and normally studied over one year full-time and two years part-time, perfect if you want a higher qualification at a particular level. These qualifications are ideal for those who like to learn through doing. Some include work placement opportunities and all have a range of assessments.

Our Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) qualifications use study and practical-based elements to prepare you for a particular career. This combination makes these qualifications desirable to employers, equipping those who study them with the hands-on skills and knowledge required to gain employment or progress within their chosen career by achieving a more professional status. Some students find these courses to be valuable in preparing for degree study.

The HNC is a Level 4 qualification which takes one year to complete full-time or two years part-time, and is equivalent to the first year of a degree.

The HND is a Level 5 qualification which takes one year to complete full-time or two years part-time, and is equivalent to the second year of a degree.

Either qualification could enable you to progress successfully into employment or to enter into the degree you’re interested in at the second or third year.

Our HNC and HND qualifications are validated by Pearson.

Teacher training

Our teacher training qualifications, Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma in Education (PGCE), Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Certificate in Education (CertEd), are for those who are wishing to teach in the post-compulsory sector. This includes teaching at sixth forms, further education colleges, hospitals and the prison service, as well as community and youth services, uniformed services such as the military, private training providers and large organisations with their own training departments.

Upon successful completion, you'll be awarded the Certificate in Education – Level 5, Professional Certificate in Education – Level 6 (for non-graduates), Professional Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Education (for graduates) – Level 7.

These courses are validated by University of Huddersfield.

Higher apprenticeships

Earn while you learn with one of our higher apprenticeships. Attend College on a day-release basis while employed and working as a higher apprentice.

We offer higher apprenticeships at Levels 4 and 5, which gives you the option to undertake higher-level study while working and earning a wage. Our apprenticeship programmes enable new and existing employees to gain industry-specific skills and knowledge by releasing them for day or block-release with our expert staff and using our well-equipped facilities. If you are not currently in a relevant job that can offer you an apprenticeship, all apprenticeship vacancies can be found on the 'Find a Apprenticeship' government website or on our website.

The apprentice must be working at least 30 hours per week and meet the entry requirements set by the apprenticeships and the employer. With a mentor in place, employees will have the workplace training and support, and manage their progress throughout their apprenticeship. We will ensure that both quality and standards are being met, carry out workplace assessments and award certification at each phase of the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships can provide you with valuable on-the-job skills training. Studying an apprenticeship could lead to being made a permanent member of staff with your employer or promotion. Apprenticeships aren't just for school leavers either, with more and more mature students opting to study an apprenticeship, to either retrain or diversify their skill set and to benefit their business and meet organisations' recruitment training plans.