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Types of qualification

Bachelor’s Degree

This is a full undergraduate degree qualification which normally takes three to four years to complete on a full-time basis.

Bachelor’s degrees have different award titles, depending on the subject and nature of the course. For example:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) - arts and humanities focused
  • Bachelor of Education (Bed) - teacher-training degree courses (but there are BA courses which lead to Qualified Teacher Status)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) - scientific approach embedded within the course
  • Bachelor of Law (LLB) - qualifying law degree aimed at those intending to pursue careers within the legal profession as a solicitor or barrister

Most bachelor’s degrees have the option to be studied ‘with honours’ which means a higher level of achievement will be attained within the course.

Foundation Degrees

Foundation Degrees are often vocationally relevant in their content and can offer a different route onto a bachelor’s degree for anyone with qualifications slightly below those required for the course.

The amount and type of study that students complete on a Foundation Degree is normally deemed to be equivalent to the first two years of a three-year bachelor’s degree. After the Foundation Degree, students may then have the option to study for a ‘top-up’ bachelor’s degree course so that they can gain the full undergraduate degree qualification.

Higher National Certificates/Higher National Diplomas

Higher National Certificates (HNC) and Higher National Diplomas (HND) are vocational qualifications that often include practical elements as well as theoretical. It is often possible to ‘top-up’ these qualifications to a bachelor’s degree.

Certificate/Diploma in Higher Education

Similar to HNC and HND qualifications in terms of the levels of study required, these awards can also potentially be ‘topped-up’ to a full bachelor’s degree in a subject area relevant to the certificate or diploma qualification.

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