Foundation degrees? What are they?

Anonymous - Posted: 23rd of August 2012

Foundation degrees are the result of the combined effort of colleges and universities, working together with employers. They have designed and alternative that combines academic study with work-based learning. 

Introduced in September 2001, they were intended to provide basic subject knowledge as a preparation for further study, or, as is often the case, for going straight into employment.

But if you're looking for employment within a specific field, would a foundation degree be right for you?  So much depends on precisely what you want to do for living, but here's a little information about foundation degrees that could be of help.

A foundation degree is the equivalent of the first two years of an Honours degree, you have the option of topping it up to a full Honours degree with just one extra year's study on a part-time or full-time basis.  This gives you the flexibility to fit your studies around the professional and personal commitments you already have.

There are foundation degree courses catering for just about anything: for example, if you feel your future lies within Web design, a foundation degree in that subject would include courses about typography, photomanipulation and coding in various computing languages.

If you need to learn a specific set of skills for your chosen career, there are at least three thousand courses available throughout the UK - from accountancy... to zoology, and everything else in between.

What do I need for a Foundation Degree?

You’ll need qualifications like A-levels or other level 3 qualifications to start a foundation degree, and you'll have to be aged 18 or above.  But if you don't have those kind of qualifications, don't despair: if you have any relevant work experience, it will be taken into account, and will go a long way towards helping you to get on to the foundation degree course you want.

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