Academic and Vocational Qualifications

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Foundation Programme

Foundation degree combines academic coursework with hands-on practical, and focus on developing in-demand skills by an employer. Foundation degree may be undertaken as a standalone qualification which is equivalent to two years of a three-year degree. Foundation Degrees are at level 5 on the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)

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Higher National Certificate ​

A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a level 4 vocational qualification that takes one year to complete, or two years part-time. HNC courses are practical-based, they can either prepare you for work upon completion or continue studying at the degree level. It is equivalent to the first year at university. You can enter a bachelor’s degree at year 2 once you complete an HNC.


Higher National Diploma

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a level 5 vocational qualification provided by higher and further education colleges. The duration of study is two years full-time study or three to four years if you study part-time. It is equivalent to two years at university, meaning that after completion, student can enter a bachelor’s degree at year 3. HND courses are practical-based and they are perfect for those wanting to enter the workforce or further study towards a bachelor’s degree.


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Bachelor (Hon's) Degree Course

They are the most common type of degree. Also known as ‘undergraduate’ or ‘first’ degrees. The specific title of this qualification will depend on the subject studied. Typical types could include Bachelor of Arts (BA), Science (BSc), Law (LLB), and Engineering (BEng). A bachelor’s degree will allow you carry out postgraduate study, or go straight into your chosen career. Bachelor's degrees are at level 6 on the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)


MA, MSC MBA (QCF Level 7)​

A Master’s degree is a level 7 postgraduate qualification – it is above Bachelor’s degrees but below PhDs. Study is intense and typically involves completing a series of modules and writing a dissertation. Master’s education are usually focused on one particular area of a wider subject, giving students a greater amount of specialist knowledge.


PhD or Doctored Program

A Doctorate or PhD is a pure research degree. It is the highest level of qualification (level 8) and It involves independent and original research into a specific field or subject area. Full-time PhDs will usually take three to four years to complete, while part-time courses are likely to last around six years.

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