What is a Foundation Degree?

A Foundation Degree is a relatively new type of degree, awarded after two years, equivalent to the first two years of a traditional honours degree course.

Honours degrees - such as BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) - usually take three years of study, whereas Foundation Degrees take two years.

On completion of a Foundation Degree, you can opt to 'top up' with one more year's study, in order to achieve a full honours degree.

Foundation Degrees should not be confused with one-year pre-degree foundation courses (such as the foundation art diploma). These one-year courses are a bridge between A Levels and university-level, boosting your qualifications before you begin your degree course. On the other hand, a Foundation Degree is itself a university-level degree.

Foundation Degrees were introduced by the UK Government in 2001 in order to offer qualifications which are relevant to modern employment. They were developed with help from industry and they often involve more practical work than many honours degree courses. Many thousands of students in the UK have studied Foundation Degrees and they are well regarded by employers.

Entry requirements can vary, with universities and colleges each setting their own criteria. They can be similar to the entry requirements for honours degrees, except that they are flexible for people who have relevant work experience or training (which can be taken into account instead of formal qualifications).

Northbrook's Foundation Degrees are offered as full-time courses. You may have read about the part-time versions offered by many other institutions, which are studied alongside related employment (comparable to apprenticeships). As Northbrook’s Foundation Degrees are full time, students are not expected to be in employment during their studies.