Understanding Degree ProgrammesKinds of qualifications
Educational qualifications are defined by their ‘level’. Pre-degree courses such as ‘A’ Levels, Access courses and Diplomas are at level 3. Higher education begins at level 4, with undergraduate degrees running from levels 4 to 6, and postgraduate degrees at level 7. There are two main kinds of undergraduate degree, the traditional Bachelor’s Degree from levels 4 to 6, and the newer work-based Foundation Degree which goes from level 4 to 5. Students who take foundation degrees can gain a Bachelor’s Degree by ‘topping up’ with a level 6 course.
|3||Predegree: ‘A’ Level, Access, BTEC, Diploma etc|
|4-5||Foundation Degree: FdA / FdSc|
|4-6||Bachelor Degree: BA / BSc (Hons)|
|6||Bachelor Degree: BA / BSc (Hons) (top up)|
|7||Postgraduate Degree: PG Cert., PG Dip., MA / MSc|
Full-time students take one level of undergraduate study a year, while part-time students take one level over two years.
Credits and Exit Awards
Undergraduate degrees consist of 120 ‘credits’ at each level, normally broken down into eight 15 credit modules. Students who choose to stop before completing their degree can graduate with an ‘exit award’ depending upon their number of credits accumulated.
|4||120||Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)|
|5||240||Foundation Degree, Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)|
|6||360||Bachelor’s Degree with Honours|
Postgraduate degrees consist of either 60 credits (PG Certificate), 120 credits (PG Diploma), or 180 credits (MA / MSc). Confusingly 180 credits is full-time study at postgraduate level, and modules normally consist of twenty credits.