What is a Foundation Degree?
A Foundation Degree mixes academic study and learning in a classroom environment with learning on the job.
Foundation Degrees are available in many work-related subjects and because they are designed jointly between colleges, universities and employers, they’ll give your son or daughter a recognised academic qualification in addition to the professional skills and knowledge that are valued in industry.
Who can apply?
Foundation Degrees offer a route if you're aged 16 and above into higher education. They are for people of all ages and backgrounds.
There are no set entry requirements and formal qualifications are not always necessary as appropriate commercial and industrial experience can be more relevant. All Foundation Degrees will take into account previous work experience if it is available.
Where can you study?
It usually involves learning in the workplace as well as at university or college.
Staffordshire University for example, offers a range of full-time and part-time Foundation Degrees in subjects from animal science and health to paralegal services.
What are the costs?
The fees for studying a Foundation Degree are different depending on where your son or daughter wants to study.
Sometimes, employers will pay towards the cost of someone studying for one. If your son or daughter is already working, this might be something to investigate.
Foundation Degree students are also entitled to the same student financial support as all other higher education students.
How long does it take?
Foundation Degrees are really flexible and allow for full-time or part-time study.
Normally, it would take two years to complete one if your son or daughter were studying full-time. Part-time flexible learning options remain in many cases but will often double study time when compared to full-time opportunities.
How do you apply?
The way to apply is different depending on whether your son or daughter wants to study full or part-time.
To apply for a part time Foundation Degree, they would need to apply to the university or college directly. The way they ask you to apply will vary from place to place, but there will usually be an application form that your son or daughter will need to complete and return.
Full time Foundation Degrees need to be applied for through the UCAS scheme.
Where to next?
It's a nationally recognised qualification in its own right and can lead directly to a job or further professional qualifications
It is also the equivalent of two thirds of a Bachelor’s Degree, so there’s also an option to ‘top-up’ with an extra year’s full time study to gain a full degree.