These courses are suitable for those who would like to study a degree in stages, or exit after the first year of study.
Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a one year, work related course - equivalent to the first year of a University Degree programme
The Higher National Diploma (HND) is a two year, work related course - equivalent to the first two years of a Bachelors Degree
It is possible to progress from both of these courses to complete a full Bachelors Degree at University.
Two years in length - this type of degree is suitable for school leavers at 18 who are looking for a course with lower entry requirements and fewer examinations. You will follow a more vocational approach designed to focus on a particular job role or profession. A Foundation Degree is perfect for those who are not yet ready to commit to three years at University.
Usually these courses last either three or four years if studies in full-length. There's potential to combine two subjects in a single course or simply focus on one. Most courses have core modules which everyone studies and many will allow you to choose options or modules to make up a course to best suit you.
Some of these degrees will offer a sandwich year, involving an additional placement or year industry.
There is also the option for postgraduate-level study, known as the integrated master's which on completion you will be awarded with a Master's Degree.
CertHE and DipHE qualifications are levels within a degree course. CertHE is equal to one year of full-time study whereas DipHE is equal to two. These qualifications can be awarded if you leave a Degree Course early but you can also take them as standalone qualifications if you don't feel you can commit to a full degree.
Although both are shorter than a degree, the teaching is at the same level.
A Top-Up Degree is designed for students who have successfully completed a Foundation Degree/HND/DipHE. This is a tip-up course which will allow you to enter the final year of university to upgrade your qualification to a full Degree. Typically, this takes one year of full-time further study.