What are the different types of university degrees? (2024)

Degree Apprenticeship – Level 6

An undergraduate degree apprenticeship is a Bachelor's degree course, designed to give you skills that will be in high demand in the near future. It's a part-time course that you study alongside your current job, paid for by your employer and the government, so there's no financial cost to you.

You'll study 360 credits, exactly the same as the standard Bachelor's degree, and do a major work-related project as part of your course. Entry requirements and the length of your study vary, depending on the course you choose, but you will need a current, relevant job and can expect to spend 1 to 5 years on your degree.

Search our degree apprenticeship opportunities. Degree apprenticeships are also available at Master's level.

Graduate Certificate (GradCert) – Level 6

A GradCert is the same level as a Bachelor’s degree, but is more limited in scope, so takes less time to complete.

They're usually available in specific subjects that are work-related, such as psychology, management, counselling or law. A GradCert helps you develop skills and knowledge in a single subject to prepare you for your career.

A GradCert typically takes 1 year to complete, part-time.

Integrated Master's degree – Level 7

If you want to become a specialist in your subject, and know you want to study to Master's level, doing an Integrated Master's degree helps you achieve your ambition.

It takes 4 years to complete, or 5 with an optional placement year, and combines an undergraduate degree with a postgraduate year. You graduate with a Master's qualification, such as MSc, MEng, MOpthom or MMath.

Top-up degree– Level 6

If you have a level 5 qualification such an HND, a foundation degree, or successful completion of 2 years of degree study you can take a top-up degree course to build on this study and get a full honours degree (level 6).

Top-up degrees are shorter; they're normally completed in just 1 year, but can take anything between 1 and 2 years depending on your starting point and whether you're studying full or part-time.

Some of our top-up degrees (those in business communications) are specifically for students whose first language isn't English.

If you have a lower qualification but you have extensive work experience in a relevant sector we may sometimes consider this for a top-up degree.

Foundation degree – Level 5

If you're already working and want to boost your skills to take on more ambitious roles, a Foundation degree, or FdA, is a great way to earn while you learn. Foundation degrees were created to help bridge the gap between college and university, and bring more people from vocational routes into higher education.

FdAs are Level 5, so sit just below a Bachelor's degree, but once you complete a Foundation degree, you'll be able to ‘top-up’ to a full Honours degree with extra study when you're ready.

Entry requirements vary depending on the subject. You might need qualifications such as A levels, or industry experience. Admission is usually assessed on an individual basis, to make sure you've got the required background knowledge and skills you need to complete the course.

Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) – Level 4 and 5

Studying an HNC or HND can give you the theory and skills you need to succeed in your current or future job. A Higher National Certificate or Diploma is ideal whether you want to launch straight into your dream career, or jump-start further study by joining a degree programme mid-way through.

HNCs generally take a year to complete, and are equivalent to the first year of study of an Honours degree. HNDs take 2 years and are equivalent to the first 2 years of an Honours degree.

Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) and Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) – Level 4 and 5

A CertHE or DipHE is a stand-alone qualification that's usually awarded if you don't want to commit to a full degree. You get a CertHE for 1 year of full-time study, worth 120 credits, and a DipHE for 2 years of full-time study, worth 240 credits.

A CertHE or DipHE might be useful for getting a job, depending on the profession, as they're equivalent to other qualifications. For example, a DipHE in Business and Management is comparable to an NVQ 4 Diploma in Business and Administration.

You can use a CertHE or DipHE as a stepping stone to a full degree, and you might be able to skip 1 or 2 years of a degree course. You still need to make sure you meet the entry requirements of the course you're interested in, and find out whether your previous studies are transferable.

Certificate of Education (CertEd) – Level 4

If you want to pursue a career as a teacher in further education or training, then you need a CertEd. It opens the door to teaching roles in colleges, sixth-forms, private training providers, public services and voluntary organisations. You can also top up your certificate to a BA (Hons) Education and Training degree with further study.

You need a level 3 qualification in your subject, such as A-Levels to get onto a CertEd course. It generally takes 1 year of full-time study, or 2 years part-time through our partner colleges.

What are the different types of university degrees? (2024)
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