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Graduate - Grace

Qualifications Explained - Degrees

Our Degree-level courses come in all shapes and sizes. Here's our guide to explaining what all these different qualifications mean.

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Certificates of Higher Education (Cert HE)

Level 4
Duration: 1 Year
Progression: Foundation Degree (Year 2) / Employment

These are one-year Level 4 qualifications which follow the same curriculum as the first year of our Foundation Degrees. On completion you can either opt to into employment or, if you decide to continue your studies, join the second year of the corresponding foundation degree.


Higher National Certificates (HNC)

Level 4
Duration: 1 Year
Progression: HND / Hons Degree (Year 2)* / Employment

These are one-year Level 4 employer-focused qualifications which can either lead directly to employment or to a Higher National Diploma (HND) or the second year of an honours degree programme depending on the subject studied.

*Subject dependent

Plan your path through Higher Education

Flexible learning built around you. Study for one, two or three years and get a qualification at every stage.

Higher National Diplomas (HND)

Level 5
Duration: 1 Year
Progression: Hons Topup Degree / Employment

HNDs are one-year Level 5 qualifications which build on the knowledge and skills acquired in a corresponding HNC. On completion, you can either go into employment or join one of our topup programmes to gain a full honours degree.


Foundation Degrees (FdA)

Level 4 & 5
Duration: 2 Years
Progression: Hons Topup Degree / Employment

FdAs are studied over two years (Level 4 & 5), integrate academic and work-based learning through close collaboration with employers to provide an industry-relevant qualification. They also provide a route through to top-up degrees.

Access to Higher Education

If you're keen to study for a degree but you don't have the qualifications or experience, an Access to HE Diploma gets you degree-ready in just one year.

BA / BSc / BEng (Hons) Degrees

Level 4, 5, & 6
Duration: 3 Years
Progression: Postgraduate / Employment

These are traditional three-year programmes available at B&FC that lead to the award of an Honours degree.


BA / BSc / BEng (Hons) Topup Degrees

Level 6
Duration: 1 Years
Progression: Postgraduate / Employment

These provide successful B&FC Foundation Degree graduates with the option of 'topping up' their degree to an Honours degree in just one year. Topup Degrees are a great option for those unable to commit to three consecutive years of study.


Postgraduate programmes

Level 7

These are typically studied after an Honours degree, such as our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).


Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

These combine skilled on-the-job training with higher level study to allow those already in employment to move their career forward.

Check out our Higher and Degree Apprenticeships page for more information.

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQ)

HTQs are a great way to get the skills employers want - a route to well-paid, secure and sustainable jobs.

Admissions: Higher Education

Everything you need to know about our admission procedure, application process, entry requirements and more.

Subject to Validation & Revalidation

All our Honours degrees and Topup programmes are validated by our awarding body, Lancaster University, and subject to periodic revalidation to ensure that the courses we deliver are of the highest quality, incorporate new academic research and, where appropriate, reflect current industry best practice.

We always indicate if a course is subject to revalidation but this does not mean that the course is likely to be withdrawn.

Please visit our Subject to Validation, Revalidation & Approval page for more information.

Contact Us

Don't hesitate to contact our Course Enquiries Team if you have any questions or concerns about Degree-level qualifications.
Call: 01253 504343