A bachelor's degree gives a thorough understanding of a subject. It usually takes three years to complete full-time in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland 'ordinary' bachelor's degrees normally take three years while bachelor's degrees with honours take four years.
A foundation degree is intended to give a basic knowledge in a subject to enable the holder to go on to employment or further study in that field. They are normally offered by universities and further education colleges working in partnership. A foundation year can give you a taste of university life and help you decide whether you want to do a full degree course. It equates to the first two years of a Bachelor's degree in the UK, with part-time courses lasting around four years.
Ordinary National Diploma (OND)
A vocational qualification in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the highest level of the BTEC structure and is equal to A-Levels.
Higher National Diploma (HND)
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a work-related course provided by higher and further education colleges in the UK. A full-time HND takes two years to complete, or three to four years part-time. Generally an HND is the equivalent to two years at university. Those looking to enter practical industries such as health and social care, engineering or agriculture may benefit more from an HND than a Bachelors degree.
Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
DipHE is the academic equivalent to the HND and is awarded after two years of full-time study at a university or other higher education institution. It equates to the first two years of study of a university degree, and can sometimes be awarded to a student leaving a degree programme before their final year. DipHE may be an attractive option to students who can't commit to a three-year degree.
Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
CertHE is a level below the DipHE and takes one year of full-time study to complete. It's the academic equivalent to the Higher National Certificate (HNC) and a viable option for those considering transferring onto a Bachelors course they don't have the qualifications for. Completing a CertHE can demonstrate individuals' capability of studying at university level.
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