Most people are aware of three year full-time degree courses, but there are different higher level qualifications available. Here's a very brief summary.
How do I know which sort of course to take?
Choosing the course for the best career lift-off needs careful thought
Earning while learning routes
These include vocational study routes, foundation degrees, HNC and HNDs, Certificate in Higher Education and Diploma in Higher Education.
Vocational study...can lead into NVQ levels 4 and 5 in a range of occupations such as accountancy, engineering, insurance, social work, marketing and many more. The higher level NVQs may lead to professional qualifications and membership of a relevant Association or Institute, e.g. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
A Foundation Degree course...can be studied part-time or full-time. Foundation Degrees are a way to study for a degree while you are working - combining academic study with work place learning. They are designed by employers and Higher Education providers to ensure the course content fits the needs of the employment area. With further study they can be topped up to an Honours Degree. More information can be found on the UCAS website.
The Higher National Certificate (HNC)...involves part-time study in a wide range of work-related subjects such as engineering and construction. Students can progress to an HND.
The Higher National Diploma (HND)...is a full or part-time study route used by a number of skill areas including management. An HND will allow progression to Year 1 or 2 of a Degree course, depending on the subject so that a full honours Degree can be achieved.
Distance learning...is another route to gain a degree while in employment. You can study alone with some planned weekend workshops. An Open University degree can be studied in your own time, however self-motivation, discipline, computer literacy and good organisational skills are essential.
Full time study
A full time Degree course...can be studied at universities and colleges who might accept a range of level 3 qualifications as an entry to a degree course.
'Full-time' at university doesn't mean that your days will be filled with lectures from 9am to 5pm! Many students take up part-time employment to boost their skills and income.
Which pathway gives the best career outcomes for you?
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