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A foundation degree is a vocational qualification in higher education, introduced by the government of the United Kingdom in September 2001, which is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
What are foundation degrees?
A foundation degree is a degree level qualification which combines academic study with work place learning. Designed in association with employers, they are qualifications to equip people with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve academic results as well as improve performance and productivity in the work place.
Foundation degrees focus on a particular job or profession. They are intended to increase the professional and technical skills of current or potential staff within a profession, or intending to go into that profession.
A foundation degree is the equivalent of two thirds of a full honours degree and is a fully flexible qualification allowing students to study part-time or full-time to fit their lifestyle.
A full-time foundation degree will usually take about two years to complete, and part-time courses may take longer. Completing an honours degree following on from a foundation degree will normally take an extra year.
There are no set entry requirements for foundation degrees. Formal qualifications are not always necessary as appropriate commercial and industrial experience can be more relevant. All foundation degrees take into account work experience and, in some instances, it may be possible to accredit existing company training received by an employee with foundation degree status – this is generally investigated on an individual company basis.