Higher Education courses explained

City and Islington College students working in a fashion studio

Our Extended Degrees, Foundation Degrees (FdA/FdSc), BSc (Hons) top-up courses and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are highly valued by employers. They will give you the qualifications, skills and confidence you need to be successful in your chosen field.

 See data from UNISTATS and compare your course with other courses.

Extended Degrees

Extended degrees provide applicants with an alternative route into higher education. If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing an extended degree. Extended degrees include Year 0, which is also known as a foundation year. Once you successfully complete your first year of study you will progress into Year 1 of an undergraduate degree.

Foundation Degrees (FdA/ FdSc)

Foundation Degrees are equivalent to the first two years of a full Honours Degree. For example, an FdA is equivalent to the first two years of a BA and an FdSc is equivalent to the first two years of a BSc. There are progression routes from our Foundation Degrees to the third year of a BA or BSc course at our partner universities or other UK universities.

  • Combine academic study with practical and technical training for specific careers
  • Designed and delivered in partnership with employers
  • Equivalent to the first two years of an Honours Degree (Level 5)
  • Allow progression to the final year of an Honours Degree (on passing the course)
  • Assessed through exams, practical work and on-the-job training
  • Awarded by London Metropolitan University or the University of Central Lancashire (Policing FdSc)

Read Adam Henry's story to see how bold ambitions can be achieved studying foundation degrees.

BSc (Hons) top-up courses

BSc (Hons) top-up courses are equivalent to the third year of a degree and allow students who have achieved an FdSc to “top-up” their Foundation Degree to a full Honours Degree. The College now offers one-year BSc (Hons) top-up courses at our Centre for Applied Sciences.

  • Combine academic study with practical and technical training for specific careers
  • Designed and delivered in partnership with employers
  • Equivalent to the third year of an Honours Degree (Level 6)
  • Assessed through exams, practical work and on-the-job training
  • Awarded by London Metropolitan University

Higher National Certificates/ Diplomas (HNC/Ds)

  • Combine theory and practice to develop practical and technical skills for a particular field of work
  • Designed in collaboration with industry experts
  • Hands-on approach that is highly valued by employers
  • HNDs are equivalent to the first two years of an Honours Degree (Level 5)
  • Can be converted to a full Honours Degree with extra study
  • Assessed through assignments and practical tasks
  • Awarded by Edexcel

Read Nick Valentine's story to see why he took a HND