There are many different pathways to studying at university level – don’t just take the traditional route; decide which is best for you!
Not all university-level courses and degrees are time consuming and expensive. If you want to earn qualifications at a higher level and stand out in a competitive marketplace, there are a number of options to choose from – some of which you can do alongside your current job!
At College of Suffolk, our courses have been developed with consultation and input from employers, to ensure they are as relevant as possible to your career goals and future plans.
Take a look at our university-level options below to help you advance your knowledge further and land your perfect career.
Topping up a foundation degree
A foundation degree is a great place to begin if you’re getting back into education and eager to lay the groundwork – either for work-related skills or as a stepping stone to a full university degree. It will help you further develop your career if you’re already in a job, or provide you with work-related learning options with relevant employers if this is a new career path.
Like other types of university-level courses, foundation degrees are split into two disciplines: arts (FdA) and sciences (FdSc). They usually take two years to complete when studying full-time, but they can also be done part-time.
Upon completion of a foundation degree, you’ll receive a qualification that’s equivalent to the first two years of a traditional university degree. From here, you can go into your career with your award, or you can ‘top up’ your degree with a further year of study.
Topping up your foundation degree converts your qualification to a bachelor’s degree. You can do this with College of Suffolk and save a lot of money on tuition fees!
Understanding HNCs and HNDs
Both a HNC and HND are focused on helping you get a head start in a specific industry, with all the relevant skills you’ll need for the sector.
A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a vocational-based qualification. That means you’ll be studying for a career in a specific area, with practical work-related training and education, and a focus on preparing you for a real-world job. Studying full-time, a HNC course usually takes a year, or you can do it on a part-time basis over two years.
After completing a HNC, you could convert your qualification to a HND with further study. A Higher National Diploma is the next level up, with more units to study and typically taking two years to complete on a full-time basis.
With a HNC or HND, you could enter the second or third year of a bachelor’s degree and ‘top up’ your qualification. Or you can use this higher level of qualification to showcase your skills and expertise in your chosen career and secure a great job.
Studying for a bachelor’s degree
The most common type of university level qualification is a bachelor’s degree – either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Sciences (Bsc). They can be taken in a diverse range of subjects and usually take three or four years to complete on a full-time basis.
Bachelors’ degrees are often more academically focused, although we offer a number of options which are more vocational based – ensuring you’ll have lots of hands-on learning opportunities alongside classroom study.
Not sure on the best path for you?
Don’t worry if you’re confused by the different choices for university-level qualifications. The variety of options mean that you can decide on a path of study that suits your individual circumstances.
But you don’t have to decide on your own! Our expert Careers and Welfare team are on hand to speak with you about your career goals and find the right option for you.
All you need to do to speak with us is send an email or pick up the phone!