B1.2 Characteristics of Foundation Degrees

  • i.  Foundation Degrees are level 5 qualifications which are intended to integrate academic and work-based learning, through collaboration between HE providers and employers. They are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge relevant to their employment, thereby meeting the needs of both employers and employees. Foundation Degrees also provide a route to Honours-level study for students who may not previously have considered entering higher education. The credit requirements, and the normal and maximum study periods, for foundation degree programmes are set out in the Core University Regulations (section A1.1.7 ii).

    ii.  Foundation Degree programmes should be designed with significant employer involvement, and opportunities for work-based learning should be an integral part of the curriculum. This will ensure that the programme meets the professional and educational needs of its target students, and reflects any relevant professional or occupational standards within the industry or employment sector. Work-related and transferable skills should be underpinned by appropriate theoretical study, to enable students to be effective in achieving their potential in the work place and in furthering their career. Some Foundation Degrees may lead to professional accreditation, through the normal procedures for recognition set out by the relevant professional body.

    iii.  A key reference point for the development of Foundation Degree programmes at the University is the Foundation Degree Characteristics Statement (QAA, September 2015), which is part of the UK Quality Code (Part A) and can be found at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/Foundation-Degree-Characteristics-15.pdf.