Foundation degrees combine academic and workplace skills. Find out how they work, how much they cost, and how to get a place.

How they work

Foundation degrees focus on a particular job or profession.

Foundation degrees are ideal if you’re unsure about taking a full degree or if you want to study while you work. Whether you’re working in or towards the role now, you can gain professional and technical skills to further your career – within a shorter time frame than a full degree.

  • They usually take two years full-time to complete, or longer for part-time students.
  • Normally you can continue for a further year to gain a full honours degree, which is useful if you decide to go for a full degree after all.

How to get a place

Unlike full degrees, there are no set entry requirements for foundation degrees.

You can find out more when you search for courses, but you may find it's all quite flexible.

  • In fact, formal qualifications are not always necessary – commercial or industrial experience might be more relevant.
  • In some instances you might even be able to accredit existing company training received while having foundation degree status. Generally this is investigated on an individual company basis.

How to apply

Full-time foundation degrees: if the university or college is a UCAS course provider you'll need to complete a UCAS Undergraduate application

Part-time foundation degrees: apply directly to the uni or college offering the course. 

How much they cost

Fees vary, but you may be able to get financial support – especially if you’re studying while working.

You’ll also still be entitled to the same student finance as other higher education students.

  • Contact the university or college to check costs and whether you can get funding.
  • If you’re in employment now, the company might be able to support you too.