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HE Course Finder

Guide to Our Qualifications

There are many ways to study at higher education level and different types of qualification available. Here is an explanation of some of the qualifications available at Wakefield College.

Access to Higher Education

A one or two year pre-degree course aimed at adults returning to study and intending to progress onto a Higher Education course, such as a degree at a college or university.

Foundation Degree

Foundation Degrees are qualifications at university level developed in collaboration with employers. They combine academic study with workplace learning, and are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge that businesses are looking for.

They can normally be studied full or part-time. Foundation Degrees can often lead straight to a job, or can be used to progress to a bachelors degree (BA/BSc) with further study (this normally takes about a year if studied full-time).

Higher National Certificate and Diploma

HNCs and HNDs are designed to give you the skills for a particular field of work so they can lead straight to a career.

You can also use them to progress within your current career. You may also be able to convert your HNC or HND to a foundation degree or bachelors degree with extra study.

HNCs and HNDs are highly valued by employers in some industrial sectors. HNCs can take one year to complete full time and two years part-time. HNDs take two years full-time and can also be taken part-time (which takes longer).

Professional, Vocational and Technical Qualifications
(e.g. AAT, CIM, ILM, City and Guilds)

These qualifications are normally studied part-time and are aimed at adults who wish to develop their professional careers.

BA/BSc Honours 'top-up' degrees

These courses are aimed at those who have successfully completed a Foundation degree or HND and want to progress to a full honours degree. Full and part-time modes of study are normally available.

Useful Links


UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK.


Clearing on Wikipedia and see the common misconceptions about the process.

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The UCAS Facebook page contains the latest information and you can also post your questions to our advisers.