Foundation degrees

​What is a foundation degree?

A Foundation Degree is a Level 4/5 vocational qualification, which allows you to gain knowledge in a subject to enable you to go on to employment or further study.  It is equivalent to the first and second year of an honours degree.

As well as learning about a particular subject, you will develop key transferable skills such as communication, team working and problem solving.  Courses are generally more flexible than other higher qualifications, incorporating work experience in order to make sure that you have all the knowledge and key skills required for your chosen career. 

After completing a foundation degree you’ll need to consider whether you will then look for a job or ‘top up’ your qualification to an undergraduate degree.  This will take one further year of study and is subject to meeting progression requirements.

Foundation degrees are often designed in partnership with employers as they are qualifications to equip you with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve academic results as well as improve performance and productivity in the work place.

Who does a foundation degree suit? 

A foundation degree can be seen as a stepping stone into the world of higher education, particularly if you don’t have the right qualifications to go straight onto a degree programme.  A foundation year is ideal if you’re unsure whether you want to go to university. You can get an understanding of your field of interest before progressing to a full degree programme.

Foundation degrees focus on a particular job or profession and aim to increase the professional and technical skills of potential staff within a profession.

According to HEFCE, more than 100,000 people are currently studying for foundation degrees in the UK.  Tuition fees vary as they do for honours degrees, and can be paid for with a student loan

Foundation degree courses available at University of Gloucestershire

Exercise, Fitness and Health (Foundation Degree) - Become a sports and exercise expert with our Exercise, Fitness and Health Degree. Qualify as a personal trainer and fitness instructor alongside your degree.

Foundation degree or foundation year? 

It's important to note that a foundation degree is not the same as a foundation year.   A foundation degree is a standalone qualification equivalent to two years of a three year degree, whereas a foundation year course gives you access onto a degree course.  International students can find out more about our University preparation courses provided by the INTO Centre

Apply for a Foundation Degree  

Ready to apply for a foundation degree? If you’re applying for a full-time foundation degree you should make your application through UCAS.  Applications should be submitted to UCAS by 15 January, however if this date has passed then it’s not usually too late to apply.  If you’ve missed the 15 January deadline, contact our admissions team who will be able to discuss your application with you.  You can also apply for an undergraduate degree through Clearing if you didn’t receive the grades you were expecting, or if you start your UCAS application after 30 June.

Find out more about applying