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What is a Foundation Degree?

A Foundation Degree is a higher education qualification developed and delivered by a partnership involving our Universities (or the Open University), our Further Education Regional Colleges and local Employers. Foundation Degrees combine academic and work related learning and are designed to provide graduates with both technical and transferable employability skills.  Courses can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis.
  • A full-time course lasts two years and a part-time course lasts three to four years.   
  • Part-time courses are flexible and can fit in with existing work patterns, meaning employees can study towards the qualification with minimal disruption to work commitments. 

Are you a student?  Here is a list of all Foundation Degrees on offer 

There are over 50 Foundation degrees available in Northern Ireland across a wide range of subjects including Engineering, Construction, Retail, Computing, Financial Services, Accounting, Leadership & Management and Hospitality & Tourism Management.  Most of these are validated by Ulster University or Queens University. For a comprehensive list of all Foundation Degree courses on offer visit: 
Foundation Degrees - list of courses
Foundation Degrees - validated by QUB

While a student is at a FE College and undertaking a Foundation Degree - they can avail  of some benefits from the university e.g. a
ccess to library facilities - online and physical and access to sports facilities.  The Associate Student Guide weblinks below outlines the benefits for students undertaking FD's accredited by UU and QUB.
Associate Student guide for Ulster University Students
QUB Student Guide

Are you an employer?  Why should you get involved in Foundation Degrees....

The benefits of an employer getting involved in a Foundation degree are continuous.People are any organisation’s most valuable resource.  By investing time in training and development, employers are ensuring that they and the Northern Ireland economy can avail of future opportunities and prepare to compete economically on a global scale. Up-skilling creates a more skilled and motivated workforce.  It helps with staff retention, reduces staff turnover and helps prepare your business for future challenges. Foundation degree graduates in particular come equipped with a strong mix of academic knowledge, sector specific technical skills and relevant work related experience.  Throughout their course, Foundation degree students gain a range of useful and much sought after employability skills, which benefit any workplace.

There are four main ways that an employer can get involved with foundation degrees:

  • Support employees to complete a Foundation degree
  • Provide Foundation degree students with a work placements
  • Assist in the design and development of a Foundation degree
  • Employ Foundation degree graduates

If you are an employer and want more information visit: FD Employers


Read some case studies from Foundation Degree students

To read case studies from Foundation Degree students visit:
FD Case Studies

Examples of Foundation Degrees on offer.  For full list see: Foundation Degrees - list of courses


Foundation degree

College

Attendance

Accounting

BMC

Full-time

Applied and Medical Sciences

NRC
NWRC
SRC
SWC
SERC

Full-time
Full-time and Part-time
Full time and Part-time
Full-time and Part-time
Full time and Part-time

Architectural Technology with Sustainable Design

BMC
SRC
SWC
SERC

NWRC

Full-time
Full-time and Part-time
Full-time and Part-time
Full time (Depending on validation)
Full-time and Part-time

Building Services

SWC

Full-time and Part-time

Building Services and Renewable Energies

BMC
SRC

Full-time
Part-time

Building Technology and Management

NRC

Full-time

Business Services Management

SWC

Full-time and Part-time

Civil Engineering and Transport

SWC

Full-time and Part-time

Civil Engineering*

BMC

Full time

Computing

NRC
SERC

SRC

Full-time
Full-time (Depending on validation)
Full-time and Part-time

Computing (ICT Systems)

SERC

Full time (Depending on validation)

Computing/Software Development

NWRC
SERC

Full-time and Part-time
Full time (Depending on validation)

Contemporary Design and Manufacturing

SWC

Full-time and Part-time

Counselling

BMC
NRC
NWRC
SERC
SRC
SWC

Part-time
Part-time
Part-time
Part-time
Part-time
Part-time

Creative Media Production

SWC

Full-time

Early Childhood Studies*

BMC
NWRC
SERC
SRC
SWC

Full-time
Part-time
Full-time
Full-time
Full-time

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

NRC
NWRC

Full-time and Part-time
Full-time and Part-time (Depending on validation)

Energy, Environment and Sustainability

SWC

Full-time and Part-time

Engineering with pathways in; Engineering Management Manufacturing Engineering

SWC

Part-time

Engineering with Specialisms in Industrial Electronics; Motorsport Technology or Wind Turbine Technology

SWC

Full-time and Part-time

Events Management

BMC
SWC

Full-time and Part-time
Part-time

Financial Services

SWC

Full-time and Part-time

Health and Leisure Studies*

BMC

Full-time

Holistic and Integrative Health Therapies

NWRC

Part-time

Hospitality and Tourism Management

BMC
NWRC
SRC
SWC

Full-time and Part-time
Full-time and Part-time
Full-time
Full-time and Part-time

Hospitality, Tourism and Events

SERC

Part-time and Full time

iMedia

BMC

Full-time

Industrial Chemical and Life Sciences

SRC

Apprenticeship

Information Technology for Business

SWC

Interactive Design

NRC

Full-time

Interactive Multimedia

SRC

Full-time

International Culinary Arts

SRC

Part-time

Leadership and Management

NRC
SERC

Part-time (e-learning)
Full-time and Part-time (e-learning)

Marketing

BMC

Full-time

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

NRC

Full-time and Part-time

Mechanical Engineering

BMC*
NWRC

Full-time*
Full-time and Part-time (Depending on validation)

Mechatronics Engineering

SERC

Full time (Depending on validation)

Product and Graphic Design

SWC

Full-time

Property, Planning and Housing

BMC

Full-time

Responding to Alcohol and drugs misuse

NWRC

Part-time

Retail

NRC
NWRC
SERC
SWC

Part-time (e-learning)
Part-time (e-learning)
Part-time (e-learning)
Part-time (e-learning)

Science in Computing (Network pathway)

SRC

Full-time

Science in Computing (Web pathway)

SRC

Full-time and Part-time

Software Engineering

BMC

Full-time

Sport Exercise and Fitness

NRC
SERC
SRC

Full-time and Part-time
Full-time and Part-time
Full-time and Part-time

Sustainable Construction

BMC
SERC

SRC
SWC
NWRC

Full-time
Full time and Part-time (Depending on validation)
Full-time and Part-time
Full-time
Full-time and Part-time

Travel and Tourism Management

BMC
NWRC
SRC

Full-time and Part-time
Full-time and Part-time
Full-time

Note: For courses marked with an asterisk * you need to apply through UCAS.