Overview of course levels

All qualifications taught at level 4 or higher are considered higher education, or ‘university level’. The table below shows the names for qualifications at each level, and what other qualifications they are equivalent to:

7Master’s Degree/PostgraduateProfessional/CPD
6Honours DegreeTop-up Degree, Professional/CPDDegree Apprenticeship
5Honours DegreeFoundation Degree, HND, DipHE, Professional/CPDDegree Apprenticeship
4Honours DegreeHNC, CertHE, Professional/CPDDegree Apprenticeship
3T Level, A Level, Level 3 BTECAccess to Higher Education, Professional/CPDAdvanced Apprenticeship
2GCSE – grade 9-4Level 2 BTECs, Level 2 Vocational QualsIntermediate Apprenticeship
1GCSE – grade 3-1Level 1 BTECs, Level 1 Vocational QualsTraineeship

We offer a variety of study options to suit your goals, background and work commitments; providing flexibility and plenty of options for the future.

2 Year Honours Accelerated Degrees

  • Take two years to complete
  • ‘Accelerated’ since there is three years of work condensed into two
  • Require an ability to commit to an intense programme of study
  • Lower overall fees for full degree
  • Students graduate with either a BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) in arts or science respectively

1 Year Top-up Degrees

  • Take one year to complete
  • Converts an HND or Foundation Degree to a full Bachelor’s Honours Degree

2 Year Foundation Degrees

  • Take two years to complete
  • Equivalent to first two years of a Bachelor’s Honours Degree
  • Focus on vocational areas of a subject
  • More accessible entry requirements
  • Provides a pathway to study a third year to ‘top-up’ to a full Bachelor’s Honours Degree

1-2 Year HNC and HND

  • Take between one and two years to complete
  • Teach skills for a specific career
  • Equivalent to the first and second year of a traditional Bachelor’s Honours Degree
  • Provide a pathway to study a third year to ‘top-up’ to a full Bachelor’s Honours Degree

1 Year Master’s Degree

  • Takes one year to complete
  • Follows on from a Bachelor’s Degree to take study to a new level
  • Typically involves a major project that shows depth of knowledge
  • Is considered ‘postgraduate’ study

Access to Higher Education Diplomas

  • Are designed to give adults who missed out on college a stepping-stone into higher education (university-level study)
  • Are based on the specific type of degree you want to start
  • Last for one year and are equivalent to three A Levels
  • Can be studied without any up-front tuition fees when taking out an Advanced Learner Loan from the government. This loan is then written off when you go on to successfully complete an eligible higher education qualification

Professional and Continuing Professional Development Courses

  • Are designed to help you to progress within specific careers
  • Can range from a number of weeks to several years, depending on the course
  • Are accredited by national bodies who are recognised in the sector you want to work in
  • Usually offer a range of levels to progress through
  • Are often funded by employers, but some courses are also eligible for government loans

Degree Apprenticeships

  • Degree apprenticeships combine academic study with practical work experience
  • They offer an opportunity to earn a degree while gaining valuable workplace skills
  • Apprentices are employed by a company and receive a salary while studying
  • The tuition fees for the degree are covered by the employer and the government
  • Degree apprenticeships are available in various fields and provide a pathway to a successful career

Typical Entry Requirements

Higher Education is an option for all. Our typical entry requirements are measured in terms of the UCAS Tariff, which is based on grades from post-16 qualifications, but we welcome students from all backgrounds to apply as we value the work and life experiences students bring to our courses.

Examples of students’ backgrounds could include:

  • A Levels
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Level 3 BTEC/T Level/OCR Diploma
  • Professional or specialist qualifications
  • Relevant work experience as a mature applicant

Help with Choosing a Course

We offer a variety of study options to suit your goals, background and work commitments; providing flexibility and plenty of options for the future.

Higher Education and Degree courses can open doors to new careers, larger earnings and greater job satisfaction; so choosing the right course will be an important decision for you.

You will need to know what steps you should take to reach both your career and personal goals. Fortunately, you can find out what these steps are in a few simple ways:

  • Speak to our Information Team for impartial advice and guidance by email via info@farn-ct.ac.uk or by calling 01252 407339
  • Use the National Careers Service to research job profiles and their entry requirements, as well as for impartial advice and career planning
  • Visit the UCAS website and you will find a wide range of information about choosing a university, a course, and what the alternatives are
  • Discover undergraduate career opportunities using prospects.ac.uk, which also provides detailed profiles on employers, job sectors and postgraduate study options.

We also recommend researching specific job roles to find out what skills or qualifications you may need. This could include:

  • Work experience
  • Postgraduate qualifications
  • Membership of a professional body
We focus on giving you the skills and knowledge to kick-start your career, which is why many of our courses are more hands-on than you might expect.
Our class sizes are similar to college, which means you won’t get lost in the crowd or feel like just a number with us.
Our small campus is full of plants, natural light, and new facilities that will help you feel good while studying. Plus, you’ll have exclusive access to University Centre study spaces in the College.
Studying a degree at a small institution means your lecturers will know all your strengths and weaknesses, and give you valuable feedback and support to help you go further.
UK Quality Assured
University of Surrey
Ofsted Outstanding Provider
UK Quality Assured
University of Surrey
Ofsted Outstanding Provider
University Centre Farnborough
C/O Farnborough College of Technology, Boundary Road, Farnborough, Hants GU14 6SB
Call: 01252 405555
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