Foundation, HNC, HND and BA courses are regarded as a great alternative to pursuing a full-time degree, spanning three to four years. Typically, these courses are structured to prepare students for a specific career. Such programmes have the potential to offer students with undergraduate qualifications, equivalent to a degree, but they take less time to be completed. If you cannot afford the time to study for a full-time degree, then read on to learn about the courses that can help you continue your education.

What is a foundation course?

Foundational courses refer to programmes that enable students to fill the gap between their current level of education and the level that is required to take up a degree. They are typically designed to help students acquire the knowledge they may be lacking after they have finished school. Students who take up these preparatory courses or pathway programmes are assessed based on their performance in exams, presentations, projects and other assignments.

These courses equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge required to get admitted to a university abroad which can increase your chances of admission at any international university. Foundational courses tend to focus on your personal academic interests, providing you with a qualification relevant to your educational background or area of interest. Foundation degrees provide you with a strong platform to obtain a career of your choice by opening doors for you to take up higher educational qualifications.

What is an HNC (Higher National Certificate)?

A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is considered a vocational pathway to obtaining a higher educational qualification. HNC is a level 4 qualification in the UK and can instil in students the ability to demonstrate to employers about your achievements. It is equivalent to the first year of studying at any university or a Certificate of Higher Education. An HNC degree is designed to prepare students for employment and offers an excellent route into a variety of industrial sectors.

These courses assist students in effectively developing the essential skills required to start out or progress in their field of expertise. If required, the practical skills developed can also be put into practise when applying for further undergraduate study at a university. Generally created in conjunction with employers, HNC courses provide graduates with a mutually beneficial learning experience. HNC is a good option for students who want to pursue a specific career, along with practical or hands-on learning.

What is an HND (Higher National Diploma)?

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is considered an internationally recognised level 5 qualification. It is equivalent to the first 2 years of study in a degree programme. An HND qualification paves the way for students to pursue a BA honours top-up degree in a wide array of areas. HND qualified graduates are highly demanded by employers worldwide as this vocational course prepares students for careers in the workplace. It develops your knowledge and academic ability, as well as giving you a strong foundation in your preferred academic field.

Successful completion of an HND degree will give you a nationally and internationally recognised qualification. Furthermore, HND graduates are eligible to enrol onto the final year of a bachelor’s degree to "top-up” their qualification as well as providing them with the opportunity to pursue further education in colleges within the UK.

What are the benefits of an HND or HNC?

  • It is referred to as an “access course” to take up a BA (Hons) degree, down the line;
  • It can help increase your earning potential;
  • The practical skills gained from a Higher National Diploma (HND) can lead you to achieving the career of your choice;
  • These qualifications are highly regarded by both small-scale and international companies;
  • It focuses on knowledge-based learning that contributes towards your overall success in your employment.

BA courses in Fashion and Graphic design

A bachelor’s programme in fashion and graphic design can allow you to gain the skills required to succeed in the fashion industry, enhance your creative thinking and technical skills. It will equip students with a professional graphics skillset, allowing them to transform their designs into reality. Students will gain the ability to generate ideas and high-quality outcomes to launch their career in the field of arts.

Careers after a foundation course

A foundational course is a valued qualification and is often considered a pathway onto full-time employment. There are a huge number of career-based options available after completing a foundation course, some of them are:

  •   Graphic design;
  •   Fashion;
  •   Social work;
  •   Nursing;
  •   Sports and exercise science;
  •   Hospitality and tourism;
  •   Business studies;
  •   Drama;
  •   Management studies.

These courses are regarded as stepping stones to a higher qualification, as they allow students to “top-up” with extra studies at a later date, thereby converting it into a bachelor's degree. Choosing a foundation degree, HNC, HND or BA course can be an excellent career move at any point in your education or employment. Hence, if you are looking to acquire employability skills and gain an undergraduate qualification, apply to the courses offered by London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA).

This article was written by Deblina Dam and edited by Anisa C.