Foundation Degree Frequently Asked Questions

East Durham College in partnership with the University of Sunderland offer a number of Foundation Degrees. But what is a Foundation Degree? Here’s a few ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ to give you a better idea.

What is a Foundation Degree?

Foundation Degrees are higher education qualifications which combine practical work-based learning with academic study.

Foundation Degrees are developed directly with employers. They provide the work skills relevant to a particular sector of industry or public service, and are an excellent way to combine critical thinking and academic skills with practical experience.

When you successfully complete your Foundation Degree you can use the letters FdA if the qualification is in an arts related course, FdSc for science based courses and FdEng for engineering courses.

How is a Foundation Degree connected to an undergraduate degree?

A Foundation Degree is a higher education qualification in its own right. In addition, it is also equivalent to the first two years at university, and there is an option to extend the qualification into a full honours degree.

In some cases an additional short course will be required to bridge the gap between Foundation Degree and full honours degree programmes, but this will depend on the type of honours degree top-up you choose.

What qualifications do I need to take a Foundation Degree?

Applicants to Foundation Degrees will be expected to have three passes at GCSE grade C or above (including Mathematics and English). Alternatively, a minimum of Level 2 Key / Basic Skills in Literacy / Application of Number / Numeracy and Information Technology will also be considered.

Applicants will also need to have a minimum of 1 x 6 unit award, including A Levels or vocational equivalents, such as AVCEs / GNVQs, or NVQ Level 3.

Employees without formal qualifications may qualify for entry through relevant work-based experience.

Any additional entry requirements will be listed within the relevant course information. Additional entry requirements can include pre-requisite subjects and UCAS tariff points.

How long does it take to study for a Foundation Degree?

A full-time Foundation Degree takes two years to complete. The part-time route usually takes three years, but the exact time will depend on the design and delivery of the course.

How do I apply for a Foundation Degree?

Full Time Programme

If it's a full time programme you must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Key application dates and deadline can be found here on the UCAS website key dates.

To apply to study at East Durham College, as a partner of the University of Sunderland, you must enter the University’s UCAS code and the EDC campus code on the UCAS application form.

These are:

Sunderland Uni UCAS code: S84

East Durham College Campus Code: P

Part Time Programme

If it's a part time programme you must initially apply through the College. Please contact our Higher Education Advisor to make sure you complete the correct form. Call on 0191 518 8282 or email:

Need more help?

If you have any further questions about Foundation Degrees or how to apply, please contact the University’s Student Helpline: 0191 515 or contact East Durham College, Student Services: 0191 518

Any questions?

Please use the enquiry form below or call Student Services on 0191 518 8222 to discuss your options.

General Enquiry

Personal details
Talk to us