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Level 4-6 Higher Education

Institutions of higher education (IHE) include universities and colleges of higher education.

Many further education colleges also offer higher education (HE) course that are accredited by an IHE.

Level 4 Qualifications:

Certificate of Higher Education (CHE):

  • Offered at colleges and universities on a full or part-time basis.
  • Comparable to one year of full-time study at degree level.
  • Progression can be to a diploma or degree.

Level 5 Qualifications:

Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE):

  • A vocational qualification in subjects such as nursing and youth and community work.
  • Is comparable to two years study of a degree.
  • Is offered by universities and colleges.

BTEC Higher National Certificate and BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND):

  • Offered by colleges and universities.
  • In vocational subjects such as art and design, engineering, construction.
  • Institutions set their own entry requirements but qualifications at level 3 or evidence of recent study is usually required.
  • You may, with further study, be able to top this up to a degree.
  • BTECs are awarded by the exam board Edexcel.

Foundation Degree (FdA, FdSc):

Foundation degrees are employment-related higher education qualifications, which have been designed with employers to meet their requirements.

  • Offered by colleges and universities.
  • In vocational subjects such as housing, social care, computing, business, travel and tourism.
  • Can be done on a part-time or full-time basis.
  • Institutions set their own entry requirements but qualifications at level 3
    or evidence of recent study is usually required.
  • You may, with further study, be able to top this up to a degree.

BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards are available at Level 4, 5 or 6.

Science conversion courses are offered by some universities. Aimed at students with arts A levels at good grades who want to study science at degree level.

Level 6 Qualifications:

Honours Degree:

There are many types of degree including:

Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Bachelor of Education (BEd)
Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)

  • Offered by colleges and universities.
  • A huge range of subjects:
    • vocational - such as medicine, computing, business
    • academic or non work-related such as history, English, French
    • single subjects such as chemistry, English
    • joint subjects such as French and chemistry
    • combined subjects
  • Many can be done on either a part-time or full-time basis.
  • Institutions set their own entry requirements but qualifications at level 3 or evidence of recent study is usually required.
  • Foundation degrees are awarded by universities and colleges of higher education.
  • Specific degrees are needed for some professions such as dentistry, architecture or surveying.
  • Usually completed in three or four years of full-time study.