The difference between course levels

Difference Between Course Levels

The difference between course levels

When you click on the course info on a University site, it might look a bit scary, and that’s understandable, there are so many different terms that you may not have heard of, but today I’m here to run you through it all. Let’s see the difference between course levels.

HND/Foundation Degree

What level is a degree? What level is a foundation degree equivalent to? A foundation degree is usually the first level of degree offered at universities. This degree is two years long and can be used as a top-up for the following bachelor’s level.

What are the requirements? The requirement for a foundation degree is roughly 100 UCAS points which can vary in different universities.

What’s a UCAS point? These points are earned through college – A levels or BTEC studies.

What’s next? You can go into a bachelor’s degree or even go straight into the relevant career with this degree.

Bachelors Degree

What level is a bachelor degree? A bachelor degree is an undergraduate degree that can be started straight after higher education or foundation. The degree is 3 to 4 years, depending on if it’s studied full-time or part-time.

What are the requirements? The requirements vary from University to University, but the UCAS points can be obtained through College education.

What next? After graduation, you can go straight into the relevant career or even a postgraduate degree.

Masters Degree

What level is a master’s degree? A master’s degree is commonly taken after a bachelor’s degree. This degree is a level 7 qualification and usually lasts around two years.

What are the requirements? The minimum requirement is a 2:1, but some may be accepted with a 2:2 depending on the University and relevant experience.

What’s next? With this degree, you can go straight into your relevant career or continue onto another degree if preferred.


A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is another level 7 qualification that combines practical elements alongside taught theory. This degree is often used if you want to become a teacher of your chosen subject, where they focus on how to transfer knowledge. This degree’s completion time can vary from nine months to longer depending on whether or not it’s studied part-time or full-time.

What are the requirements? A minimum level of 2:2 is required to start a PGCE.

What’s next? With this degree, you’re able to go into teaching straight away.


A PhD is the highest level of degree that can be achieved and is equivalent to a level 8. This degree will usually take around 3 to 4 years full-time and six years part-time.

What are the requirements? Most universities will require you to have a bachelor’s and masters to get started with a PhD; however, some universities accept a bachelor’s degree.

What’s next? With this degree, you can get a job in the relevant field and receive a Doctorate of Philosophy. There are other types of Doctoral degrees, such as higher Doctorates, New Route PhDs, and Professional Doctorates.

Are there any other options?

If you’re not interested in any of these degrees, other choices include a Conversion course, degree apprenticeship, professional qualification, or a higher national certificate. Each University is different, and I highly recommend contacting your chosen one to learn more about degrees and courses.

Here at Boost Education Service, we guide you through the application process to ensure it goes as smoothly.

Contact us to get a free consultation.

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