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Many alternatives to the traditional route into university now exist. Two types of undergraduate qualification, the Foundation Degree and the Certificate of Higher Education, are increasingly popular and attract students for a variety of reasons.

Read more about them below, or browse our list of CertHE courses

Foundation Degree (FdA / FdSc) - Levels 4 and 5

A Foundation Degree is an employment-related qualification at higher education level. It is designed to equip you with the higher-level skills and knowledge that not only meet the needs of employers, but also offer you the opportunity to develop personally and professionally.

To achieve the qualification, you must obtain a minimum of 240 credits. The successful completion of a Foundation Degree can lead into the third year of an appropriate honours degree programme.

Our Foundation Degrees: 

We also offer Foundation Years in a range of Humanities courses.

Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) – Level 4

A Certificate of Higher Education is worth 120 credits, and is equivalent to the first year of a full-time Bachelor's degree. 

At UWTSD we offer a wide range of CertHE programmes. Some are part of a full-time degree,  so if you complete the first year of a BSc, BA or BEng and decide not to continue, you may be awarded a CertHE. Others, such as Art and Design Foundation (CertHE) or Digital Skills (CertHE), are standalone. In most cases, the credits that you earn from a CertHE count towards Recognition of Prior Learning, and can be taken into account in applications for other qualifications. 

A CertHE can be a great choice if, for example:

  • you want to study at university-level, but don't want to commit to a full course;
  • you have been out of education for some time and would like a gentle reintroduction;
  • you don't have traditional qualifications such as A-Levels, and are seeking a route into an undergraduate degree.
Education and Humanities



Humanities and Cultural Studies

Psychology, Wellbeing and Counselling

Hospitality, Management and Health

Catering, Hospitality and Tourism

Health and Social Care

Law, Crime and Policing

Business and Skills for the Workplace

Sport and Sports Education

Creative Arts, Science and Construction

Art and Design


Film and TV

Music and Theatre

Technology and Construction