A top-up degree is an ideal option for those who already possess academic qualifications such as higher national diplomas (HNDs) or foundation degrees, but wish to upgrade their current qualifications to a full degree.
This can be done in one year through a top-up degree programme. Through this programme, the previous qualifications and course modules you already have will count toward the completion of your degree, meaning that all you will need to complete is the extra credit required for graduation.
By studying for a top-up degree, you could gain a competitive advantage in various areas such as management positions and research opportunities.
This type of undergraduate qualification could also open up new career paths and career ambitions that would not have been possible without obtaining a full undergraduate degree.
You may even find yourself better prepared when embarking on postgraduate courses or a Master’s degree with specific knowledge and communication skills gained from your top-up course.
Why Choose a Top-up?
Top-up degrees are an ideal choice for those who want to obtain a University degree without attending University.
Completing a top-up provides full recognition and can increase employability as well as career prospects.
Studying at your local college can earn you the same complete degree as if you were to attend, but affordably and conveniently.
You simply need to have gained a foundation, HND or other relevant qualification from any institution or awarding body to qualify for a top-up level qualification.
Such excellent qualifications provide the opportunity to gain further knowledge and expertise in specific areas of study and enable graduates to demonstrate their commitment to continued learning.
Furthermore, those intending to pursue career progression that requires certification and recognition of organisational skills may find such qualifications invaluable in helping them secure employment.
Structure of a Top-degree
A top-up degree structure is designed to make sure that students who have not studied the subject for some time, or those with limited experience in essay writing, are adequately prepared to proceed to more advanced studies.
The initial module serves as a refresher for academic skill sets such as academic writing and referencing which are essential cornerstones of good academic work.
Once the starting basics have been covered, the central units will cover the main topics being studied and also progress students towards developing higher levels of practical skills relevant to their final project.
This structure is generally followed by degrees denominated BS (Hons) or BSc (Hons). Such qualifications are recognised worldwide and can provide a student invaluable aid in pursuing further education or career goals.
These top-up degree courses are assessed by presentations, projects, and practical tasks instead of traditional exams.
Those wishing to undertake a top-up degree must demonstrate successful completion of the equivalent of the first two years of a traditional degree.
Most commonly, this is established with existing certifications such as Higher National Diploma, NVQ and BTEC or a relevant two-year qualification.
In addition, some institutions may consider evidence of relevant career experience or previous studies for entry.
This allows individuals who may not have pursued a formal educational route to acquire the higher qualifications that accredited programmes offer.
To illustrate this, those holding an HND in engineering can join an engineering top-up degree.
The certification ensures university tutors that the candidates possess a valid academic background and knowledge base which gives them a head start in their studies.
Nonetheless, entrance requirements for top-up degrees can vary by institution; so before joining any complete degree programme it’s important to check with the relevant administrators to ensure you meet the admission criteria for that particular course or university.
HND To Top-up Degree
Completing a Higher National Diploma (HND) or foundation degree is the first step towards achieving your ambition in your chosen subject, but if you want to take your studies even further, then you should consider top-up your existing qualification to a full Bachelor degree.
The benefit of topping up is that you can quickly build on the knowledge you’ve already gained and make progress towards finishing the higher education course of your choice. Not only will this help boost your academic confidence, but it also gives you greater career aspirations as employers are more likely to be attracted to someone who has achieved and gone the extra mile when completing their diploma/degree.
Furthermore, by topping up to a bachelor’s accredited degree, you can develop further transferable skills such as research-based learning and problem-solving that are highly prized by employers across a range of industries.
Additionally, the wide range of options available allows for flexible scheduling depending on whether your lifestyle means part-time or full-time study would suit you better.
This makes it far easier for students with busy lives to fit their study commitments around other commitments like family and work responsibilities.
Career Opportunities After the Completion of Top-up Degree Course
The awarding of a top-up degree opens up new opportunities for graduates. With a full honours degree in hand, graduates can look forward to pursuing new career aims and achieving higher levels of qualifications.
Alternatively, distance learning or blended learning options offer flexibility so that those with family commitments or part-time jobs don’t have to give those up to pursue additional qualifications and reach their goals.
Various Universities provide an environment whereby the graduate can benefit from the support of dedicated academic advisors who are available to provide personalised education services and ensure that each student gets the most out of their studies.
Furthermore, offers students access to industry experts committed to providing realistic opportunities allowing them to gain an inside view into all aspects related to their chosen profession. With the assistance of such support groups, graduates can secure an understanding both within their subject area and on how best they can use their newly acquired qualifications.