How do 'top-up' degrees work?

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sophiekatina
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I have seen BA Hons in X or Y but advertised as a top-up degree. I know that you do these after 2 years of prior study of a BA but can this be in anything or does it have to be related? And how does it work when you graduate? What do you graduate with?

...Oh and do they look better or worse than doing a normal full three year course?
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cybergrad
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It has to be related, otherwise you will need to take more modules (especially from Year 2) and it also depends on the university if they accept this or not. You graduate with a Bachelors degree if you succeed in your 3rd year.

http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/iwantt...20year%203.pdf

Do they look better or worse? If it was an HND or Foundation degree and then you top it up I don't think that employers will have any problem with it.

If you have failed a previous course (due to poor performance - since there are other reasons that a person can fail a course) and now you are trying to transfer credits and continue, then I don't think that they will look very favourably upon it.
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InArduisFouette
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Top-up degrees are for HND/Foundation degree/ DipHE holders in relevant subjects to get an honours degree , they are not a route for drop outs , especially those with failed modules from their previous course.
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Abbas78600
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Hi, I know its been a long time since you have done your top-up degree but how was it compared to the HND and if you moved out did you find suitable accommodation. Reason I am asking is because I will be doing a top-up in a few weeks.
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markova21
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Can I ask how long, as in how many years you have to complete your degree? I know with the Open University it is 12 years [I think]. Is there a time limit? My son's father did a Cert HE ,then a Dip.HE and went on to top up his Humanities degree at Ulster University. However he left after a term. He planned on going back one day. Talked about it for years. Then one day when he enquired he had left it too late and as told he would have to start from scratch at the Cert HE all over again.
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catinsomehat
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As other have said they're typically for people who have done foundation degrees or HNC/HND in a subject.

A full degree is worth 360 credits.

A HNC is worth 120 credits of a degree, so this is counted as a year. You can then start in the second year of a university degree with this.

A foundation degree and a HND are worth 240 credits of a degree, this is counted as two years. You can then start in the third year of a university degree with this. They also may give you the option of starting in the second year instead if you want to (if you want more time to get accustomed to university life, etc and to also make more money out of you )

When you go for a top-up at a university the courses do usually have to be related, same sort of modules, etc. If they're not related they may only let you onto the first year if they accept you. The university will ask to see a transcript of what you did before for your HNC/HND/foundation degree. You can just email it to them.

You can top-up your foundation degree at other universities, but you need to explain to the university that you want to go to why you want to go there instead and study. Make sure you contact them as soon as you possibly can about wanting to go there and find out if they'll take you.

If you're currently at a university and you just want to transfer to a different university (i.e. you don't want to top-up) you can do that too but you'd need to contact that university to ask them first and give a transcript of how you did on your current degree and why you want to transfer to a different university and course. You would also then need to look at how many years left student finance would give you (they give 3 years and a gift year, so 4 years total, this is regardless of whether they paid all of the money for a full year or not).

Because people who usually do HNC/HND/foundation degrees are usually in some sort of employment already employers will still want you. These can be an excellent way of gaining a qualification and working at the same time, something employers look very favourably on. You may need to explain to some employers though about what a foundation degree is by explaining that it's the same as a HND.

Once you've topped up your degree to a full honours degree then you have a full honours degree

Doing it this way might work out cheaper for you but bear in mind that you'll still need to do a lot of work (even more in some cases, I've spoken to some lecturers at universities and they say that the level of some courses at HNC and HND level go beyond what they usually teach at university for the same sort of year, this was for engineering though).

Also you need to keep in mind that some universities won't let you top-up and will only look at your HNC/HND/foundation degree and only let you onto the first year of a degree, so you need to make sure you contact the universities you want to apply to first and make sure they'll let you onto the second and third years if that's what you want to do.
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markova21
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You also need to double check your HNC/HND is actually worth what you think it is. Usually the HNC is equivalent to the first year of an Honours Degree and the HND is equivalent to the first two years, allowing you to enter the final year. My son has just finished the first year of a two year HND in Health and Social Care at college. There are not enough modules covered in the course for it to be equivalent to two years of a degree, and the full HND is only equivalent to the first year, meaning they will have to start at Uni in year two. Considering the fees [here in Northern Ireland] have increased ,just before my son's group started in year one from £1,400 a year to £2,500 a year many people ,myself included think it is actually a complete rip off. £5,000 worth of debt for something that's only going to allow you entry into the second year of a degree instead of the final year. Lots of people on my son's course were really angry about it, when they found out BTEC had not included enough modules in the HND for it to be worth 2 years of an Honours degree.Lots of people left after the first year and are about to start a Nursing degree at uni instead. In fact I think my son said that out of about 25 or so that started there are only 7 left going in to the second year. So, the college has scrapped the BTEC HND for new students who start this September and have changed it over to a Foundation Degree instead, which WILL be worth two years of a degree. But the college said they cannot transfer over to the Foundation Degree as it will be completely different. But needless to say, my son and his classmates feel really short changed by the college and by BTEC.
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feast4few
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If I take the MSc in Finance and Accounting top-up course will the degree issued will contain the word top-up?
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by sophiekatina)
I have seen BA Hons in X or Y but advertised as a top-up degree. I know that you do these after 2 years of prior study of a BA but can this be in anything or does it have to be related? And how does it work when you graduate? What do you graduate with?

...Oh and do they look better or worse than doing a normal full three year course?
I don't really know about BA's butI did do a top up degree with an HND and a mate of mine did one with a FDHE (foundation degree) I think it has to be related if not the same subject. You will graduate as you would normally your course gets called you shake hands and pick up your degree I actually went to My HND graduation in my top up year (my uni is weird and runs graduations in November). You graduate with a BSc or whatever it says on the course your final classification will be graded on that one year instead of over 2 years (year 1 is to get everyone to the same level). So I ended up with a BSc.
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by Abbas78600)
Hi, I know its been a long time since you have done your top-up degree but how was it compared to the HND and if you moved out did you find suitable accommodation. Reason I am asking is because I will be doing a top-up in a few weeks.
I didn't have much trouble .I did mine in the same uni with a lot of the same lecturers so it wasn't that different from the HND for me.
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by feast4few)
If I take the MSc in Finance and Accounting top-up course will the degree issued will contain the word top-up?
No it will just be Master of Science In Finance and Accounting (I just checked my degree)
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username5224582
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(Original post by sophiekatina)
I have seen BA Hons in X or Y but advertised as a top-up degree. I know that you do these after 2 years of prior study of a BA but can this be in anything or does it have to be related? And how does it work when you graduate? What do you graduate with?

...Oh and do they look better or worse than doing a normal full three year course?
A Top-up degree is equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate degree. These courses are aimed at students who have previously completed a related foundation level degree (or equivalent, e.g. an HND) and they provide a route for students to achieve a Bachelors degree.

top up degree programme offers the equivalent to the final year (Level H) of a BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) degree. It’s a way for a student to “top up” their qualification to a full honours award after finishing their Foundation degree programme. While Foundation degree programmes combine academic study with pertinent work-based learning, top up degree programmes offer competitive curriculum specifically designed to teach the needs of today's job market and give students a head start in their career goals.
Top up degree programmes are offered in a myriad of fields all over the world, but some of the most popular include: Finance and Law, International Finance, Business and Management, International Business & Management, Computer Animation, Design Engineering, Law, Global Media Practice, Hotel and Food Services Management, and International Hospitality and Tourism Management. Whatever field a student chooses to study in, they can be assured that a top up degree programme will teach them the basic, market-specific knowledge for the field they want to excel in. For example, if a student had the appropriate existing credentials of a Hospitality Foundation degree and was interested in “topping up” this degree to International Hospitality and Tourism Management, they could expect to learn about management under the context of hospitality and tourism from real world professionals amongst like-minded peers.
One of the more advantageous things about a top up degree programme is that it also allows a student to travel and live abroad. Because of this, top up degree programmes have become very popular internationally and are offered outside of Hong Kong, including in the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, and Canada. They can be found in major United Kingdom cities like Birmingham, Poole, and London, and across the water a student could live and study in Copenhagen, Sonderborg, or Paris. Top up degree programmes are offered in international and renowned cities and a student would be able to learn a lot besides academia while studying there. Beyond that, it would also give a student time to decide where they want to dedicate their lives location-wise when they choose to study their bachelor degree. A top up degree is no substitute for a bachelor degree because employers expect that level of education, but a top up degree is a great way to head in that direction. In fact, some universities even welcome those with top up degrees for credit transfer. Be sure to ask the university beforehand if they accept top up degree credit transfer if that is a plan.
Top up degree programmes are a great way to get expand and grow from the basic knowledge of a Foundation degree in an area that a student is interested in. Because of the number of fields they are offered in, and the number of places too, it’s a great way for a student to work their way to university bachelor level. With a working knowledge of a career already under wraps, a dream career will appear in no time.
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