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4-Apr-2013 | Canada pins hope on foreign studentsCANADA: The number of college and university students studying internationally has grown more than fourfold since 1975 — and Canada wants a larger share of that market. Read more...


4-Apr-2013 | Chinese alumni 'contribute $100m' AUSTRALIA: CHINESE alumni of Australian universities continue to bolster the local economy years after graduation, with the majority returning at least once and 20 per cent coming back more than five times over a five-year period. Read more...


30-Mar-2013 | Why Asian Kids Succeed NEW ZEALAND: Have you ever wondered why Asians kids are doing so well in maths and science at schools? Read more...

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UK undergraduate study and degrees

'There are many reasons why you should study an undergraduate course in the UK - and an even greater number of subjects to choose from. Courses ranging from accountancy to zoology are delivered at hundreds of universities and colleges of higher education throughout the UK. With a UK degree you can specialise in the subject that interests you, in a country renowned for the quality of its research and the reputation of its academics.'

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A UK undergraduate education gives you an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in a subject that fascinates you. Whether you choose to study for a degree, foundation degree or HND, you'll learn to think for yourself and work independently.

You can choose from thousands of UK courses in science and technology, computing and business, art and design, social sciences, the humanities and many others. The broad range and flexible approach of the UK education system means that you're free to choose exactly what you want to study.

UK undergraduate study that suits your needs

The wide range of undergraduate courses in the UK gives you a huge amount of flexibility. You can enrol on a bachelor's degree from the beginning, or you can start by taking a two-year HND or foundation degree and then top up to a degree afterwards. You can study a single honours degree and focus entirely on one subject, or study two subjects in a joint honours or combined honours degree - it's entirely up to you.

How long is a UK undergraduate course?

Full-time undergraduate courses in the UK vary from one year to four years depending on the type of course you choose:

  • HNC: one year
  • HND, foundation degree, Dip HE: two years; three with a year in industry/overseas
  • Bachelor's degree: three years (four in Scotland); four with a year in industry
  • Master's degree (where these are awarded as a first degree): four years

What UK undergraduate courses are available?

Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Diploma (HND)

Higher national certificates and diplomas are one- and two-year career-related higher education courses, equivalent to the first stages of a degree. They are available in many areas including engineering, sports studies, art and design, media and communications and music technology. On successful completion you can enter a career at junior management level or can choose to 'top-up' to a degree by transferring to the second or third year of the degree course.

Foundation Degrees (FdA, FdSc, etc.)

Foundation degrees are two-year career-related higher education courses, which are equivalent to the first stages of a degree. They are available in areas including art and design, media and communications, engineering and hospitality management. They can be used as a good foundation for a career or as a basis to progress on to a degree course.

Diplomas of Higher Education

Diplomas of higher education are two-year courses in subject areas usually related to the social sciences, such as education, theology, communication studies and social work. They are ideal for students hoping to progress to a career in these areas and also provide a foundation for higher education courses in the same subject area.


Degrees are the most popular undergraduate qualification in the UK. They are academic courses, usually studied over three years in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, or four years in Scotland (where the title master's degree may be awarded). Some degree courses may be extended for a year to enable students to spend time in industry or overseas.

University International Foundation Year

University International Foundation Year courses help to bridge any gaps between qualifications you hold already and the ones you need to begin a degree course at a UK university. This could be because you need to develop your English language skills, improve on your academic qualifications, or both.


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