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Explore other routes to a degree with your child if they’re questioning doing a traditional Bachelor’s Degree.

Deciding what path to pursue after school can be tough. Usually, students continue their studies after sixth form or college, but there are many other options. Maybe they’d like to study and work at the same time to earn some money. Or perhaps they’d rather stay at home while learning. The good news is, the journey to a degree doesn't have to follow the traditional pathway. 

To help them decide the best option, find out more about other routes to getting a degree below.


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Traditional Bachelor’s Degree 

A Bachelor’s degree is one of the undergraduate pathways your child can take. They’ll study full-time for their degree in a subject they’ve chosen. Bachelor's degrees include Level 6 Courses and usually take 3 years to complete. 

Benefits include: 

  • They’ll have the opportunity to experience living away from home which can encourage personal growth and development. 
  • Living on or close to campus will give your child access to professors, tutors or student advisers.

Things to consider: 

  • There is a rigid time frame for completion, which means if your child has other commitments, they may find it difficult to complete the course. 
  • A Bachelor’s will require their full commitment and time.

Have a look at the Bachelor’s Degrees we offer. Browse our courses 

If living and studying full-time on campus doesn’t appeal them then here are alternative routes to getting a degree. 

Distance Learning Degrees 

Distance Learning Degrees can give your child the chance to study for their degree off campus and around other commitments. 

Benefits include: 

  • they’ll be able to study from any location. 
  • Teaching staff and personal tutors are easily reachable via email or phone. 

Things to consider: 

  • Your child may not have as many interactions with tutors or peers as they would if they were on campus. 
  • Distance Learning will require self-discipline, good time management and planning. 

Browse our Distance Learning Degrees

Part-time degrees 

The benefits of part-time study may seem obvious, but if your child chooses this route they can study alongside other commitments. It’s important they check how long their degree will take to complete through part-time study. 

To get tuition or maintenance loans for their undergraduate study, they will need to be studying at least 25% of the full-time course. 

Benefits include: 

  • Part-time degrees offer more freedom and control over the study process. 
  • They’ll  be able to study at a pace that suits them. 

Things to consider: 

  • It will take longer to complete a degree. 
  • Not all courses are available as Part-Time Degrees. 

Does your child want the benefits of part-time study? Browse our course pages to check if part-time study is available for their chosen subject. Part-Time Degrees.

Degree Apprenticeships 

Alongside studying for a degree part-time, your child will gain practical work experience at an organisation or business. Typically, they’ll be expected to attend university one day a week and spend four days with their employer.

Benefits include:

  • Your child will earn a salary. 
  • The employer and the government will cover tuition fees. 
  • They can apply their knowledge in a practical setting and gain real-world skills. 

Things to consider: 

  • Requires good time management and planning as it’s a lot of responsibility. 
  • It may limit your child for some career paths. 
  • They may miss out on a full student experience.
  • Find a degree apprenticeship by getting your child to apply directly to a company that offers this opportunity or ask the company to contact the university to set something up - 

Browse our Degree Apprenticeships

Foundation Years and Foundation Degrees

If your child didn’t meet the entry requirement for their preferred Bachelor’s degree, they can do a Foundation Year. This 1-year course will bridge into a Bachelor’s Degree. 

Or, they can study one of our Level 5 courses, known as a Foundation Degree. A Foundation Degree is a standalone degree, equivalent to 2 years of a 3-year Bachelor’s Degree. 

Benefits include: 

  • Your child can specialise in a particular field they’re interested in. 
  • They’ll learn and develop key academic skills, such as research and writing.
  • Foundation degrees can be more flexible.

Things to consider:  

  • Completing a Foundation Degree doesn’t guarantee progression on to further study e.g. a Top-Up degree. 
  • There maybe fewer Foundation Degree courses available in your child’s chosen subject. 

Browse our Foundation Courses

To complete a full Bachelor’s Degree in the their chosen subject they can do a Top-Up degree. 


HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) 

HNDs are a practical route into Higher Education. If your child studies for a HND this is equivalent to a foundation degree or two years of a 3-year Bachelor’s degree. 

Benefits include: 

  • HNDs offer a more direct route into a career. 
  • They’ll have a chance to choose between exam-based assessments, project-based assessments or coursework. 

Things to consider: 

  • There is shorter timeframe to HND programmes, making them time intensive. 
  • Diplomas tend to be more industry-specific. 

Find a HND that’s right for your child. 

Top-Up Degrees 

Your child can turn their existing qualification, either a HND, foundation degree or diploma, into a full Bachelor’s Degree with this type of course.

Benefits include: 

  • This can be a more time and cost-effect pathway as they can build on existing skills and knowledge. 
  • A Top-Up Degree will allow them to specialise and gain expertise.

Things to consider: 

  • There may be limited courses available to your child. 
  • Entry requirements for a Top-Up Degree vary on the institution.

Help your child find a Top-Up Degree

Work-Based Degrees

A Work-Based Degree would allow your child to study for a degree alongside their job. Most of the learning in this pathway happens through ‘work-based projects’ which benefit both the employer and the student. The employer will need to be on board with the study programme and support the student working on projects related to the job and going beyond their current job role. Unlike Degree Apprenticeship, these degrees are driven by self-study and there isn’t a requirement to go to campus.  

Benefits include:

  • Module learning can take place on campus or online. 
  • The pace of learning can be adapted. 

Things to consider: 

  • Your child may spend most of their time in the workplace rather than on campus, which can make it harder to access university resources. 
  • They’ll have to balance work and study commitments.


Next steps? 

Support your child every step of the way through their university journey. 

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