Foundation Degree Forward (FDF) has responsibility for raising the profile of foundation degrees among the business and student communities. FDF works closely with key employers and the higher education sector in helping them forge mutually beneficial working partnerships. Funded by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), FDF was established in NI just four years ago.
Many people often confuse foundation degrees with foundation courses. It is important to establish from the beginning that foundation degrees are actually university-validated degree programmes which offer excellent work based alternatives to traditional classroom learning. A key feature of foundation degrees and a major reason for their success, is the fact that employers work closely with colleges and universities in designing the course content, which ensures that the degree addresses sector skills gaps and is completely relevant to employer needs.
Possessing a foundation degree has a number of clear advantages. Firstly, foundation degrees are attractive in that they could help you move up the career ladder at work, branch out into a new career, return to work after a career break or gain a university-level degree that almost certainly will make you more attractive to employers.
There are some 75 foundation degrees available in NI, with a number in development.
Dividing the class up into different groups for discussion, let your students explore the advantages and disadvantages of FDs against traditional degree programmes
Below is an example of a Foundation Degree course on offer at South West College, Dungannon
UNIVERSITY of ULSTER
Foundation Degree in Construction Engineering
Duration (30 weeks Per Year): 2 Yrs Full Time (3 days p/w) 3Yrs PT (1Day+1Eve p/w)
Campus: Dungannon Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Entry Requirements: 80 UCAS tariff points to include at least one specified subject at level D or above at GCE/VCE ‘A’ Level, together with a minimum of 5 passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include English Language and Mathematics. OR A BTEC National Diploma or AVCE Award, with distinctions and merits in most units or another qualification deemed to be appropriate by the admissions tutor
Students will acquire a thorough grounding in the key concepts with a strong emphasis on the practical skills required in the construction industry. The course can enhance career development and employment opportunities in a wide spectrum of construction related industries.
Sustainable Technology 1 & 2 Mathematics & Structures Environmental Science & Materials Building Services & Renewable Energy Introduction to CAD / IT Construction Surveying/Digital Surveying Measurement & Construction Economics Measurement and Costing Construction Site Management Law and Construction Contract Maintenance and Adaptation Work Based Learning (6 Month Placement)
Relevant Honours Degree
The Foundation Degree graduate may perform in a technical capacity and aspire to a professional qualification and career in any of the following functions:
Building Control Maintenance Management
Building Asset Management Project Planning
Building Surveying Project Management
Construction Management Purchasing
Contract Surveying Quality Management
Cost and Production Control Research & Development
Environmental Engineering Safety Management
Estimating & Tendering Site Engineering
General Management Site Management
Inspection Value Engineering
Contact Info: Richard Dougan
Mobile No. 07921143010
E mail: Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org