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FAQs University Courses

University Courses FAQs

What is a Foundation Degree?

A Foundation Degree is the first two years of a BA or BSc (Hons) degree. After successful completion, students graduate with a Foundation Degree (FdA), graduates then have up to 5 years within which to Top-Up this qualification to a full honours degree if they wish. All the Degrees delivered at Cardinal Newman College are work-based, combining academic and workplace skills relating to specific industries, where students gain professional and technical skills to further their career.

Our degrees are ideal if you wish to study while you work, have a job which you don’t want to give up or if you are looking for an alternative way to achieve a degree. They are delivered on Wednesdays, for 33 weeks a year, term time only from 1 pm – 7.30 pm to keep the disruption to your work and employer to a minimum. As our academic year is longer than at a University, study hours are comparable.

What is a Top-Up?

A Top-Up Degree is the final year of a BA or BSc (Hons) degree which can be studied after completing a Foundation Degree in order to convert it into a full honours degree. There are a number of Top-Up opportunities to choose from at Higher Education Institutions, however, the one at Cardinal Newman College is designed for people who work or aspire to work with children from birth to the end of Key Stage 2 in an educational, health and/or social context.

Our Top-up is delivered in the same way as our Foundation Degrees, however, students also meet regularly with their dissertation supervisor at a time to fit around home and work commitments. Our Top-Up is also work-based, students bring their work-place experiences, knowledge and skills into the classroom and teaching, learning and assessment are embedded into a student’s own practice.

How many hours do I have to be working/volunteering?

All teaching, learning and assessment of our degrees evolve from the work-place experiences of our students. Modules are designed to enable the exploration of concepts relating to practice, it is, therefore, really important for our HE students to have regular experiences in a related work-place so they are able to apply theory to their practice and develop a deeper understanding. Some, but not all of our degrees have specified workplace hours that must be completed. Specific course details relating to each of our degrees can be found on our website:

Will all students on the Foundation Degrees be straight out of College or Sixth Form?

No, as our degrees are work-based and relate closely to professional practice, they are available to and are an attractive option for everyone. As many of our HE students use our work-based approach to progress their career, for example, to become a teacher, they are equally popular with students progressing from Level 3 and adults returning to education, some of whom have experience in industry, whilst others are looking for a change in career. If you are a student returning to education after a break-in studying, you can be assured that we will support your transition. There is also a study skills module which supports the development of academic writing and research skills within all of our Foundation Degrees.

Does my workplace have to pay for anything or complete any assessments or paperwork?

No, our course fees of £6,165 per annum can be fully funded through the Student Loans Company, Alternatively, some students prefer to pay their own fees and the college’s payment plan is available on request. The only requirement on a workplace is for them to release a student on Wednesday afternoons as teaching begins at 1 pm. We do encourage our students to find someone in their organisation that they can talk to about studying for their degree, however, other than being supportive in terms of listening to and sharing ideas, there is no work-place assessment required.

What is the deadline to apply and do I apply through UCAS?

UCAS is not used for applications for our degrees at Cardinal Newman College. Prospective students simply complete the interest form, which is available on our website and send this electronically to Alternatively completed applications can be delivered to the College reception addressed to Assistant Principal (HE) Kathy Salisbury.

Applications are then transferred to the HE team, which provides the opportunity for applicants to receive personalised information, advice and guidance relating to their application. Please see our recruitment, selection and admissions procedure at The application deadline for a September start is the last Wednesday in September.

If you only attend university one day a week, is it a proper degree?

Yes, all of our degrees have been successfully and thoroughly validated by a University either Middlesex or the University of Central Lancashire. As a validated partner, Cardinal Newman College works in partnership with each university, adhering to their academic regulations and following their specific quality assurance processes. All teaching, learning and assessment are undertaken at Cardinal Newman College, but the final degree is awarded by the validating University.

Read what our graduates say about the opportunities our degrees have given to them


TELEPHONE: 01772 460181

Cardinal Newman College,
Lark Hill Road, Preston, Lancashire. PR1 4HD