Do Foundation Degrees work?

I’ve asked this question to a few people that i’ve studied with in the past year or so, and having just finished my own Fd. course I was curious to find out what people thought in retrospect.

Foundation Degrees in essence were designed to tackle the problems that many people face when they have completed their studies at University, in particular the struggle to find work in the field of which they studied. A Foundation Degree condenses the workload of a full degree qualification into a much shorter timeframe and, coupled with the drive towards gaining hands-on work experience, is intended to lead the graduating student into the industry.

Statistics show that less than 5% of Foundation Degree graduates find themselves unemployed, with a majority of those in work stating that their job was in line with their desired career. This is about the only point that seems to validate the Foundation Degree programme as a success.

However, the stats also show that more than half of graduating students choose to go on to further their studies, and in most cases to “top-up” their qualification to a full degree. I myself make up part of this statistic as I will be going on to a 3rd year this September thus topping-up my Foundation Degree to a Bachelor Degree.
Speaking to other people who have chosen this same path, the same reasons for having done so are given pretty much every time:

1) The condensed workload in a shorter time frame doesn’t leave enough time for natural evolution of skills and mindframe, leaving most people to feel they are not ready to enter the industry.

2) Foundation Degrees are still not really accepted by employers, making the qualification seem inadequate.


Going back to that statistic about employment, which makes the programme seem successful. I have found this not to be the case, as a few people that I have been in contact with from the study year previous to mine have found it increasingly difficult to find any work in the industry. One of these people was the friend that originally led me on the path to the Fd. course, a year after graduating and he is now at the point of giving up the hunt for jobs in the industry (the creative Arts industry, that which dominates the Foundation Degree roster) to take a job that will help him to get by. A job in a completely different industry.
This really frustrates me because he is one of the most creative people that I know, and he is considering giving up on the creative industry in order to live. Is this because the Foundation Degree failed in it’s mission, or is it perhaps due to the current economic climate?

I can only go off my own experiences and those of people that i’ve studied with, and based on the facts that:

- The people that i’ve known who have gone straight into job-seeking following graduation have struggled immensely.
- I have finished the course with virtually no work experience, despite my best efforts.
- Most people from my year, and the year before me, have opted to study further and top-up their qualification to a full degree.

….based on what a Foundation Degree aims to achieve in it’s mission, i’m not so sure that they do work. This isn’t to say that I haven’t appreciated it though.


Have you studied on an Foundation Degree, and if so…what do you think?

Do Foundation Degrees work?

I’ve asked this question to a few people that i’ve studied with in the past year or so, and having just finished my own Fd. course I was curious to find out what people thought in retrospect.

Foundation Degrees in essence were designed to tackle the problems that many people face when they have completed their studies at University, in particular the struggle to find work in the field of which they studied. A Foundation Degree condenses the workload of a full degree qualification into a much shorter timeframe and, coupled with the drive towards gaining hands-on work experience, is intended to lead the graduating student into the industry.

Statistics show that less than 5% of Foundation Degree graduates find themselves unemployed, with a majority of those in work stating that their job was in line with their desired career. This is about the only point that seems to validate the Foundation Degree programme as a success.

However, the stats also show that more than half of graduating students choose to go on to further their studies, and in most cases to “top-up” their qualification to a full degree. I myself make up part of this statistic as I will be going on to a 3rd year this September thus topping-up my Foundation Degree to a Bachelor Degree.

Speaking to other people who have chosen this same path, the same reasons for having done so are given pretty much every time:

1) The condensed workload in a shorter time frame doesn’t leave enough time for natural evolution of skills and mindframe, leaving most people to feel they are not ready to enter the industry.

2) Foundation Degrees are still not really accepted by employers, making the qualification seem inadequate.

Going back to that statistic about employment, which makes the programme seem successful. I have found this not to be the case, as a few people that I have been in contact with from the study year previous to mine have found it increasingly difficult to find any work in the industry. One of these people was the friend that originally led me on the path to the Fd. course, a year after graduating and he is now at the point of giving up the hunt for jobs in the industry (the creative Arts industry, that which dominates the Foundation Degree roster) to take a job that will help him to get by. A job in a completely different industry.

This really frustrates me because he is one of the most creative people that I know, and he is considering giving up on the creative industry in order to live. Is this because the Foundation Degree failed in it’s mission, or is it perhaps due to the current economic climate?

I can only go off my own experiences and those of people that i’ve studied with, and based on the facts that:

- The people that i’ve known who have gone straight into job-seeking following graduation have struggled immensely.

- I have finished the course with virtually no work experience, despite my best efforts.

- Most people from my year, and the year before me, have opted to study further and top-up their qualification to a full degree.

….based on what a Foundation Degree aims to achieve in it’s mission, i’m not so sure that they do work. This isn’t to say that I haven’t appreciated it though.

Have you studied on an Foundation Degree, and if so…what do you think?