What is a Top-up Degree?

UK Higher Education is known for its excellent teaching and research quality, with London being the best place to study in the world, according to the latest QS Best Student Cities survey. UK Universities offer students a huge variety of programmes to suit their career aspirations – from standard Bachelors and Masters degrees to the pathway, foundation or top-up programmes. Today we will focus on the latter and try to answer the most common questions around top-up degrees and explain what they are and how they work.

What is a top-up degree and what qualifications can you top-up?

As the name indicates – a top-up degree complements your existing Level 5 qualification to a full undergraduate, Bachelors degree (Level 6). Essentially, it is an equivalent of the final year of undergraduate study. Typically, a UK undergraduate degree takes three years to complete. However, if you already hold a Level 5 qualification, a top-up degree allows you to enter at the final year point, meaning you can get a Bachelors degree in only one year of study. Top-up degrees are recognised the same way as full degrees are.

You can top-up from NQF Level 5 qualifications such as a foundation degree, HND or any other equivalent.

Why would I top-up my qualifications?

It all depends on your chosen career path. Students often choose to top-up their Level 5 qualification (HND, foundation etc.) to gain access to graduate schemes or graduate-level jobs, which require full Bachelor’s degree or to continue to a postgraduate level of study.

This was one of the reasons why our student, Shunan, chose to study our BA (Hons) Business (Top-Up) degree: “After I finish my studies, I want to try and find a job in the UK and apply for postgraduate study in a different subject so that I can learn something new and gain more knowledge.”

How long does it take?

All Northumbria University top-up degree courses take one year to complete – as opposed to standard degree programmes, which take three years. Following the completion of your top-up degree, you can either continue to postgraduate level or start your career.

Northumbria University London Campus top-up programmes

Our Northumbria University London Campus currently has five top-up degrees on offer, with programmes covering subject areas such as Business, International Banking or Computing.

Top-up degrees available at our London Campus:

  • BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance (Top-Up)
  • BA (Hons) Business (Top-Up)
  • BA (Hons) Business Enterprise, Creation and Management (Top-Up)
  • BA (Hons) International Banking and Finance (Top-Up)
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Computing (Top-Up)

To find more information about our top-up degree programmes, please visit Northumbria London website.

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