Students normally commence higher education at the age of 18 and study at university or colleges of further and higher education. UK offers shorter duration and more intensive courses than other Countries thereby reducing time and living expenses that a student spends.
A Masters degree programme is for 1 year and a Doctoral degree programme for 3-4 years.
A Bachelor degree programme normally lasts for 3 to 4 years and are usually taught programmes.
Sandwich courses are where the courses are accompanied with practical experience. A student could either complete 2 years of college, then a year of commercial training before returning for a final year in college. Or, he/she could do a 4-year course with 3-6 months training interspersed each year. The main advantage is that the student gets real experience while in the learning mode. Most universities offer this option.
Higher National Diploma (HND) / Higher National Certificate (HNC) / Foundation Degree
HND is awarded by Vocational and Technical Educational Councils, which offer one to two year courses in vocational, career related higher education courses, usually in science and business subjects. Here, a lot of emphasis is placed on work experience. It is often seen as the first stage towards a degree course as the credits can be transferred.
They are also often the first stages of a degree and are are two-year career-related higher education courses.
They offer an opportunity to enter the university system slowly. Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC), General Vocational Qualifications (GNVQ), General Scottish Vocational Qualifications (GSVQ) offer recognized courses in a range of disciplines. Most students opt to take 1-2 years of, for example, BTEC courses before being transferred to a degree programme.