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What is a top-up degree?

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Published: 20 December 2021

Lecturer in a classroom

At the University of Sunderland in London, you have lots of options on where you want your academic career to take you.  

You go on the popular paths of a BA, BSc or MA that many students across the country take, depending on which degrees you have taken in the past.  

But what if you’ve already started your learning and just want to take it to the next level? For those of you with Higher National Diplomas (HND) or Foundations there is the Top-Up.   

Top-Ups: the basics  

The simplest way to think of a Top-Up is as the final year of undergraduate study. The standard bachelor’s degree lasts for three years and takes you from the basics of your subject to the specialism you’re interested in.  

By contrast, a Top-Up is designed to build on the information you already have to give you the knowledge you need to qualify for a full honour’s degree certificate.   

They’re usually used to build on your foundation or HND course which means you’ll need to have one of these to qualify for application.  

What Top-Ups you can study  

At the University of Sunderland in London, we offer Top-Up courses over three of our most popular subject areas:   

There are a total of five courses to choose from, including:   

Which Top-Up should I choose?  

The above courses are designed to give you a full range of choices for where you want to take your career education, with all of them centred around management and leadership in their sectors.  

That means you don’t necessarily need to have a foundation in tourism to do the equivalent top-up.   

Say, for example, you did the FdA Business and Management course because you want to be a manager in the NHS.   

It’s very possible, and possibly even logical, to apply for the FdSc Nursing (Top-Up).   

That way you’ll be able to build your own degree in a way you wouldn't with the traditional three-year path.   

What do you learn on the Top-Up?  

As with most final year degrees, you’ll need to complete 120 course credits during your studies.   

What that means in practical terms is studying around six modules worth 20 points each.   

The two Nursing and Health courses ask you to write a longer piece of work known as the Dissertation.   

If you take this path, you’ll do fewer modules but have the opportunity to carry out your own research on the topic you find most interesting.  

If we were to summarise the Top-Up degree, it’s with one word – choice.   

It’s the choice to take the learning you already have to the next level, the choice to mix and match your interests to build the experience you need for the career you want.  

Studying for a Top-Up at the University of Sunderland in London is a great decision because, not only will you have all this choice, but you’ll also be learning from our dedicated, friendly and passionate academic staff as well as enjoying all the benefits of student life.   

Want to find out more? Take a look at our courses to learn about our degrees.  

 If you already know which Top-Up you want to go for, make sure you register your interest today.   

But if you need a little help, sign up for a personal consultation, download your prospectus or book an Open Day now. 

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