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HND or foundation?

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  • HND or foundation?

    Hellloo, Does anyone know any particular reason why the foundation degree is better than the HND in the long run? I'm doing A-levels now and failing slightly :S but have good GCSEs and will probably come out with 1 good B/A AS level in maths and 2 not so good non aS levels in Italian and physics.. Don't really want to carry on with them next year and would rather just start the course now! Also the foundation degree says it wants at least 2 a-levels and I might not get that and REaLLy dont want to do 3 years at college. Do many sponsors still sponsor through the HND route? THANKS

  • #2
    *foundation degree


    • #3
      This is a highly talked about topic on the forum. Perhaps this can help you.

      have a good eve
      "If the wind will not serve,take to the oars."
      Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe

      Latin Proverb


      • #4
        Thanks that helps! Same to you :-)


        • #5
          SO.. am i right in thinking HNC goes only to level 4 but you can do a further year to get it up to the HND which is level 5, same as the Fd? Anyone know how long all of the courses are?


          • #6
            Hello there I can only speak from my own experience which covers the Marine Engineering Cadetship at Glasgow Nautical College.

            Please note that both the NC/HNC and the Professional Diploma (Foundation degree) courses take around 3 years combined with your Sea Phases

            Route 1=NC/HNC in Marine Engineering, Currently completion of this course gives full exemption for MCA examinations for academic subjects at Class 2, however this may change with the implementation of STCW10. You also have to sit the IAMI exams before you can do your Oral exam which I understand can be quite difficult.

            Route 2=Professional Diploma(Foundation degree) The aim of this course is to provide a higher qulification which is recognised within the marine industry and also by shore based employers. Completion of this course provides you with an HNC,HND and Professional diploma in Marine Engineering. This course currently gives full exepmtions for MCA academic subjects at Class 2 and Class 1.

            Route 3= HND Top up after completions of NC/HNC course. Completion of this course gives full exemptions for MCA academic subjects at Class 2 and Class 1. I am not sure how long the top up takes but being as your Graded Unit to obtain your HND is based on a project/report I gather its around 6 months.

            As you can see in terms of the Marine Engineering route in Scotland there are two very different courses available. I imagine the situation at Colleges in England is similair, although perhaps someone with knowledge of the routes there will be able to confirm this or provide extra information.

            At the end of the day both routes lead to you sitting your Oral examination and after passing obtaining your ticket. There are many different opinions on which route is better, many people consider the Professional diploma(Foundation degree) to be somewhat useless at sea as experience is the main thing which counts. However there is a growing trend in opinion that it will prove to be very useful if you decide to move to shore side employment in the future as employers are keen to take on people with higher qualifications.

            Personally I chose the Professional diploma(Foundation degree) route as I already have a degree from University and good Standard Grades/Highers and was advised that my education and academics meant I would be more suited to that course as there is a great degree of home study and obviously more complex subjects covered. Also it provides full exemptions from MCA academic exams meaning should I pass everything I will never have to sit another written exam, I also avoid having to sit the IMAI exams which cover subjects such as Naval Architecture,Engineering drawing,Thermofulids etc and from what I can gather are very difficult!

            I hope this is of some help, if you are looking at being a deck cadet I imagine the routes and course structures are similair.
            Newly qualified Officer #ClubMember


            • #7
              Sorry I just noticed in your Avatar is says you are an "Apsiring Deck Cadet" hmmm well perhaps the above information still helps,sorry!


              Newly qualified Officer #ClubMember


              • #8
                I was offered the FD route and have pretty shocking A levels. you only need 120 UCAS points which really isnt much. If i were you id put applications in asap for starting after your A levels. Will keep more potential doors open for you later on


                • #9
                  Just a quick question as the system has changed from when I done it. Am I right in thinking that a Foundation Degree really isn't any qualification unless you top it up to the full degree (BSc)?

                  Having been in the industry since 1997 and now find myself in a somewhat lofty position, all the shore based roles always require you to have a Class 1 Deck or Engine for the managerial positions. In my experience it all comes down to that and also types of vessel worked on years in rank etc. If you have a degree than that's great but if you find yourself with a degree and an OOW COC going up against another candidate with a Class 1 HND/HNC then the Class 1 takes it.

                  Have a look on websites like Navis Consulting / Faststream / Spinnaker for jobs it never mentions HND/HNC/BSc only the type of COC required.


                  • #10
                    Hello IFHP, its interesting to meet someone who has been in the industry for over 15 years and who is in as you describe it a "lofty position".

                    The Foundation degree or Professional Diploma as its know in Scotland is ranked above an NC/HNC/HND in the Framework. It is possible to 'Top up' to a full blown degree i.e BEng in one year at a Scottish Uni or 2 years if you wish to have a BEng with Honours. I have looked at numerous job listings for management and shore side positions and I have noticed that experience and Certificate Class are the most important factors when applying for jobs. However I would like to mention that on the Foundation degree(Professional Diploma) route we do many extra courses in managment and professional development which is supposed to improve our ability when working shore side. I think in years to come we may find that Education and degrees will start to play a more important role within the shipping industry but I doubt they will ever outweigh experience and Certificate class.

                    I would have thought that if you had two candidates with the same Certificate Class and roughly similair experience you would look at employing the person with the Higher education. At this moment in time upon hopefully qualifying in a year or so I plan to work at sea for quite a while and gain my Chief Engineers ticket. Eventually I would like to move shore side and actually have "grand plans" about starting up a Ship Management company or some sort of enterprise associated with the Marine Industry, that's a few years down the line though.

                    The way I see it at the moment is that the Foundation degree (Professional Diploma) gives me Full exemptions from MCA academic exams and the IMAI exams which is of huge benifit to me and the course structure and level is more suited to me due to the greater academic demand.
                    Newly qualified Officer #ClubMember


                    • #11
                      Hi Swonder - Of course if you had two candidates with the same experience and COC, one has a degree and the other doesn't then the one with the degree is going to take it unless of course he or she makes a complete balls of the interview.

                      As you have rightly said the best course of action is to get your Class 1 and of course having the degree will put you in the best possible position. However get the full degree as if you were to move off to Singapore/USA/HKG etc they wont have a clue what the Foundation Degree is; it appears (and I standby to be corrected) a UK thing only. Is there a special reason why colleges / MCA don't bin the foundation degree and only offer a degree?

                      On a more general note and I can only speak from the deck side, I am apposed to the exemptions that are given out for Class 2 if you have the foundation degree. The Class 2 Stability/Navigation exams were by far the most difficult exams I have ever taken and am not too happy that people who have the FD are exempt from this exam but I am not the one setting policy nor am I at sea dealing with the potential consequences of competence etc. That being said if I had been able to bypass the Class 2 Written's then I would have done it, its only human nature after all.


                      • #12
                        Well, it used to be that you either did the HND or the full degree and of course there was a shortcut around the SQA exams at chief mates by doing the NVQ portfolio route.
                        As IFHP says, unless you intend to top up to the full degree I can't really see many advantages in doing it over the HND other than the exemptions at Chief Mates level (the advantage of which should not be underestimated)
                        As far as jobs at sea are concerned I honestly don't think it makes any difference, I have a couple of degrees and I don't think it has really significantly improved my employability as a seafarer - HOWEVER, should you decide to go ashore a degree will most certainly improve your prospects, although not as much as relevant sea going experience. For example, I would say that a master mariner with Oil and Gas experience but no degree would find it much easier to find a job ashore than a master mariner with passenger ship experience and a degree in Nautical Science...
                        Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.


                        • #13
                          Its an interesting topic and one which has been discussed at length previously on this forum.

                          I understand quite a few people are opposed to the Full exemptions given by the Foundation degree (Professional Diploma) and its possible effect on Competence etc. I am not sure if this has more of an effect on the deck side than the engineering side. I have heard that previous candidates who were given the exemptions and then asked to sit the tests anyway as an experiment failed miserably. At the moment the exemptions still stand and like you say bypassing these sort of exams is certainly human nature.

                          I am in a position where I don't personally see the point in going to University and gaining a full blown BEng degree, in the two extra years it would take me to gain a BEng with Honours in Scotland and the massive amount of money I would spend I could have two years of sea going experience and finally earn a decent wage, plus I would be able to obtain a large amount of sea time meaning I could sit my 2nds ticket in the not to distant future. I am a more mature student at 27 but perhaps for the younger generation and certainly guys aged around 20 who will be coming out with their ticket they might want to consider a degree.

                          In the future I would be keen to become a registered incorporated engineer and furthermore a chartered engineer, sadly it seems that higher qualifications would need to be gained to fufill the insitutes requirements for obtaining these titles. I gather that being a chartered engineer and working shore side would be very useful.

                          Either way its all very interesting,I am preparing to go into Workshop for 5 weeks before a summer break after which I will return to College until the end of October before embarking on my final sea phase.

                          I had asked peoples opinions on trying to obtain a dual ticket e.g Steam/Motor for engineering and if it made your time at sea harder in respect to completion of your training record book and also sitting your Oral exam and the benifits it may have with employability etc. I realise you are more in touch with the deck side but perhaps you have an opinion on this?

                          Regards SWonder
                          Newly qualified Officer #ClubMember


                          • #14
                            The dual ticket (Steam/Motor) was a ticket on to LNG vessels which would enable you to move on to Cargo Engineer roles with the potential to move into process engineering and FLNG Ops.

                            However now that nearly all LNG vessels are diesel electric that seems to have been put to bed however I stand by to be corrected by my mechanical betters.....