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HND/Foundation Degree - Pros and Cons

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  • HND/Foundation Degree - Pros and Cons

    As per the title, what are the pros and cons? Ever since attending my Maersk interview I've wanted to do the Foundation Degree with the intent of topping it up to a full degree at some point in time.

    However things didn't work out with Maersk and another company are considering me but solely for the HND route, which at first I was disappointed with, but it obviously merits further investigation.

  • #2
    There are threads on this topic and in great detail which should answer all your questions.


    • #3
      The reality is that they both hold almost the same academic weight. The Foundation Degree is relatively recent is simply a method of packaging the course up to fit into various government funding categories. The content of the courses are the same although I believe the FD route has less teaching/contact time and more self study.
      Of course the FD sounds better on a CV (well ish... maybe when you have just qualified and getting that first job) but both courses can be topped up to a BSc.
      I'd say if your only offer is a HND and it's with a company you like the sound of, then take it.


      • #4
        Unless I'm way off here, a HND will get you access to the third year of a degree course in the same way the FD will. Don't panic, things work out the way they're meant too.
        'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'


        • #5
          The HND requires you to complete a TRB, in which you have to perform various sets of tasks while onboard ship, and get signed off by ships officers. As part of this you are asked to provide reports in response to specific questions within the TRB. At college you learn all the OOW stuff, and you/your sponsor have the option to extend the course by a few months to add on the extra theory to bring your HND to chief mates level. You can do your OOW oral exam once you have the OOW level HND and have passed the OOW SQA exam, or if you wish, you can do the OOW oral after completing the chief mates level HND. There will be college set exams at the end of each level as well.

          The foundation degree also has a TRB, in which are sets of tasks you are required to complete, and get signed off by ships officers. You are not explicitly told to write reports on anything, however, you need to provide the college with "a workbook" of evidence to back up the signatures in your TRB, this can be done in many forms - short reports with photos, a handwritten bridge logbook/journal, technical drawings and diagrams and a few references to "what I learned in college". This will also be submitted to the MCA when you go for your OOW oral. In addition to this work the course includes a "Work Based Learning" module, and a "Professional Development" module. WBL is done on your sea phases, the format varies from college to college - for example, Warsash seems to set 3 or 4 major essays, whereas Fleetwood tells you to "make up your own project", you have to relate it all back to college learning but are free to choose your own subject matter and style of presentation - (multimedia went down quite well for me), you do however have to hit the points that are laid down in the back of the WBL info pack they give you, so make sure you read it first! The professional development is a single large research project, again, you are given carte blanche to choose your own subject matter. You will cover all the theory up to Chief Mates level and when I did it you sat several college set exams and were exempt from doing SQAs for either OOW or Chief Mates. That has now changed/is changing soon and you will probably have to do the SQA exams as well.

          Overall the actual information you're going to end up with is the same, the FD has a couple of extra, more "academic" modules. Most people do the HND up to Chief mates level and so come out in exactly the same position as the FD students. The style of learning is much more research led for the FD, a little more "spoon fed" for the HND. The academic requirements for entry are slightly lower for the HND, and I think the age limit for FD is 18.... There really isn't much in it really.


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