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  • Foundation Degree or HND

    Hey guys.
    The company I applied to, Bibby, recommended that I do the HND as it is easier and is really meant for people who have only done GCSE. I have only done my GCSE but I also have 120 ucas points which is needed to do the foundation degree. They did say I could do the foundation degree but this course they say is only for people who have got A levles so this may be too hard for me to take.

    I am going down the engineering cadet route if this helps.

    I was hoping you guys could help me out on whether to take a foundation degree or HND

  • #2
    I'm FD and I would say HND.

    Personally I don't like the structure of the FD course, HND is easier but not because the exams are; but because its laid out better.

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    • #3
      HND seems to be more organised.... the guys at STC have gone straight into it even in workshop, obviously been running longer so they know what their doing but at the end of it you come out with a lesser qualification, but at the end of the day you'l be on as much as a guy that did FD when you start.......

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bulman View Post
        but at the end of it you come out with a lesser qualification
        Common misconception. The HND and FD are on the same level academically. The difference is the route taken. While the FD assumes that you will go and study yourself, the HND covers absolutely everything which, in my opinion, is the way these courses should be taught. Ultimately, this is not an academic profession. The primary purpose of the course is to prepare you for a job at sea, not a life of academia.

        As a deck cadet, which would you prefer: being given regular, timetabled classes on the rules of the road, covering each rule in detail and understanding them completely, or being told to go off and learn them by yourself. Would you prefer being assessed by assignments where there's so many shades of grey, or exams which deal with the subject in black and white?

        I was a bit dubious about being placed on the HND course at the beginning, but looking back I'm really happy that I'm on it. I consider myself reasonably intelligent, but by taking things slowly and having so much contact time I feel 100% confident in what I'm doing.
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        Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

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        • #5
          While i sorta agree with you i was told that with FD we covered level 5 where as HND/C only covered up to level 4? Other than this there isnt much difference, just a shame they dont offer a HNC/D ETO :P

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          • #6
            HNC goes to level 4. HND covers level 5.
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            Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

            Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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            • #7
              I just started the FD engineer course in August and already everything is being crammed in as quick as possible, the good lecturers will help a lot and give you good hints to what will be in the exams but some aren't very good at teaching at all so a lot is depended on you, know a few people in the HNC course and as far as they were told the first year is NC then HNC and then an extra year to do HND course, so depends if you're up for doing a lot of work in short period to get level 5 or take your time and take the long route.

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              • #8
                Most of the FD cadets at Warsash that I have spoken to seem to wish they were on theHND course, due to the reasons outlined above.
                "Crazy like wild wolves threatened by fire, send them all to the bottom of the sea."

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                • #9
                  i am doing the PD which is the scottish equivelant to the FD. It seems to me it's main selling point was exemptions to written exams for chief mates ticket. These expire in 2017 which seems to me to remove any point to all the extra effort the PD/FD requires.

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                  • #10
                    Brilliant, I've made up my mind. Thanks guys.

                    I did make a mistake though, its not the HND, Its the HNC that I'll be doing but Bibby did say something about doing another year on top of my HNC to make it into something that is worth more. Maybe it turns it into something like a HND or FD. I don't know because when they phoned I was in school so my mum was made to answer.

                    Can anyone give me more information on this please?

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                    • #11
                      the top up will most likely be to HND, then it will be another year, two or three to top that up to a full degree, i know with a FD its three years then one year to top it up to a degree.

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                      • #12
                        We need to be careful about the way in which we market the HND vs FD options - to take a way any personal bias we may have and to look upon it objectively.

                        It can be said that the FD requires more critical analysis, own work and research. Then again, it is a foundation degree and so the skills being developed are somewhat different to them developed as part of a HND.

                        Lets also be clear about the particular qualification 'levels'. Indeed both the HND and FD are level 5 qualifications - they are level 5 qualifications in there own scales... that being the QCF and FHEQ scales respectively. They are (as quoted from Direct.gov.uk) 'broadly similar in the demands placed on students'.

                        Although, the demands placed on someone with GCSE's to achieve a HND may be similar to the demands placed on someone with A-Levels to a achieve a FD.

                        HNC's and HND's are vocational qualifications, FD's and BSc's are higher education qualifications. They have similarities, but also differences. It is these differences that set them apart and make them each attractive to respective employers... yes, both are attractive!

                        I for one certainly wouldn't 'sell myself short' on the premise of an easier time. If you have the ability to study at a higher level then do it - set yourself out from the rest and achieve your full potential. Do we see those on the FD course failing the exams more? Do we see them failing the Orals? Im unsure of the stats, but I wouldn't say it is markedly different from that of HND. Yes you have to work hard, but then again, you are working to achieve something different academically.

                        On the other hand, if you feel that the HND is for you, go for it. At the end of the day it will still lead you onto a recognized qualification and a ticket on the first step of the ladder. Be proud of both! regardless of the path chosen.

                        Personally, I chose the FD route and furthered it with a top up to BSc (Hons). From my perspective it worked well for me and is in line with my overall aims and objectives. For others it may not quite fit, is the top up required? Possibly..possibly not? Do you need to do a FD... well that depends on the individual.

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                        • #13
                          Indeed both the HND and FD are level 5 qualifications - they are level 5 qualifications in there own scales... that being the QCF and FHEQ scales respectively.
                          Both are at level 5 of the FHEQ scale.

                          HNC's and HND's are vocational qualifications, FD's and BSc's are higher education qualifications.
                          They are all higher education qualifications. The FD is actually a vocational qualification, since it was essentially developed to allow those in the workplace to gain qualifications for what they already knew.

                          If you have the ability to study at a higher level then do it
                          But I'm quite sure we've established that they're on the same level?

                          As I mentioned before, this is not an academic profession. Look at what you learn on both courses - it's identical, right down to the course notes. You work within a very defined framework to gain the knowledge required to work at sea. Essentially, the extra "research" involved in the FD course is the effort required to go to the library and look in one of the two or three authoritative publications about a certain subject (i.e. read a textbook). Granted, the FD course does include a (mini-) dissertation. If you were to look at the topics chosen and the depth of research, how original would you say they are? Critical analysis? Yes, but in a very limited context, and this is a skill that is fostered in all educational settings including the HND classroom. Ultimately, how much room is there for critical analysis in a profession that is governed by strict procedures and regulations; an industry which has been doing things the same way for decades, if not centuries.

                          Look at navigation subjects. You are taught to solve navigational problems based on set workflows and formulae. Stability? Exactly the same. Actually, the majority of the courses' component parts rely on learning how to solve problems with methodical, established solutions. Where's the critical thinking?
                          sigpic
                          Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                          Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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                          • #14
                            PrerequisitesCandidates should hold either a Foundation Degree in Marine Operations or a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nautical Science with at least 12 months industrial experience after attaining the HND

                            To do the top up degree you don't need the FD. The only benefit the FD brings is that you don't have to do the mates writtens... which is probably a bad think tbh. The FD is far too rushed... HND allows for more time to learn thinks properly and not in a rush where your more likely to forget the stuff.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by runningbowline View Post
                              The only benefit the FD brings is that you don't have to do the mates writtens...
                              I've heard this maybe a bad thing too. An advantage of doing the mates written exams is that in revising for those exams you cover stuff you'll need for your orals. It's a good way of revising for both I suppose.

                              Though, not having to do the mates written exams may take some pressure off in the build up to the orals.

                              To boldly go.....
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