What is a top up degree? A guide to distance learning top up degrees
What are top up degree courses?
A top up degree course is the equivalent to the final year of undergraduate study. Once you have completed a top up degree course you will have a Bachelor’s level of qualification.
These courses allow you to ‘top up’ your existing qualification such as an Higher National Diploma or Foundation degree.
Each top up degree course will have specific entry requirements so ensure you check to see what they are before applying.
Upon graduation you will be rewarded a BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) – both internationally recognised degrees.
Why are top up degree courses via distance learning so popular?
Distance learning allows you to fit your top up degree course around work and home life.
Other advantages of studying for a top up degree include:
- Distance learning often costs less – it can be possible to graduate debt-free
- Flexible payment methods are often offered such as student loans and employer sponsorship
- You can study while you earn and progress your career
- Active learning can make you an expert in your subject with a combination of both theory and practical experience
- You’re often able to set your own pace of study
- You can gain transferable skills such as planning and research
- You can complete a top up degree course from anywhere in the world
- You can decide when and where you study
Distance learning has gained in popularity due to these many benefits. According to one study in the US, demand for distance learning is growing in popularity, year on year.
Why a top up degree course via distance learning might be good for you
There are a number of reasons why a top up degree course via distance learning might be beneficial for you:
- If you are career-driven and looking to progress
- If you are a school leaver who wants a degree, but also wants to gain the experience to give them an advantage over your fellow school leavers
- If you are a carer or a parent who wants to complete a degree using a top up course, but has to fit education around your responsibilities at home
- If topping up our current qualification and turning it into a degree will enable you to gain a promotion at work
- If you have always wanted to complete a degree for a sense of personal achievement, but you don’t want to give up your job to do so
Many top up degree courses have a strong focus on employability, so the degree learning will help you in the workplace whether you are just starting a career or whether you want to progress or change jobs.
Some top up degree courses have access at the college to tools such as CV workshops and specialist staff who will help you to sharpen your interview techniques.
How is a distance learning course delivered?
Distance learning offers flexibility in the way the degree course is delivered. Learning is often via online means with ‘virtual classrooms’ and 24/7, multi-device, multimedia learning materials. As long as you have internet access, this allows you to study from anywhere in the world, at a time to suit you.
Distance learning courses will have course tutors on hand to answer your questions via email or telephone. You will also usually be able to contact other students on the course via online communities.
Some top up degrees offer a powerful combination of online learning and face-to-face learning.
Do I need a computer?
Distance learning top up degree courses will likely be taught partly online, if not exclusively, therefore you will need access to a laptop or desktop computer and a mobile device.
Check with the course administration team if there are any specific software requirements before you apply.