Download a printable version of the Foundation Degree General Regulations.
1. Scope of Regulations
- These General Academic Regulations apply to Foundation Degree students, registered for a programme of study at a Further Education College, or through a Consortium of Colleges, which leads to a University award.
- These Regulations apply to all Foundation Degree programmes of study full-time, part-time or part-time accelerated programmes.
- Foundation Degree Programmes must operate in accordance with these General Academic Regulations and the General Regulations of the University but may have additional specific programme regulations which enhance them. A single programme specification is permitted where more than one mode of delivery is available.
- The University shall appoint a University (or University College) Coordinator, for each Foundation Degree programme, who shall provide advice to the Further Education College on matters that pertain to the General University Regulations. The University Coordinator shall normally be appointed from a relevant School within the University. The University Coordinator, in consultation with the Further Education College(s), shall submit Annual Programme Review documentation for consideration by the Collaborative Provision Group.
2. Admissions and Recruitment Regulations
2.1 Admissions criteria
Applicants must satisfy the University’s General Entrance Requirements and any specific programme requirements. In addition, the following minimum criteria apply:
GCSE (or equivalent) - English Language at Grade C or above (Level 2 Essential Skills in Communication is acceptable in lieu of a grade C in GCSE English Language,); and one of the following:
- A Levels: minimum grades CC (specific A Level subjects may be requested). Specific GCSE subjects may be requested.
- EDEXCEL: BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units – 180 credits) in a relevant discipline, with a minimum of Merit or above in at least half of the units taken (relevant units may be specified) and Passes in the remaining units, or equivalent.
- Irish Leaving Certificate: A minimum of five subjects including grades BBCC at Higher Level (specific subjects may be requested at Higher or Ordinary level).
- Scottish Highers: minimum Grades BBCC (specific subjects may be requested at Higher or standard/Intermediate/National 5 levels).
- Access Course: A minimum of 55% average in a relevant discipline, (specific subjects may be requested).
Applicants that do not meet the academic admissions criteria may apply through the Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL).
2.2 Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL):
Applicants may apply for admission to Foundation Degree programmes under the Northern Ireland Colleges and Universities APEL Good Practice Guidelines approved by the Department for Employment and Learning.
- The Further Education College(s) should ensure that publicity material and other information provided to prospective and current students are accurate. Statements regarding the University must be submitted to the University Coordinator for approval by the University’s Marketing, Recruitment, Communication and Internationalisation Directorate.
- Application for full-time programmes should be made through UCAS.
- Application for the part-time and accelerated part-time programmes should be made by direct entry, application forms for which can be obtained from the Admissions and Access Service at Queen’s or through the Admissions Offices of the University Colleges.
- Decisions on the selection and admission of students shall be made by the University’s Admissions and Access Service, or University College Admissions in consultation with the relevant University academic selector/University College selector. The Further Education College will be consulted as necessary. In the case of applicants being considered under the Northern Ireland Colleges and Universities APEL Good Practice Guidelines the procedures will be implemented by the Further Education Colleges with the recommendation ratified by the University/University College academic selector.
- The University shall have overall responsibility for admissions decisions. The setting of any quota for full-time student numbers shall be made in consultation between the University/University College and the Further Education College in advance of the annual admissions cycle.
- Any allegations that the admissions criteria were not applied correctly will be considered under the University’s/University College Admission Appeals/Complaints procedure.
- Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application via UCAS (full-time) or the University’s Admissions and Access Service (part-time) or through the Admissions Offices of the University Colleges.
3. Registration and Enrolment Regulations
- Students will be required to enrol at the University/University College as well as the Further Education College each academic year.
- All data for the students shall be maintained on both the University/University College and the Further Education College student database.
4. Study regulations
- Foundation Degree programmes may be offered through full-time (normally 2 years), part-time (normally 3 years) or on an accelerated part-time pathway (normally 2 years and 6 months), subject to specific programme regulations. Registration shall not normally exceed 4 years for full-time mode and 6 years for part-time or accelerated part-time mode of study.
- Students must take a minimum 240 CATS at NQF Level 4 and Level 5, with a minimum of 90 CATS at Level 5. All modules must be passed.
- There shall be a period of work-based learning with a minimum of 40 CATS points with at least 20 CATS at Level 5.
- Graduates have the opportunity to progress to Stage 2 of an associated Honours degree programme awarded by Queen’s subject to progression requirements (see 7 below). Articulation shall normally only be available onto full-time degree programmes delivered at the University or University College.
5. Examinations regulations
- The relevant School within the University or University College, in consultation with the Further Education College/College Consortium, shall nominate, for approval by the University’s Education Committee, one or more external examiners per Foundation Degree programme.
- The Further Education College/College Consortium shall make arrangements, in consultation with the relevant School within the University or University College, for the setting of examination papers and course work and their moderation by the external examiner. Arrangements should be comparable to those in the University with reference to the Academic Affairs website.
- The University/University College and the Further Education College shall agree in advance an appropriate system for the printing of examination papers and ensure their security and conduct of examinations. The Further Education College is required to use a process of anonymous marking for written examinations. Regulations on the conduct of examinations shall follow those in the University General Regulations.
- The University conceptual equivalents scale for Foundation Degrees should be used.
- The Further Education College/College Consortium, in consultation with the relevant School/University College, shall make arrangements for visits by the external examiner.
- The Further Education College/College Consortium, in consultation with the relevant School, shall make arrangements for holding and servicing the Board of Examiners meeting.
- The University/University College Coordinator shall Chair the Board of Examiners.
- The University/University College Coordinator shall be responsible for entering the results on the University’s Student Information System (Qsis) and the return of results sheets containing the examination marks and the decision on the progress of each student to the Student Services and Systems Division in the University. Examination results and marks will be recorded by the Further Education College and the University/University College. Results will be published via Qsis and will only be released following confirmation by the Board of Examiners.
6. Progress regulations
- The Further Education College is responsible for ensuring that procedures are in place to monitor the progress of students taking modules. University Regulations on the late submission of coursework and attendance requirements shall apply.
- The Further Education College shall implement its procedures for considering exceptional circumstances, and student progress procedures. In order to maintain a consistent approach, progression through a consortium arrangement may be managed at School/University College level.
- Evidence of exceptional circumstances will be considered under the Further Education College’s procedures (see 6b) prior to the Board of Examiners, and recommendations made to the Board regarding concessions on the basis of exceptional circumstances.
- Students must normally pass all Level 4 modules before taking Level 5 modules. Students may be permitted to carry one Level 4 module to the value of 20 CATS from one year to the next at the discretion of the Board of Examiners, but must pass this module at the next opportunity.
- Students will not normally be permitted to articulate to University level study, or achieve the Award, until all modules have been passed.
- Students may be permitted to retake failed modules subject to programme regulations. When a module is retaken, the maximum mark for that module will be the pass mark. The pass mark for all modules is 40%.
- Students who have failed a module twice in one academic year must meet with their Adviser of Studies or Personal Tutor or Further Education College equivalent to discuss options. The Board of Examiners may recommend that the student is not permitted to repeat that module and may be required to withdraw.
- Students must pass all modules including the work-based learning module(s). Arrangements for the resubmission of work placement assessment or retaking of work placement shall be articulated in programme regulations.
- Candidates who achieve an overall weighted average mark (25% level 4 and 75% level 5) of at least 40% will be awarded the Foundation Degree.
7. Requirements for Progression to Queen’s University
- A clearly defined progression route must be identified at the validation of a Foundation Degree.
- Graduates of a Foundation Degree are eligible to progress to an associated Honours degree programme in Queen’s, normally entering at Stage 2.
- Application for admissions to progress to Queen’s is normally made through UCAS www.ucas.com.
- Direct entry applications may be permitted following application from the relevant School/University College within the University, to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs for a concession to the regulation.
- The following equivalence table shall be used to set academic requirements for progression to Honours degree programmes. Schools may set specific subject requirements which will be outlined in the programme regulations.
Year 1 Standard Offer
Entry to Full-time Honours Degree level 2
Overall weighted average in 240 CATS Level 4 and 5 (25% - 75%) *
* Dependent on degree programme. Some programmes require a certain grade in each unit.
- This regulation must be applied by all Schools except where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has, following application from the relevant School within the University, granted exemption from its use.
- Students who complete the Foundation Degree programme but do not achieve the overall average for entry to the related degree programme at Stage 2, may be considered on an individual basis for Stage 1 entry.
8. Regulations for Student Complaints and Appeals
- The Further Education College/Consortium College arrangement shall implement its procedures for considering exceptional circumstances and student progress. Students may submit an appeal to the University’s Central Student Appeals Committee in accordance with the relevant University Regulations.
- The Further Education College shall implement its procedures for considering academic offences. Students may appeal to the University’s Academic Offences Committee in accordance with the relevant University Regulations.
- The Further Education College’s procedures for considering student complaints will apply in the first instance. Once these have been exhausted, students may appeal to the University’s Complaints Review Panel in accordance with the relevant University Regulations.
9. Student Conduct Regulations
Student conduct procedures at the Further Education College shall apply for non-academic matters. There is no right of appeal to the University.
10. Financial Arrangements
- Full time tuition fees are set by the University and students pay the tuition fees directly to the Further Education College. The tuition fees are reviewed annually.
- Tuition fees for students on part-time and accelerated part-time programmes are set by the Board of Governors of the Further Education College on a CATS points basis. For the purpose of widening participation, this may be at a rate below the University’s standard part-time tuition fee. This fee will be reviewed annually.
- The University/University College shall invoice the Further Education College for an annual per-capita validation charge. These charges will be reviewed annually.
11. Award Classification
- In order to be eligible for the award of a Foundation Degree a candidate must, within the maximum period of registration, pass all modules amounting to 240 CATS.
- The pass mark for the award will be 40%. The Foundation Degree award will be based on the following module weightings:
|Level 4 module average||Level 5 module average|
- The results of candidates who have successfully completed the Foundation Degree shall be graded by order of merit as Pass with High Commendation, Pass with Commendation or Pass.
The mark scale for the final award shall be as follows:
70+ Pass with high commendation
60+ Pass with commendation
Below 40 Fail
This regulation must be applied by all Boards of Examiners except where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has, following application from the relevant School within the University, granted exemption from its use.
12. Conferment of Award
- The degree awarded will be one of the following:
FdSc – Foundation degree in Science
FdA – Foundation degree in Arts
FdEng – Foundation degree in Engineering
- Successful students shall graduate at the University. Further Education Colleges may organise a ceremony for the presentation of certificates. This must take place after conferment by the University.
13. Memoranda of Agreement
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) shall be compiled and signed by both the University (and University College, where appropriate) and the Further Education College at institutional level. The MOA should detail responsibilities for quality assurance, the recognition of teachers and the overall management of the collaboration.