Foundation Degrees & Higher National Diplomas

University Level Courses

Course Overview

Did you know your students can study for degrees and other Higher Education courses at East Sussex College?

We offer a growing range of Higher Education courses from Higher National Diplomas/Certificates to full top-up degrees.

You can study for two years with us on a Foundation Degree or Higher National Diploma/Certificate and then study for a further year to obtain a full degree (known as a “top-up degree”).


we will soon be able to offer from September 2021 residential accommodation at both our Lewes and Hastings campus (see below for further information).

Now is a great time to be studying for a degree in the UK, as the UK Government is opening the new “Graduate Route” this Summer which allows international students completing a degree at a UK Higher Education Provider to work full-time for two years upon graduation.

HE students can also work part-time for up to 20 hours and full-time in the holidays during their course at our college as we are a Tier 4 Licence holder with a clean immigration record.

Finally the fees for a degree course are cheaper at a state college than for a university.

Please find below the full list of courses on offer:

Level 4 courses ( Higher National Diplomas/Certificates, Foundation Degrees)

AAT Accounting
HNC/D Business
HNC/D Construction
HNC/D Mechanical Engineering
HNC/D Electrical Engineering
HNC/D Computing
HNC/D Digital Media Production
Foundation Degree (FdA) Digital Media Design
FdA Music Production
FdSc Counselling
FdSc Complimentary Healthcare
Level 4 Collaborative Theatre
Level 4 Creative Enterprise
Level 4 Foundation Diploma Art and Design

Degree Courses

BSc (Top-up) Business
BSc Mechanical Engineering
BSc (Top-up) Electrical Engineering
BSc (Top-up) Computing
BA (Hons) (Top-up) Media Design
BA (Hons) Graphic Design
BA (Hons) Animation
BA (Hons) Photography
BA (Hons) Illustration
BA (Hons) Designer Maker
BA (Hons) Fine Art
BA (Hons) Collaborative Theatre
BSc (Top-Up) Counselling
ATHE Healthcare Management
BA (Hons) Early Years Care
PGCE Cert Ed

If you would more like more detail about the individual courses on offer, please click here:

Residential Accommodation

As you may know, students at our Lewes campus have enjoyed our residential accommodation for over 18s, called Caburn House, for many years.

Each student has their own study bedroom and own en-suite bathroom with shared use of kitchens, common and games rooms and laundry facilities.

We are now proud to announce that we will have a fabulous new residential accommodation offer for over 18s at our Hastings campus from September 2021.

Please click here for full details:

We offer four different Higher Education qualifications:

1. Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma

Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are work-related higher education qualifications. Higher National Certificate is Level 4 and Higher National Diplomas are Level 5.

HNCs and HNDs focus on "learning by doing" and give skills that you can use in a particular job. They are highly valued by employers and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations.

HNCs take one year to complete full-time and HNDs take two years full-time.

2. Foundation Degrees

Foundation degrees are higher education qualifications, mainly taught in Further Education colleges like ours. They mix academic and work related learning and offer a clear route to university or into employment.

Equivalent to two years of a traditional honours degree. A Foundation Degree is a qualification in itself and many students gain employment or decide to study for one more year by doing a “Top-Up” honours course.

3. Top-Up Degree

A top-up degree is the equivalent of a final year in a BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) degree, perfect for students who have already spent two years completing a Higher National Diploma (HND), a two year Foundation degree, or any equivalent qualificatiion.

The UK government has announced that it will introduce the Graduate Route from the summer of 2021. From this time, students holding a valid Tier 4 or Student visa, who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider, will be able to remain in the UK and work, or look for work, for 2 years after they complete their studies.

Whilst the exact start date for the scheme is not yet known, it is clear that students with a Tier 4 or Student visa, starting or continuing a degree programme from September 2020 will be able to apply once they have successfully completed their programme. Applications can be made during the post study period, which is the period of time added to your visa after your programme end date.”

Please click here for further details:

Entry requirements:

  • English language level equivalent to IELTS 6.0 (academic) with 6.0 in writing.
  • Successful completion of senior secondary school, A Levels or a Foundation course or equivalent.

Please note that although students aged 16-18 are classified as adults in respect of their eligibility for this course, they are subject to stricter rules on supervision, details of which can be found here.

Please note there is a public holiday on 4 May 2020 when the college is closed. The college is also closed one day each term for staff training.

If you are a Visa National, we recommend that you contact our International Admissions office (Eastbourne and Lewes) or (Hastings) for advice before choosing your course, study duration, and visa type. We also suggest that you visit the following website:

Start dates
6 Sep 2021 - 24 June 2022

2 years

min. age
18 years old

all campuses

How to apply for

International courses