Legitimising foundation degrees: principles, practice and pedagogy

Claire Taylor


Foundation Degrees are work-based programmes of higher education situated at intermediate level within the higher education qualifications framework and introduced in and in 2001. This paper investigates the emerging principles, practice and pedagogy of Foundation Degrees. It briefly reviews the historical and political development of the Foundation Degree and views the qualification through the lens of ‘the new vocationalism’ (Symes and McIntyre, 2000). The paper continues by scrutinising key features of the Foundation Degree format. Finally, pedagogical models aligned with work-based learning are considered and applied to the Foundation Degree model. In conclusion, the paper suggests that Foundation Degrees are emerging as a re-engineered form of work-based learning, with specific features that give the degree its uniqueness and with the potential for the development of a pedagogical framework unique to the Foundation Degree, thus underlining the qualification’s growing legitimisation within the higher education sector.

Taylor, C. (2008) Legitimising foundation degrees: principles, practice and pedagogy. Educationalfutures, [online] Vol. 1(1). Available at: https://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=381 [Accessed 15 Apr, 2024].


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