What is a Top-up degree? What do you top up? And what are you topping it up to? Way out West answers some of the most common questions about the undergraduate Top-up degree courses available at South West College.

What is a Top-up degree?

A Top-up degree is equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate degree. These courses are aimed at students who have previously completed a related foundation level degree (or equivalent, e.g. an HND) and they provide a route for students to achieve a Bachelor’s degree.

Top-up degrees enable students to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of a particular topic while also receiving an internationally-recognised qualification.

A Top-up degree does
allow you
to top up a Bachelor’s degree to a Bachelor’s degree with Honours.

How long does it take to complete?

The indicative study duration of a Top-up degree at South West College is one year of full-time study or two years part-time. The option of part time or full time study means you can concentrate on getting your qualification within twelve months, or spread your studies across two years, depending on your work and family commitments and other proprieties.


What are the entry requirements?

In order to start a Top-up course with South West College, you must have completed one of the following:

  • a relevant foundation degree from a recognised institution; or
  • the first two years of a relevant BA (Hons) degree from a recognised institution; or
  • a relevant Higher National Diploma (HND) from a recognised institution.

One important thing to note about any previous qualification you are using to gain entry onto a Top-up course is that it must be relevant and have currency, i.e. if you wish to join an Engineering Top-up course, your previous qualification must be in an Engineering-related subject area.

What Top-up degrees full-time and part-time does South West College offer?

We currently offer the following Top-up degree courses which are validated by The Open University:

BEng (Hons) in Engineering (Top-Up)Contact: john.dolan@swc.ac.ukBSc (Hons) in Sport & Exercise (Top-Up)Contact: jane.mcginty@swc.ac.ukBSc (Hons) in Construction Engineering & Management (Top-Up)Contact: stephen.moss@swc.ac.ukBA (Hons) in Visual Media Arts (Top-Up) Contact: claire.fiddamen@swc.ac.ukBSc (Hons) in Building Services and Sustainable Energy (Top-Up)Contact: vanessa.cobane@swc.ac.ukBSc (Hons) in Transport & Supply Chain Management (Top-Up)Contact: john.moss@swc.ac.ukBSc (Hons) in Computer Science (Top-Up)Contact: sinead.mcgee@swc.ac.uk Queens University Belfast BSc (Hons) Energy, Environment and Sustainability (Stage 2 Top Up)Contact: Mark.McGuigan@swc.ac.uk

These courses allow you to top-up your existing qualification to a degree-level qualification. It is ideal if you are looking to progress your career and can also provide a stepping stone to future postgraduate studies.

Ready to apply?
Get started at the South West College website!