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University Pathways

How top-up degrees work

All academic Online Business School courses carry national recognition of OFQUAL, the UK regulatory body for Higher Education.

Graduating Online Business School students can progress to a University programme, either to join at Undergraduate entry level, usually on completion of Level 3,  or onto a “top-up” Degree, depending on the level of their OFQUAL programme. These level equivilanciescan be viewed on our ‘Study Levels Explained‘ page.

Top-up degrees are for those who already hold a nationally recognised Certificate or Diploma of an appropriate level and are looking to complete their qualification to a full Degree. For Level 3 programmes students can apply for Undergraduate entry for a full three year programme . Level 4 requires final 2 years completion. At Level 5 it is the final year, Level 6 will give entry to post graduate programmes and Level 7 gives exemptions from certain Masters programmes including MBA.

Top-up courses require you to have a diploma qualification in a relevant subject; this means that the course of study should be closely tied to your previous qualification. However, it does not have to be the same subject. This flexibility allows our students to have a wide range of career or completion prospects upon graduation.

All of the academic courses offered by Online Business School are Ofqual approved and universities will generally accept the credits awarded to students. Students should make it clear to the University that the qualification is Ofqual RQF validated at the stated level/credit value. Online Business School can provide students with the requisite Ofqual documentation and transcript if required. Alternatively students can visit the OFQUAL website to confirm the qualification. Each University will consider an application on its merits subject to their own specific entry requirements.

Progression options

On completion of an Online Business School course, students have the following options available to them.

1.  Top up with an Online Business School pre agreement. Online Business School works closely with a range of top UK universities, offering multiple progression routes to students. We are able to negotiate lower tuition fees and provide application assistance for entry to a number of UK and international universities. ATHE and LRN, our OFQUAL partners, have direct articulation arrangements with several Universities which give full recognition for entry (Click here to see ATHE progression routes). Online Business School has some prior approval University partners. To view specific University Top up options via Online Business School, click here to choose a course, then click on ‘University Top up’.

However, students have a range of options in addition to Online Business School or ATHE agreements

2.  Study FULL TIME on campus in the UK for top-up courses or direct entry to university. Most Universities will accept OFQUAL credits for advanced entry and therefore students can choose their own University to study full time for a shorter period. (Click here to Find a University). It should be understood by students that these are general guidelines and students should always check the requirements with their preferred University or their local University Agent if they intend to make an application.

3.  Study PART TIME on Campus. Many Universities operate part time/evening provision and students should check possibilities with their preferred Universities first.

4.  Study by DISTANCE LEARNING for top up programmes.  Many UK Universities run off campus distance learning programmes and Online Business School will always seek direct arrangements with these universities to accept our students. Current university progression arrangements can be viewed on the specific course pages, under ‘University top up’. Students may choose to apply directly to a UK University not linked to ATHE or Online Business School. Several Universities operate distance learning Business programmes and students can apply directly for credits or other forms of advanced entry.

5.  Study with UK Universities BASED OVERSEAS. Some UK Universities operate overseas Campuses and may accept local students on their programmes with advanced entry. For example UK Universities have campuses in Dubai, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong. Students should check locally for these arrangements.

6.  Study with NON UK UNIVERSITIES Students may want to study at Institutions nearer their home country or qualifications outside of UK. For example many Australian Universities offer distance learning and will recognise equivalent UK qualifications on a case by case basis.USA and Canadian Universities will also, generally, accept UK qualification equivalence.

7.  Study for an AMBA MBA The Association of MBAs  is a membership organisation that provides accreditation and upholds the highest international standards of MBA programmes. Many UK Universities are Members and offer distance learning study. Although credits cannot be given, admission can be gained via the Online Business School Level 6 or 7 plus the requisite additional entry requirements of your chosen University. Students should check the regulations of their chosen University first.

If you require more information regarding the possible progression routes, you can find it on the UCAS website or Contact the Online Business School Support team at: [email protected]