Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Creating a part-time undergraduate course - Course credits and intensity

Common full course credits

The below table gives examples of the most common credits achieved for an entire course. These are based on the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ). This is the credit system that we expect you to use on CMS.

Under FHEQ a year of full-time study generally equates to 120 credits. This is not always the case and the information you submit must be correct for the individual course as we will use it to assess the students' eligibility and entitlement.


Ordinary full-time duration (years)

Course qualification

Expected credits (based on FHEQ)


Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)


Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Honours degree (1-year top-up)

Honours degree (1-year intercalation)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)



Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)


Higher National Diploma (HND)

Foundation degree

Honours degree (2-year top-up)

Honours degree (condensed)



Ordinary degree


Honours degree (full course)



Honours degree (with integral foundation year)


Honours degree (with integral placement year)

Honours degree (with abroad year)

Integrated master’s degree



Honours degree (with integral foundation year and integral placement year)


Honours degree (with integral foundation year and study abroad year)


We appreciate that integral foundation, study abroad and work placement years do not traditionally have a credit value attached as is not a requirement to receive the honours degree (under FHEQ). However, we need one to accurately assess the student’s support entitlement.

Whilst we have used a nominal amount of 120 credits in the table above, the non-standard year should reflect the same credits as a standard year of the course.


Where the honours degree is 390 credits over 3 years, we would expect that a 4-year version including a non-standard year (foundation, study abroad or work placement) would be 520 credits (390 + 1 year at 130 credits).

Validation in CMS will not let you save a course with a credit value of less than 20 or greater than 600.

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