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What are degree awarding powers?

Students who successfully complete a course of study usually receive a diploma, certificate or degree.

If they are awarded a degree, it can be a foundation degree, a bachelor's degree with honours, a master's degree or a doctorate.

Taught degrees are bachelors degrees with honours, and other taught higher education qualifications, up to and including the level of a masters degree. Research degrees recognise the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other forms of advanced scholarship. 

Who can apply?

Providers of higher education based in England can apply if they meet the criteria set out in Government guidance. Institutions will need to show that:

  • their present regulatory and quality assurance arrangements are effective
  • they have the capacity to meet the expectations on academic standards and quality management set out in the national academic infrastructure.

To be eligible for Teaching and Research Degree Award Powers, institutions should have:

  • no fewer than four consecutive years' experience, immediately before the year of application, of delivering higher education programmes at a level at least equivalent to level 6 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ)
  • the majority of their higher education students enrolled on study programmes, which are at level 6 or above of the FHEQ.

To be eligible for Foundation Degree Powers, institutions should have:

  • No fewer than four consecutive years’ experience, immediately before the year of application, of delivering higher education programmes at a level at least equivalent to level 5 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

Page last updated 9 December 2015