Foundation Degree FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about the Foundation Degree
Why should I study on the FdA Professional Practice International Trade?
In an increasingly competitive world, it is crucial to stand out from the crowd. The FdA Professional Practice International Trade will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your career, ensuring compliance and a high level of competency in international trade.
You will learn about key aspects of international trade, including trade compliance, marketing, logistics and law. You will also develop key management skills, such as managing people and change management, as well as gaining a practical insight into how a business works. Throughout the course, our expert tutors will link your learning to the real world and your own work, which means that the course is always relevant to you and supporting your career development.
In addition, the Foundation Degree is a recognised university qualification. This is a mark of the credibility of the course and also the credibility of the people completing the course. Once you successfully complete the course, you will be able to attend your graduation ceremony and put the letters “FdA” after your name in recognition of your achievement.
How will my employer benefit from me studying on the FdA Professional Practice International Trade?
Developing people is crucial for economic prosperity. Recently, several reports have highlighted the importance of key management skills and that in the UK we are behind many of our competitors in developing these skills.
The FdA Professional Practice International Trade has been designed specifically to develop the skills and knowledge an international business needs to thrive. Our experienced tutors will share their expertise with you, giving you access to a wealth of specialist information, which will support you in your course and help you develop further in your workplace. You will bring new skills, knowledge and ideas to your work, meaning that you benefit and your employer benefits – a real win-win!
Is this course suitable for me?
If you are looking for a university-level course to help you develop your career in the world of international trade, this course is for you.
The course has been designed to cover all key aspects of international trade, and to be relevant to all businesses operating in international trade. It attracts people from a range of roles, from senior management to people just starting their careers in international trade, or indeed students considering a qualification covering the world of business and trade.
The Foundation Degree is essential for all business sectors involved in international trade and a wide range of roles within those organisations. Some of the jobs and businesses which will benefit from the course are listed below (this list is not exhaustive):
Foreign Office and Consulates
Any business which exports
Any business which imports
All business types from manufacturing to service sector companies, from large to small businesses
Trade Intermediaries and Trade Advisors
Any company engaged in transporting goods, for example Shipping, Logistics and Freight Forwarding companies
Banks and Financial Services
Insurance Companies and Insurance Brokers
What are the key objectives of the course?
The Institute of Export and Anglia Ruskin University have designed to course to support businesses and individuals by:
- enabling students to develop their knowledge of the spectrum of international business activity.
- providing a sound and coherent foundation in the disciplines of commercial practice in the global arena.
- producing students who have the ability to solve routine problems which arise during international trading.
- providing a programme of study which reflects the continuing knowledge needs of internationally trading organisations.
- producing students with the ability to evaluate critically the status of their organisation’s international business position.
- providing an intellectually rigorous and vocationally oriented course of study which contributes to: the widening of participation in Higher Education; the students’ lifelong learning skills; personal development and, a progression to more advanced studies.
Why Anglia Ruskin University?
Anglia Ruskin University is one of the foremost Work Based Learning Universities in the country, with bases in Cambridge and Chelmsford. Working with clients such as Barclays Bank, Specsavers, Harrods, the Ridgeons Group and the NHS, it has an established reputation for developing and delivering bespoke degree level training to employees, developing their skills and enhancing their contribution to the business.
Anglia Ruskin University believes that higher education should inspire people to develop the professional skills that will enable them and their organisations to stand out in today’s increasingly competitive world.
Why the Institute of Export?
Established in 1935, the Institute of Export is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade.
Offering a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training, the Institute is the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.
The Institute also provides access to a network of specialists in international trade, benefitting students and their employers.
What is a Foundation Degree?
Foundation Degrees are well established academic qualifications in their own right. They are developed with employers in order to provide university level skills that are relevant to real life workplaces. Typically Foundation Degrees take 2 years to complete. On completion of the course, graduates are entitled to use the letters FdA or FdSc after their name and can attend a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievement.
Once you have completed your Foundation Degree, you can continue your studies and progress onto a full Honours Degree.
Which Honours Degree can I do?
When you finish, you can top off your Foundation Degree to a full BA Honours Degree. This will take one year of further study and you will achieve a BA (Hons) in Management (Work Based).
The BA (Hons) Management (Work Based) is a popular distance learning degree, which attracts students from the UK and abroad and will enable you to study alongside people from a wide range of industries and sectors. The course will take you to the next level, focusing on strategy. You will also get the chance to develop your specialist learning through a major project, which can focus on an area of international trade that is of interest to you and your employer.
What will I learn?
The course is divided into modules. These are listed below, along with a summary of what you will learn in each one.
Understanding Work Based Learning And Your Work Sector
This module start your course by giving you an understanding of work-based learning and help you develop analytical, technological and communication skills. You will focus on the key features of successful management and applying key business tools, including SWOT and PESTLE analysis
Finance of International Trade
You will gain an understanding of the keys to profitability in your business, and the most appropriate sources of finance to maximise such profits. You will also evaluate and attempt to reduce the various risks that are common to all international trade, including exchange risk and country and buyer credit risk and to choose and operate the most appropriate methods of payment.
You will learn about the major theories of international marketing and consider examples from the real world. You will look at market analysis, identifying market and customer needs, segmentation and practical solutions to market challenges.
International Physical Distribution
You will learn about the practicalities of distribution in international trade and the international agreements which have been developed to overcome variations in national capabilities. The module covers, for example, customs regulations for export and import and the merits of different transport modes. Trade compliance is also a key aspect of this module.
Managing Projects and Organisational Change
This module focuses on the skills and knowledge associated with delivering a successful business project. Projects often bring change, so the module also examines strategies and practical tools to manage change within organisations.
International Marketing Strategy
You will learn about the strategic background to international marketing decisions on the organisation’s part. Emphasis is on the practicalities of success. The module includes strategic decision making, planning processes and methods.
International Logistics and Purchasing
What fundamental decisions and processes are required in international logistics and how do they affect the trading organisation? On this module you will learn about optimising distribution strategy, integrating logistic systems and processes, global sourcing and customs planning.
Management of International Trade
You will learn about management in an international context, supply strategies and structures, trade finance, planning, multi-currency trading and overseas business development.
Practical Global Trading
In this module you will develop a project that relates your learning through the course to your own working environment. You will analyse a real work problem, in association with your employer and with the support of your tutor, and present a conclusion and recommendations, developing key skills that will support your career development.
I’ve already studied some of the topics on the course – can I get an exemption from these modules?
Possibly. Exemptions (or accreditation of prior learning based on your previous educational qualifications) will be considered on an individual basis.
How will the course be taught?
The FdA Professional Practice International Trade is taught through a range of flexible distance learning methods.
Studying through distance learning means that you will be able to organise your studies around your work and life. Because the FdA Professional Practice International Trade uses a variety of teaching methods, this suits different learning styles keeping you engaged and interested through your studies.
The course has been designed to ensure that you will not be learning in isolation – you will have the benefit of our expert team of tutors and support staff throughout the course.
The subjects are taught in the following ways;
- You will have a Distance Learning Tutor for each module. Each Tutor is a recognised expert in their field of international trade, with a strong academic and practical business background.
- You will have access to our online student campus, which hosts all learning materials. The learning materials comprise extensive written material, PowerPoint presentations and interactive learning.
- You will be able to participate in online tutorials, giving you the chance to communicate directly with your tutor and fellow students.
- You will also be able to participate in Webinars and Conference Calls with your Tutor.
- You will have access to Anglia Ruskin’s extensive digital library, enabling you to consult thousands of books and articles wherever you are in the world.
How long will the course take?
The Foundation Degree course takes two years. After the successful completion of the first year students will receive a Certificate in Higher Education. Successful completion of the second year will give students the full award of Foundation Degree Professional Practice International Trade.
How much time are people expected to commit to their studies?
The course is based around your work and so some of their learning will take place while carrying out your normal work duties. However you will also need to commit private time for studying. Everyone approaches work differently and some people will take more time than others.
Overall it is estimated that on average you will need to spend the equivalent of an evening or two in the week and half a day at the weekend on your studies.
How will the course be assessed?
You will be assessed during each module – the assessment has been designed to utilise skills you can also use at work and therefore will include a mixture of written assignments, presentations and project work. This means that the assessment is always practical and relevant to the real world. There will be no old-style examinations.
Unlike some training courses, deadlines for submission of assignments and projects are strictly enforced on the Foundation Degree.
What are the entry requirements?
We need to ensure that everyone starting the course is capable of completing it, and so the entry requirements are designed to give people the opportunity to prove that they can do this. Candidates may provide evidence of their ability to complete the course either
- through their previous academic achievement (e.g. A levels, NVQs etc), or
- through their experience at work.
Each case will be assessed individually, but as a rough guide, successful candidates will have either 2 passes at A level, or 2 years relevant work experience.
I am based overseas. Will I still be able to study on the Foundation Degree?
Yes. The course is delivered through distance learning, meaning you can participate anywhere in the world, provided you have an internet connection. We offer strong support to all students, meaning that you will not be learning in isolation. We also ensure that the learning supports your particular circumstances in terms of the region of the world in which you are based and particular business sector.
What IT equipment and skills are required?
Students will need access to a standard PC linked to the internet, and Microsoft Office software such as Word and Excel or similar Windows compatible applications. They will need to have a basic familiarity with using the internet, using email, word processing, spreadsheets and other common applications.
What other skills are needed?
There are no other special skills needed other than self belief, determination and a willingness to learn. Working for a Foundation Degree is a big commitment, so students will also need to be motivated and well organised.
What books are needed?
You will be expected to find information from a variety of sources such as books, journal articles, reports etc. Most of these will be freely available online through the online campus or through the Anglia Ruskin University Library website. However in some instances you may want to purchase a key course textbook. You will be advised of any recommended books well in advance and tutors will point you towards relevant sources of information throughout the course.
How much does the Foundation Degree Professional Practice International Trade cost?
If you start in September 2014 or January 2015, the cost of the Foundation Degree is £4,500 per year. This can be payable in stages over the two years of the course.
Course fees are rising across all universities due to radical changes in government funding and many universities are charging £9,000 per year for business related courses. The Foundation Degree Professional Practice International Trade represents exceptional value for a high quality university course.
Is there any funding available to help pay my fees?
If you have never studied at university level before, and you are an EU resident, you may be able to apply for a student loan to pay for this course. This means that you would pay nothing upfront, instead the government would pay your fees, and you would repay the government through your normal salary, a bit like tax.
This is a low-risk way of funding your studies, as repayments are made as a percentage of your income, not a set amount. If, for any reason, your earnings dropped below £21,000 per year, you would not have to repay your loan for this period.
There is more information about student loans on the Student Finance England website
How will Anglia Ruskin help me advance my career?
Anglia Ruskin University has an award winning Student Services team who pride themselves in supporting students in their career progression.
The Employability and Careers Team at Anglia Ruskin offer support and advice to all students in a variety of areas, including:
- How to write a CV
- Mock Interviews
- Job hunting
- Careers Guidance
Distance learning students can access Employability and Careers services remotely using Microsoft Live Meeting. It’s also possible to arrange telephone appointments or communicate by email. Additional resources are available through the Virtual Learning Environment.
Are there any additional benefits from studying on the Foundation Degree Professional Practice International Trade?
When you enrol on the Foundation Degree you will become a Student Member of the Institute of Export and International Trade. As a member of the UK’s foremost professional body in international trade, you will become part of a community of leading professionals, gaining access to a range of benefits to support your knowledge and development, including:
- Access to a series of best practice Webinars with key industry bodies and industry specialists.
- Access to the leading monthly International Trade Digest magazine and further Trade publications covering recent developments in international trade.
- Frequent updates on key topics in international trade through our regular newsletter.
- Access to our online student campus.
- Involvement in a number of activities, including events, lectures and seminars.
- Involvement at a local branch level: the Institute Regions organise a range of events, including site visits and presentations.
As a student, you will become a member of Anglia Ruskin University’s Student Union. You will also be eligible to buy an NUS Extra Card, which will entitle you to discounts on a huge range of goods and services, including clothes, travel and food. For more information see the NUS extra website
When does the course start?
There are two start dates each year: in January and September. New students start their studies on these dates.
If you are interested in applying, we recommend that you apply as far in advance as possible, in order to give yourself the best chance of getting onto the course.
How do I apply for the course?
the qualifications team at the Institute of Export. Contact Usor call on 01733 404400.
Who do I contact if I have any further questions?
If you have any further questions, please contact the qualifications team at the Institute of Export. Contact Us
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