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What is an Innovation Foundation Degree?

A definition and what can be expected from this qualification

Following on from the previous blog post defining the term ‘innovation’ and its purpose for organisations, this article focuses on the Innovation Foundation Degree and what can be expected from this qualification.

The Innovation Foundation Degree is part of the FDA in Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Newcastle College. Running over 18 months, the programme is directed at individuals who want to be equipped with the capacity to generate ideas and the skills to make them come to life. The aim of the course is to prepare candidates with the ability to generate ideas and problem solve as well as providing additional knowledge, skills, qualities and attributes required for setting up their own business or working on a freelance or consultancy basis. They also gain insight into issues of employability, innovation, knowledge transfer, commercialisation and intellectual property.

The qualities and attributes that candidates gain on the course are key to being competitive in the graduate market. Moving away from traditional Higher Education courses and schedules, students learn through teamwork and small scale projects. They develop a 'can-do' confidence, a creative questioning and a willingness to take risks. This is important to provide readiness for rapid change in the economy, manage workplace uncertainty and flexible working patterns in careers.

The course modules focus on a variety of content, including; building a business through innovation and opportunity, developing a sustainable and responsible company and forward-thinking for future planning. Students learn through lectures, group-based activities and collaborative student-led seminars and presentations. They are also exposed to workshops and enquiry based approaches, such as case study scenarios, which are then opened for wider discussion.

The qualification provides experience in enterprising skills such as team working, demonstrating initiative, original thinking and self discipline in completing tasks to deadlines. These attributes have been identified by employers as priority issues.

To find out more about Foundation Degrees available in North East colleges, go to our Sectors page to view qualifications by industry.