HNDs and HNCs


Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are semivocational/semi-professional qualifications designed to increase knowledge and skills based experience. They provide specialist learning that reflects the requirements of professional organisations and meets the National Occupational Standards for each sector or industry. HNDs are recognised internationally by employers as providing learners with the key concepts and practical skills for direct progressions to, or within, employment.

Our HNDs are Level 5 qualifications and are awarded by the national awarding body Edexcel (Pearson). They can be used to gain entry into universities at an advanced level and are considered equivalent to the second year of a three year university Honours Degree course. Many universities will take students who have completed their HND onto the third year of a degree course. This is often called a ‘top-up’ year. It also means that after three years, a student could have both the HND and an Honours Degree.

HNDs are usually studied full-time, in two to three academic years and can also be studied part-time over four years.



A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a higher education qualification equivalent to the first year of an honours degree. Like HNDs, they also provide specialist knowledge and skills based experience.

Our Engineering HNC can be studied part-time over two years. Our Computing and Systems Development HNC can be studied over one or two years.