A Higher National Diploma (HND) qualification uses studying and practical elements to prepare students for a particular job and/or career. HNDs are valued by companies and employers and are perfect for individuals who wish to have a more of a ‘hands-on’ experience with their studies.
An HND is a Higher National Diploma, it is a work-related course. HNDs usually take anywhere between two years to do full-time and four years to complete part-time and are usually completed on a part-time basis. It is the equivalent of two years at university.
An HNC is a Higher National Certificate. This is similar to the HND, however, it takes one year to complete full-time and two years part-time. An HNC is one level below an HND and is equivelent to one year at university.
Students can study an HND at a further or higher education college and take two years to complete full-time. Those who wish to study a Higher National Diploma part-time can do so, but varying colleges offer different time frames for completion.
There are an array of subjects available for students, with a wide range of topics to interest many individuals, such as:
• Agriculture degree
• Business and management degree
• Construction degree
• Civil Engineering degree
• Engineering degree
• Health and Social Care degree
• Hospitality Management degree
• IT and computing degree
• Sport and Exercise Sciences degree
To study an HND, students will need previous qualifications, most colleges ask for at least one A-Level, or equivalent qualification, such as a BTEC. Students are advised to check with their chosen academic institution to know what qualifications they may need to gain access to the course.
Students can apply to study an HND by contacting their college, or university and applying independently.
Individuals will be assessed through practical tasks, work projects, assignments and written work during their time on the course. If a student successfully completes a Higher National Diploma, the grades available in each subject is either a, pass, merit or distinction, which translates to a C, B or an A.
HNDs give students the skills needed for a particular area or field of work, which can lead straight to a career. They can also allow entry into the second or third year of a degree – this will depend on the subject studied as a Higher National Diploma, and what subject wishing to be studied at degree level. Students are advised to check with their university or Further Education College about whether their HND is suitable for entry.
A Higher National Diploma is equivalent to A-Levels, BTECs, a Foundation Degree and Higher Education Diploma, as students are able to begin an undergraduate degree with this qualification or even half way through the degree.
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