HND Qualification Level
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a vocational course of study that provides an alternative to a wide array of undergraduate degrees. With an HND you can gain the academic skills and qualifications needed to move straight into a particular area of work while gaining hands-on experience along the way.
An HND course typically takes two years for full-time study or four years part-time to complete, and you’ll be in demand by employers for the knowledge and practical abilities you develop during your studies.
Popular areas of academic study for HND courses include Civil Engineering, Business and Finance, Graphic Design and Management roles. Apart from allowing the opportunity to become proficient in specific job-related tasks such as computer-aided design, financial analysis and project planning, an HND can often lead to a successful career upon graduating.
Some employers even offer sponsored HNDs which can help cover tuition fees while providing relevant on-the-job training at the same time.
To pursue an HNC or HND, potential students must possess some prior academic awards or previous qualifications. Most higher national diploma courses typically require applicants to have achieved a single A-level qualification or its equivalent before admission.
This could include an AS level, NVQ Level Three, as well as other qualifications that are deemed equivalent by the institution offering the course.
Applicants who may not have achieved the relevant requirement before seeking enrolment into an HND or HNC course may still be considered. Evidence of relevant work experience and/or aptitude tests may be requested instead of a formal education qualification.
For example, someone with strong GCSE results in necessary subject areas and substantial workplace experience may still be eligible for entry into certain higher national diploma programmes or undergraduate study. In addition, different institutions offer varying entry requirements so individuals should research which courses best suit their circumstances before applying.
What Subjects can be studied in HND?
HNC courses are accredited professional qualifications and offer a wide range of subjects for students looking to gain the necessary knowledge and key skills for their career progression. These courses span many academic areas, with different concentrations in each subject. Whether you’re interested in engineering, business management, computing, or another specialty, there are HND courses available that can provide the training needed to reach your professional goals.
These types of three-year degree-level programmes are designed to give students an in-depth understanding and essential skills of their chosen specialty. The focus is on hands-on techniques and practical tasks of theory, giving learners the maximum opportunity to begin utilising their knowledge as soon as they graduate.
This combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience allows students to combine both elements into their future engineering professional career paths.
With HND/HNC programmes increasingly popular amongst employers, these qualifications can open up many new career development opportunities and career options for graduates once they enter the world of work.
What Level is HND?
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a Level 5 qualification in higher education study. It is equivalent to the first two years of a Bachelor’s University degree and as such, gives you the same type of practical skills, knowledge and understanding as a foundation degree or education diploma.
Studying for an HND allows you to gain a deeper level of insight into your chosen area or professional setting. This type of study involves being able to carry out detailed research and development work, practical learning of advanced techniques, and developing your active research skills essential for the course.
The benefits of studying at this level are clear – an HND can lead to highly rewarding career prospects in many areas including engineering, technology, business management, health and or social care.
Furthermore, by completing an HND you will become eligible for further study at Bachelors level which can ultimately open up even more job options for diploma graduates. All in all, an HND is a well-respected academic qualification that demonstrates both commitment and ambition which potential employers will take note of when considering your application for their roles.
Benefits of the HND Course
HND courses offer practical skills that equip students with the employability and hands-on skills recognised by professional bodies and employer organisations. Not only can you use these education qualifications for your career growth, but depending on the course you select, you may even get to work with local companies who specialise in that subject.
Moreover, if you feel unprepared for University study after high school, earning an HNC or an HND is a great way to continue studying at your own pace while also acquiring hands-on professional experience in the hospitality or business sector. You can also use this qualification to gain professional status in your current career journey.
Through completing these courses of study, you will have acquired academic knowledge and enough industry experience to progress into complete degree-level study when you’re ready without having to take either the first or both first and second years. Moreover, completion of the degree enables learners direct entry to top-up honours degree at several Universities.
Both divisions offer the advantage of gaining specialised education in a fraction of the time it would take through traditional university routes, allowing motivated individuals to pursue their ambitions and start working efficiently.
Assessment of the HND Course
Assessments for HNCs and HNDs are generally made up of a combination of assignments, projects and practical tasks. These assessments must be completed throughout the course to receive a qualification. If an individual completes all of the required units and assessments required for both an HNC or HND, they will receive a grade as signified by either pass, merit or distinction.
The grading system utilised by these qualifications is designed to provide students with feedback about their understanding and ability as well as recognition for excellent achievement. Merit entails scoring slightly higher than average when compared to other students and holding a greater level of knowledge within each unit assessed.
Achieving this level may result in more skilled job roles or entry into the further fields of education such as degree programmes. Distinction meanwhile signifies an outstanding performance in all areas and shows that you have mastered the subject area covered by your qualifications.