HNCs (Higher National Certificates) and HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) are work-related (vocational) higher education qualifications, designed to provide you with the skills for a particular career. They are very well established and are highly valued by employers both in the UK and overseas, and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations.
HNCs are at level 4 (first year degree level) on the Qualifications and Credit Framework and HNDs are at level 5 (second year degree level). HNCs typically take one year to complete full time, while HNDs take two years. The level of study of an HND is equivalent to the first two years of a degree, so are similar in many ways to a Foundation Degree.
The majority of the HNC/D courses at Cirencester College have been designed with both evening and distance study, enabling students to combine study with work. Not only does this allow you to ‘learn while you earn’ reducing the amount of student debt, your work experience will also be an invaluable asset in a competitive job market.
HNCs and HNDs are mainly assessed through assignments, projects and practical tasks that you complete throughout the course.
Because HNCs and HNDs are designed to give you the skills for a particular field of work, they can lead straight to a career. You can also use the qualifications to progress within your current career, for example as a stepping stone to gaining professional status. You may also choose to continue your studies. For example, successful completion of our HNDs can allow direct entry to the third year of an honours degree at university; providing a very cost-effective degree route.