What are HND Courses?
A Higher National Diploma (HND) qualification makes use of study and practical elements in order to prepare students for a specific career. It is specially designed to train individuals for the work fields and enablethem to develop industry-specific skills and knowledge in a particular professional area. HND courses are higher education qualifications and are available in the UK and selected countries. Most of the employers and companies recognise and value an HND course, thus increasing the holder’s chances of getting excellent job opportunities.
HND courses are perfect for those who are willing to gain more in-depth and hands-on experience with their desired career line. These qualifications can enable you to rise above on the success ladder faster. Moreover, an HND course would also prepare you to head on towards higher studies at university.
HND courses are available in almost all types and varieties of fields, starting from Engineering, Information Technology, Business Management and Computing to Photography or Performing Arts. In short, HND is a vocational qualification that is widely recognised by recruiters and is designed to suit all educational, as well as professional genres. An HND course, therefore, addresses the needs and demands of all types of people having varied career choices.
What is an HND Course Equivalent to?
An HND course is a Level 5 qualification, and it can be awarded by a range of institutions and bodies, such as the BTEC HND, the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality and many others. On the academic level, an HND qualification is equivalent to a Foundation Degree. It is also considered similar to the first 2 years of a Bachelor’s degree. However, if you are willing to work or study abroad, you need to know what an HND course is equivalent to in your chosen country. Even though there is no direct comparison made, yet the closest qualification of an HND course in the USA, for example, is probably an Associate’s Degree. It is a 2-year programme at the university level, designed to prepare and develop skills to complete a chosen degree.
Who Can Study for an HND?
Those students who have accomplished A-Levels or equivalent qualifications are eligible for applying for an HND course. These courses are most suitable for individuals who like to learn through practical experiences and activities. Before you choose any particular HND course, it is essential that you first plan your career line. If you have a clear idea as to which field or industry you would be willing to work in the future, acquiring an HND may help you get jobs much faster. In fact, it will open direct routes to a lot of employment opportunities, and you can start with good salary packages.
Entry Requirements for Applying to an HND
To apply for an HND course, you need to have some previous qualifications. Most of the colleges would expect at least one A-Level qualification or an equivalent, for example, a BTEC. It is always advisable to check with your course provider and your particular course programme.
How Long is an HND Course?
An HND course would generally take anywhere between 2 years (full-time) and 4 years (part-time). It is typically completed on a part-time basis, though. An HND is the equivalent to the initial 2 years of university.
What Subjects Can I study in an HND?
Here’s an extensive list of HND subjects and industries that are available for study in the UK.
- Electrical Engineering
- Business Management
- Performing Arts
- Health and Social Care
- Hospitality Management
- Construction and Civil Engineering
- Sport and Exercise Science
How Will I be Assessed in an HND Course?
Students will be assessed through work projects, practical tasks, written work and assignments during their course duration. There may also be presentations, demonstrations, group work or even portfolio work included in your programme. Each course will comprise several units, each focused on a specific area of expertise, thus preparing the learner in every possible way.
What are the HND Grade Systems?
After a student completes an HND successfully, he or she will be awarded grades as either a Distinction (D), a Merit (M) or a pass (P). While a Merit is higher than a Pass, a Distinction is considered the highest grade. Also, a Higher National Diploma is worth 240 credits, which is two-thirds of an undergraduate degree having a standard length.
Advantages of Doing HND Courses
Doing an HND comes with a host of benefits. Here are some of them –
- An HND is a vocational qualification that would make you have a clear understanding of your particular subject. It would enhance your skills, knowledge and understanding of your chosen line. This would further help you have a clear and direct path into your desired employment positions.
- It will help you gain experience, and therefore, you can have a chance to develop your professional skills. You would have an idea of how the professional world works and how to overcome problems in the practical field. This is far better than gaining theoretical knowledge only.
- You can study further at a degree course. It will help you convert your credits into a full degree course in a relevant subject. It permits the learners entry into the 2nd or 3rd year of a university degree programme, depending upon the HND subject studied or applied for.
- You can even retake your HND assignments if you fail to succeed in the first attempt or you aren’t fully satisfied with your grades. However, before taking an HND resit, it would be better if you talk to your course tutor.
What Jobs Can I Get After Doing an HND?
After completing an HND programme, you can pursue a professional career as one of the following:
- Mechanical engineer
- Software developer
- Engineering professional
- Engineering technician
- Sports coach
- Ship officer
- Welfare and housing professional
Pursuing a Higher National Diploma is a great start to your career as you will get the scope of establishing yourself in your chosen professional field or industry. Moreover, doing an active and hands-on practical course would be a great choice as far as developing one’s professional skills and knowledge is concerned.