Let’s find out more about the HND
There is a wide range of Higher Education courses available at the universities and colleges across the UK. They include Master’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, HND, HNC courses, etc. Some of them are degree courses, whereas some are diploma courses. When it comes to the details, the students get confused as Is HND a degree or a diploma?
In this article, I am going to present more about HND qualification, in terms of its value and benefits it may bring to the holder.
What is HND? Does HND stand for Higher National Degree or a Diploma?
A Higher National Diploma (HND) qualification is a diploma course that prepares the student for a particular career. HND courses are provided by higher and further education colleges in the UK. They are considered to be the best ones for those who wish to have more of ‘hands-on’ experience with their studies.
HND courses are available as a full-time as well as a part-time programmes. A full-time HND course takes two years to complete, whereas a part-time HND course may last up to four years. An HND course can be regarded as completion of the first two years of a university course.
Potential students are often confused between an HND and HNC qualification. HNC stands for Higher National Certificate and takes one year to complete when pursued as a full-time course (2 years if part-time). HNC is always considered as one level below an HND qualification, i.e., it is usually similar to that of the first year of a university programme.
What Subjects are Covered in HND Courses?
HND courses cover a wide range of subjects in the fields that include:
- Hospitality Management
- IT and Computing
- Health and Social Care
- Civil Engineering
- Sport and Exercise Sciences
Entry Requirement for an HND course
Before applying, students are advised to check with their chosen academic institution what are the required qualification they may need to provide to access to the course. The basic entry requirements for an HND course is at least one A-Level, or an equivalent, which may be an NVQ level 3 qualification.
What is this Higher National Diploma Similar to?
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a Level 5 qualification that is an equivalent to a foundation degree, i.e., which is the two-thirds of an Honours Bachelor’s Degree. A Foundation Degree, it is a combined academic and vocational higher education qualification.
Foundation Degree is a pathway for graduates to progress to an Honours Degree. It can be done by joining the final year of a standard three-year course or through a chosen ‘top-up’ course, which does not have to be taken in the same institution as the HND course.
How Does this HND Qualification differ from a Degree?
The main difference lies with is the course duration, i.e. a degree takes three years to complete, whereas an HND course can be completed within two years. HND courses emphasise mainly on obtaining work experience through the practical study, and also by applying the learning experience in the general study environment rather than theoretical classroom-based input.
When it comes to practical skills, HNDs are usually more specialised and less generic than any other courses. Generally, the degrees can provide you with the subject knowledge that can be applied across a vast array of sectors. HND graduates on the other hand, are trained on specific skills that can give you the capability to go and work within your chosen area.
One of the most noticeable differences between HND and degree courses is the approach towards the student. In degree classes, the subject is taught to the students in a formal manner by a lecturer when students are meant to sit and listen to the lecture. HND courses provide a far more relaxed and interactive environment to the students where the students interact with their teacher and each other taking parts in practical case study analysis, debates and discussions.
What are the Benefits of an HND course?
A real-time experience is the greatest benefit of an HND course and some credits are based on a student’s ability to apply their knowledge to a real life cases. This skill is really useful when it comes to applying for jobs, as a practical approach is highly valued by the potential employers.
Another benefit of an HND is the course duration, which means that once the course is successfully completed, your qualifications are officially certified and you can start applying for jobs much sooner than those who are still studying for their degree.