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Higher National Certificate & Diploma

HNCs and HNDs focus on 'learning  by doing' and give skills that you can use in a particular job. They are highly valued by employers and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations.

HNCs take one year to complete and HNDs take two years to complete.

• Flexibility of one or two years
• Only £4995 per year – lower cost than university
• The qualification provides students with a clear line-of-sight to employment and to progression to a degree

HNC/D FAQs

What is a Higher National Certificate/Diploma?

A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a Level 4 vocational qualification that takes one year to complete full-time, or two years part-time. They're practical-based courses that can prepare you for either work after completion or studies at degree level.

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a Level 5 vocational qualification that takes two years to complete full-time, or three to four years if you study part-time. HNDs are practical-based courses, ideal for those wanting to enter the workforce or study towards a bachelor’s degree.

What is an HNC and HND equivalent to?

An HNC is equivalent to the first year at university. You can generally enter a bachelor’s degree at year 2 once you complete an HNC. 

An HND is equivalent to two years at university, meaning you can enter a bachelor’s degree at year 3 upon completion.

How much do these courses cost?

HNCs

Save £1000 on all Higher National Certificates for a limited time only. 

£5995 Now £4995!

HNDs 

£5995 (£4995 if you have already completed the HNC course elsewhere).

You may access a student loan for the fees and maintenance.

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover your fees and maintenance. This loan is available from the Government via Student Finance England. The Student Finance England website has full details and you can use their calculator to see what help you may be entitled to.

If you have any questions our Admissions Advisers are on hand to offer financial advice and guidance. Please email: or call 01279 868100

What are the benefits of an HNC/HND?

10 reasons why you should study a Higher National Diploma

Both are practical-based qualifications, which is perfect if you want to head straight into work. You’ll learn the skills needed to move into your chosen career and may even get to work with local employers. They are highly valued by employers and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations. 

Studying an HNC or HND is also a good option if you don’t feel ready for a bachelor’s degree once you finish your school sixth form or college course. They let you study at a manageable pace and when you’re ready to switch to a bachelor’s degree, you’ll already have the foundations of the degree in place.

Both an HNC and HND also allow for career progression. You might undertake an HNC or HND related to a field of work you already have experience in to gain more professional status. 

HNCs and HNDs cost significantly less than university fees. Harlow College is currently offering the HNC for £4995, saving you £1000! The HND is £5995 (£4995 if you have already completed the HNC).

Studying an HNC or HND at your local college also means you don’t have to leave family and friends if that’s not for you, unlike university where you may end up hundreds of miles away. Both HNCs and HNDs are great alternatives to university.

Read our Access and Participation Statement here

Business Higher National Certificate

The Pearson BTEC HNC in Business course will provide you with a well-rounded and challenging programme of study. The engaging programme will cover essential business and management knowledge, practical skills that are relevant for successful progression to the HND in Business, into the world of work or a related degree.

A Level 4 Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a vocational Higher Education course. A full-time HNC takes one year to complete or two part-time.  An HNC is one level below an HND (it's generally equivalent to the first year at university). This will be carried out through pre-blended learning using HN Online.

If you are interested in a career in Business and/or are seeking to progress further in your career or starting your own business then the nationally recognised HNC course is ideal for you.

Business Higher National Diploma

The Pearson BTEC HND in Business course will provide you with a well-rounded and challenging programme of study. The engaging programme will cover essential business and management knowledge, practical skills that are relevant for successful progression to the HND in Business, into the world of work or a related degree.

A Level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND), is a work-related course provided by higher and further education colleges in the UK. A full-time HND takes two years to complete, including the HNC year. Generally, an HND is equivalent to two years at university. Graduates can gain entry into their final (third) year at university and obtain the Honours Degree.

If you are interested in a career in Business and/or are seeking to progress further in your career, or starting your own business then the nationally recognised HND course is ideal for you.

Computing for England (Cyber Security Pathway) Higher National Diploma

An exciting and informative study programme that stimulates and challenges students.

Early Childhood Education and Care Higher National Certificate

This course provides extensive knowledge of professional development, the Early Years curriculum along with communication, values & leadership for advanced Early Years Practitioners. You will gain an understanding of the stages and sequences of brain development, physical development and social skills. Most significantly, you will gain professional status enabling you to work with children or progress to university to complete an Early Years Degree, Teaching Degree or a Degree in Childhood studies.

Early Childhood Education and Care Higher National Diploma

This course provides extensive knowledge of professional development, the Early Years curriculum along with communication, values & leadership for advanced Early Years Practitioners. You will gain an understanding of the stages and sequences of brain development, physical development and social skills. Most significantly, you will gain professional status enabling you to work with children or progress to university to complete an Early Years Degree, Teaching Degree or a Degree in Childhood studies.

General Engineering Higher National Certificate

This course provides an extensive knowledge and skills in engineering with specialist units available in Advanced Manufacturing and Automated Systems. You will be studying in the new (£11m) state-of-the-art Harlow Advanced Manufacturing Centre (HAMEC) equipped with over £2m worth of industry standard machinery and equipment. There is a huge demand for qualified engineers locally, nationally and internationally. We work closely with industry to ensure our courses meet the requirements of employers.

General Engineering Higher National Diploma

This course provides an extensive knowledge and skills in engineering with specialist units available in Advanced Manufacturing and Automated Systems. You will be studying in the new (£11m) state-of-the-art Harlow Advanced Manufacturing Centre (HAMEC) equipped with over £2m worth of industry standard machinery and equipment. There is a huge demand for qualified engineers locally, nationally and internationally. We work closely with industry to ensure our courses meet the requirements of employers.

Healthcare and Nursing Assistant Practice Higher National Certificate

The course covers a range of subjects including innovation and improvement, person-centred practice, care planning processes, supporting individuals through significant life events, supporting team and partnerships, psychophysiological disorders, and health psychology. Classes are taught though face-to-face lectures and one-to-one meetings. Students will engage in group work, research projects and flip-learning.

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher National Diploma

The course covers a range of subjects including innovation and improvement, person-centred practice, care planning processes, supporting individuals through significant life events, supporting team and partnerships, psychophysiological disorders, and health psychology. Classes are taught though face-to-face lectures and one-to-one meetings. Students will engage in group work, research projects and flip-learning.

International Travel & Tourism Management Higher National Certificate

You will study approximately 8 units per year on the HNC/D course, all closely related to the industry you have chosen to pursue your career in. In the HND year (Year 2) there is the option to follow 2 different pathways, Aviation Operation or Events Management, a decision that is made at the start of Year 2.

International Travel & Tourism Management Higher National Diploma

You will study approximately 8 units per year on the HNC/D course, all closely related to the industry you have chosen to pursue your career in. In the HND year (Year 2) there is the option to follow 2 different pathways, Aviation Operation or Events Management, a decision that is made at the start of Year 2.

Public Service Higher National Certificate

The course will prepare you for a career in the Public Services professions, meeting the needs of the aspiring uniformed public service officer, support and administrative professional. It will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills you'll need to be successful in your future employment in the public services professions.

NOTE: A minimum number of enrolments are required for this course to run.

Public Service Higher National Diploma

The course will prepare you for a career in the Public Services professions, meeting the needs of the aspiring uniformed public service officer, support and administrative professional. It will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills you'll need to be successful in your future employment in the public services professions.

NOTE: A minimum number of enrolments are required for this course to run.

Sport and Exercise Science Higher National Certificate

Passionate about a career in sport? This full-time qualification will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need for a successful career in the sport industry as a Practitioner, Manager or Coach. The curriculum will develop your knowledge and understanding, opening up a broad choice of career options.

Year 1 of this two year course is studied at Level 4 (HNC). Year 2 is at Level 5 (HND).

Sport and Exercise Science Higher National Diploma

Passionate about a career in sport? This full-time qualification will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need for a successful career in the sport industry as a Practitioner, Manager or Coach. The curriculum will develop your knowledge and understanding, opening up a broad choice of career options.

Year 1 of this two year course is studied at Level 4 (HNC). Year 2 is at Level 5 (HND).