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Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas (HNCs/HNDs) are higher level work-related qualifications.

Study is usually part-time in the evening or one day a week for two years. Or they can be studied full-time for one year.

What’s a Higher National Certificate or HNC?

A HNC is equivalent to the first year of a degree. You can study part-time whilst you work either in the evenings or on day-release from your employer. Or you can study as part of an Advanced Apprenticeship.

What’s a Higher National Diploma or HND?

Once you’ve done a HNC, you could progress on to a HND which is equivalent to the second year of a degree. On completion of a HND you could go on to do another year at university to get a full honours degree.

Why would I do a HNC/HND rather than go to university?

You can study a HNC or HND whilst working so many students are either sponsored by their employer, or working part time to earn an income whilst they study. You can also do a HNC/HND as part of an apprenticeship.

These higher-level qualifications are ideal if you are not sure about whether university is for you. They allow you to start your degree at college, and then if you decide you like it, you can usually continue to gain a full honours degree at university.

The other benefits are that the fees are generally lower and the study groups and classroom sizes are usually smaller. So rather then being in a very large lecture theatre, you will likely be working in smaller groups with more one-to-one support from your tutor.

You might also be interested in finding out more about foundation degrees by clicking here


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Highbury College Portsmouth HER - Final Report 2014

This is a report of a Higher Education Review conducted by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) at Highbury College Portsmouth. The review took place from 29 September to 1 October 2014 and was conducted by a team of three reviewers, as… (PDF)

Highbury College HER Action Plan 2014-15

Enhancing good practice identified in the HER… (PDF)

Highbury College Access and Participation Statement January 2017

Highbury College is committed to meeting local and regional needs to widen participation in Higher Education (HE) by under-represented groups. We acknowledge that increasing access to HE is particularly important given that the percentage of the population… (PDF)