Welcome to our rolling guide of HNDs available in the 2018/2019 academic year. If you’re interested in games development, robotics or digital forensics, an HND in Computing might be the ideal qualification for you. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing.
HND in Computing: A Professionally-Focused Qualification
The HND in Computing is a two-year course (full-time) and has been created alongside professional body representatives, universities and employers such as the British Computing Society, CISCO and the University of Kent. The resulting qualification is focused on teaching the skills and practices highlighted as vital by the various professionals that contributed to the content of the qualification. Graduates can enter the qualification knowing that they will receive a professionally-focused education that directly addresses industry needs.
Access to Higher Levels of Education
In addition to assisting in the development of workplace skills, the Computing HND will also allow for access to higher levels of education. Upon completion of the course, students can enter the third year of a degree programme or enroll in a top-up degree course. Students that choose this education pathway will gain two different higher education qualifications in three years, often for a significantly lower cost than a three-year undergraduate degree.
During the first year of the qualification, students will be given a broad introduction to the professional world of computing. The mandatory core units will lay the foundation for students to continue into their second-year specialisation. These core units are programming, networking, professional practice, database design and development, security, and managing a successful computing project. In addition to the six core units, students will choose two additional specialist units that will become the basis for the unit choices students can make in the second year of the programme. Alongside the technical abilities, students will develop the interpersonal skills that ensure they become competent, independent workers that thrive in a professional setting.
The aforementioned specialist pathways for the HND in Computing include Network Engineering, Software Engineering, Data Analytics, Security, Intelligent Systems, and Applications Development. Additionally, Pearson has created the qualification to include a standard computing pathway.
Pearson does not specify formal entry requirements for the qualification; instead, the higher education provider is responsible for setting a standard of entry for the course. However, there is a general outline for entry to the course; to gain entry to the Computing HND prospective students should expect to have one of the following: a BTEC Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject, a General Certificate of Education, an Access to Higher Education Certificate or relevant work experience. Additionally, non-native speakers of English will be required to show an English language level equivalent to IELTS 5.5.
To graduate from the HND in Computing, students must gain 240 credits over the two-year course. The credits are split evenly between years – 120 in year one (Level 4) and 120 in year two (Level 5). Each unit is worth 15 credits; students must complete a total of 16 units across the course.
Meeting Local Needs
As part of Pearson’s commitment to creating qualifications that directly address the needs of the local and national economy, higher education centres can import a maximum of four modules (60 credits) from another HND qualification as part of the ‘Meeting Local Needs’ initiative. Speak to your local Higher Education centre to find out more.