What is an HND?

What Does HND Mean?

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is an undergraduate vocational qualification that falls under the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) provider. Pearson acts as the awarding body for HND programmes.

As opposed to undergraduate university degrees (bachelor of arts, bachelor of science), each HND has been created with the purpose of teaching students a practical set of skills that can be taken directly into work. Students learn a combination of hands-on skills and academic knowledge that will provide the experience necessary to work in a range of roles after graduating.

Pearson, the BTEC HND awarding body, works with industry bodies and employers when developing each HND course. Thanks to Pearson’s approach, HND’s are recognised and valued as industry standards for practical knowledge. When employers see an HND qualification, they immediately recognise the worker for their technical ability. An HND qualification gives employers confidence in the practical ability of the candidate.

Pearson has also worked alongside higher education institutions when developing the HND courses. By sharing insight from course structure, universities can also have confidence that should a student want to top up their HND to a full bachelor’s qualification they have the academic skills necessary to succeed. Students, therefore, have a broad choice of options available once they’ve finished their HND programme: move directly into the workforce with a set of practical skills, or study a final top-up specific course and gain a full bachelor’s degree qualification.

Each HND programme has been created to directly reflect the skills employers are looking for. For this reason, courses are often updated (such as the new 2017 HND in Computing) to better educate students on the industry-specific skills that will be needed for future professional life.

Also, an HND is open to funding via Student Finance England. This funding may also apply to the top-up course (limited to tuition) should students wish to continue past the HND (subject to further criteria).

HND programmes are available in the following areas:

  • agriculture
  • computing and IT
  • construction and civil engineering
  • engineering
  • health and social care
  • business and management
  • sport and exercise sciences
  • performing arts
  • retail and distribution
  • hospitality management

Want to find out how an HND can help you on your professional journey? Get in touch with a course adviser today for more information.