How to choose the right university level qualification for your career dreams

Higher National Certificate (HNC)

A HNC is a Level 4 vocational qualification which gives you the skills and knowledge for a particular job. They are highly valued by employers, work-specific, and are recognised when applying for membership of professional and industry organisations. It typically takes one year to complete when studied full-time (or 18 months part-time!).

Many of our HNC programmes have a corresponding HND qualification so that you can keep progressing in your education without missing a step!

Higher National Diploma (HND)

Like the HNC, a HND is a vocational qualification but at Level 5. A HND can typically be studied full-time over two years or part-time over three years. If you have a relevant HNC qualification, your HND will only take one year to complete (full-time). This qualification can often be used to gain entry to university for a related course.

We offer HNDs in a wide range of areas, from Computing to Animal Management – why not visit us at pour Open Day to find out more about our specific programmes?

Foundation Degree

A Foundation Degree equips you with up-to-date workplace knowledge, skills and experiences to further your chosen career. Lasting two years, it’s equivalent to your first two years at university and is a Level 5 qualification.

Many of our students who complete a foundation degree will continue on to a one-year top-up degree in order to obtain a full Bachelors degree!

Higher Apprenticeships

A Higher Apprenticeship is a nationally accredited work-based programme designed to meet employers’ needs at higher skill levels, and includes qualifications at Level 4 and 5 (respectively equivalent to the first and second year at university). You will gain a recognised professional qualification, technical knowledge and professional skills, as well as wider business competencies and that all important experience of work.

Register for an Open Day today for your chance to meet some of our Apprenticeship Employers!

Top-up Degrees

Upon completion of your HND or Foundation Degree you can, as the name suggests, top-up your existing qualification to Bachelor’s Level 6 (full Bachelor’s Degree). This is essentially the final year of university.

For example, you could complete a Foundation Degree and Top-up Degree in Performing Arts in the same amount of time as you would at a traditional university!


Want to find out more about our university level programmes? Click here to register for our upcoming Open Day!

Our staff will be available to answer your questions about qualifications types, the various programmes we offer, financial support and more!