A 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, or three to four years part-time. Generally an HND is the equivalent to two years at university.


A full-time Higher National Certificate (HNC) takes one year to complete, or two years part-time. Many HNC courses cover the same subjects as an HND, but an HNC is one level below an HND (it’s generally equivalent to the first year at university).

What are the benefits of an HND or HNC?

Unlike many degrees, these courses are vocationally focussed and therefore can lead straight on to a career. Moreover, they’re a great stepping stone up to a higher qualification, as you can choose to ‘top up’ an HND or HNC with extra studies at a later date, in order to convert it to a full bachelor’s degree.

Popular HND & HNC Courses

– Accounting
– Business and Finance
– Business Management
– Civil Engineering
– Construction
– Electrical Engineering
– Engineering
– Graphic Design
– Management
– Mechanical Engineering
– Photography