Higher National Certificates & Diplomas

These higher education qualifications have a real focus on industry skills and are valued by employers as a recognised alternative to university. HNCs and HNDs are mainly assessed through assignments, projects and practical tasks that you complete throughout the course – not through exams – and they’re designed to lead straight to a career in industry or on to further study at university.

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How long do they take?

HNCs take between one and two years to complete depending on the study route you choose to take, and are generally equivalent to the first year of a full Bachelor’s degree at university. You can continue your studies at Bedford College by moving on to the HND qualification after your HNC.

HNDs represent the next level of study up from HNCs, taking an additional one to two years to complete depending on the study route you choose to take. They’re generally equivalent to the second year of university and you can ‘top-up’ your HND with a further one or two years of study at university to convert it to a full Bachelor’s degree. Alternatively a HND is a standalone, recognised qualification that prepares you to progress directly into employment.

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