Qualifications Explained: HNCs / HNDs, Top-ups and Foundation Degrees
Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are more practical than a traditional degree which means that you will gain valuable skills for the workplace. By choosing the HNC/HND route to achieving your higher education qualification you can benefit from developing employability skills to prepare you for a new career or to help you to progress in your current work.
A Foundation Degree is a Level 5 qualification – equivalent to the first two years of a degree level programme – that combines work based learning and academic study.
A Top-up Degree provides the opportunity to build on your HND or Foundation Degree and receive an Honours Degree by completing a final year of study.
Teacher Education courses are available to study on a part-time route over 2 years. The Certificate in Education and Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) qualifications at Riverside College provide a thorough introduction to teaching within the Further Education and Skills Sector. You may also be able to undertake your teaching experience at Riverside College.
Higher Apprenticeships allow you to develop your skills to the highest standard and achieve qualifications at Level 4 and above through a mix of on and off-the-job training.
How do they Compare to a Traditional Degree?
|Qualification||Level||Degree Equivalent||Full time equivalent length of study||Part time equivalent length of study|
|Higher National Certificate (HNC)||4||Equivalent to the first year of a degree||1 year||2 years|
|Foundation Degree||4/5||Equivalent to the first two years of a three year degree||2 years||3 years|
|Higher National Diploma (HND)||5||Equivalent to the first two years of a three year degree||2 years OR 1 year top up from HNC||2 years|
|Degree||6||BA / BSc Hons||3 years OR 1 year top up from HND||4 – 6 years|
Higher Education Links
- Higher Education Homepage
- Higher Education Courses
- Student Finance
- Pre University Courses
- Qualifications Explained
- Student Support
- National Student Survey Results
- TEF Gold Award