HNC vs HND: What’s the Difference?

In General by Think Student EditorLeave a Comment

HNCs and HNDs are becoming very common terms in education. They are both practical based courses, meaning they can seem pretty similar. However, they are definitely not the same qualifications! Therefore, knowing the difference between them is becoming increasingly important, to help individuals decide their next steps in education. The terms ‘HNCs’ and ‘HNDs’ may sound very similar too, however there are some main differences between them. These differences could affect your decision when deciding whether to complete a HNC or HND.

The main difference between a HNC and HND is that they are equivalent to different levels in education. HNCs and HNDs also differ in how long they take to complete and what they can be used for after completing them. However, they are still quite similar qualifications in terms of teaching style and purpose.

If you want to find out more about the differences between HNCs and HNDs in more detail, check out the rest of this article.

What is a HNC?

A ‘HNC’ stands for ‘Higher National Certificate’. It is a practical based course which is often looked favourably upon by employers. This qualification offers a range of different subject courses, which can prepare individuals for the workplace.

Due to their practical nature, individuals, who complete them, often acquire a range of different skills. Completing a HNC can be a good decision because it can provide an alternative route to university if you haven’t done the best in your A-Levels.

They often take one year to complete full time. You can find out about HNCs in more detail if you check out this article from Think Student.

What is a HND?

A ‘HND’ stands for ‘Higher National Diploma’. It is also a practical based course, meaning that employers are often impressed by individuals who have completed them. They often take two years to complete full time.

A range of different HND courses are also offered, specific to different jobs. HNDs are similar to HNCs as they can also be used as an alternative route to university.

You can find out about HNDs in more detail if you check out this article from Think Student.

What is the difference in education levels between HNCs and HNDs?

The main difference between HNCs and HNDs is that they are equivalent to different levels of qualifications. A HNC is known as a level 4 qualification. This is just above A-Levels, as they are equivalent to level 3 qualifications.

In comparison, a HND is known as a level 5 qualification. This means that a HND is a higher-level qualification than a HNC. You can find out more about what the different levels of qualification actually mean if you check out this article from the government website.

HNC vs HND: What’s the difference in length?

HNCs and HNDs differ in how long they take to complete, as HNDs take slightly longer. When studying full time, HNCs take one academic year to complete. However, when studying part time, HNCs take two academic years to complete.

In comparison, when studying full time, a HND takes two years to complete. However, when studying part time, a HND takes three or four academic years to complete.

If you have completed a HNC, you can use this to complete a HND. If you decided to do this, this HND qualification would still only take two years to complete full time.

This is because the HNC would be equivalent to the first year of your HND. You can find out more about HNCs and HNDs if you check out this article from Bright Knowledge.

HNC vs HND: What’s the difference in next steps?

When you have completed a HNC and HND, there are certain next steps which you can take. A HNC is equivalent to the first year of university. This means that you can start attending university during the second year of a bachelor’s degree after completing a HNC.

However, a HND is equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at university. This means that you could join a university course in the third year after completing a HND.

However, it is true that with both qualifications, you could go straight into employment! This is because HNCs and HNDs teach individuals practical skills which will help them flourish in the workplace.

It is true that once you have completed a HNC and HND, you could also apply for an apprenticeship. If you completed a HNC, you could then apply for an apprenticeship which is at level 5 or above. In comparison, if you completed a HND, you could then apply for an apprenticeship at a level 6 or above.

If you want to find out about the different apprenticeship levels, check out this article from Think Student.

HNC vs HND: What’s the difference in entry requirements?

The entry requirements for HNCs and HNDs are virtually the same. To get on to a HNC or HND course, you need to have at least one A-Level or equivalent qualifications, such as BTEC.

This is great news for students who may not have done the best in their A-Levels. This is because you could complete a HNC or HND and then use these qualifications to get into university.

To get accepted onto a course, you may also have to have an interview with the provider. Some courses may also require you to complete maths and literacy tests.

However, you need to check with each individual course to make sure that you are aware of the specific entry requirements. You can find out more about this if you check out this article from Middlesex University London.

HNC vs HND: What’s the difference in subjects?

The HND and HNC courses you can complete are pretty similar. They are all practical based and specific to a particular career. However, this article from What Uni details the differences between the most popular courses for HNCs and HNDs.

The most popular HNC qualifications include HNC Accounting, HNC Biology and HNC Childcare. In comparison, the most popular HND qualifications include HND Agriculture, HND Business and HND Computer Science.

Some popular courses for both qualifications include engineering courses, social science courses and health and social care.

HNC vs HND: What’s the difference in cost?

Unfortunately, it does cost money to complete both a HNC and HND course! How much you will have to pay depends on each individual course.

However, on average, a HNC course costs between £4000 and £8000. A HND costs the same amount per year. However, as a HND course is two years, you would have to pay double the amount of a HNC!

Therefore, you will have to pay between £8000 and £16000 to complete a HND. If you live in Scotland, it will most likely be cheaper for you to complete these courses! You can find out more about the costs of these courses if you check out this article from Youth Employment UK.

These costs may sound a lot. However, you will still be eligible for a student loan if you apply to these courses. You can find out more about which type of students are eligible for student loans if you check out this article from Think Student.

What are the similarities between a HNC and HND?

Now that you know the differences between a HNC and HND, it may be useful to learn about their similarities! As you already know, HNCs and HNDs are both higher level qualifications.

They are also both great alternative pathways to university or employment! HNCs and HNDs are also both extremely respected qualifications, as they provide individuals with practical skills. You can discover more about the benefits of these qualifications if you check out this article from Courses Online.

Should you do a HNC or HND?

After learning about all of the differences between HNCs and HNDs, hopefully you can now decide which qualification is the right one for you!

If your main goal is to get into university but you didn’t do very well on your A-Levels, I would recommend doing a HNC. This is because this qualification only takes a year to complete, so you can begin the second year of a bachelor’s degree as soon as you are done!

In comparison, a HND takes two years to complete, and you would only enter university during the first year. This means that you would have missed a whole year at university in comparison to if you had done a HNC.

However, if your main goal is to go straight into employment, completing a HND may be more beneficial. This is because you would have gained one qualification higher than a HNC, meaning that you potentially have more skills which are needed for the workplace.

This could potentially increase your employability. However, regardless of your goals and what you want to do in life, the best thing for you to do is to research!

Investigate which courses are the best for what you want to do in the future and perhaps create a pros and cons list for completing a HNC or HND.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments