If you have read up on the Certificate of Higher Education and the HNC (Higher National Certificate), you have probably noticed that they are pretty similar qualifications. As a result, it can be confusing to understand why these qualifications have different names if they are in fact the same! However, are they really the same qualifications? Despite their similarities, they may not be as alike as you think.
The Certificate of Higher Education and HNC qualifications are not the same. They share many similarities, such as being equivalent to the same education level, both lasting the same amount of time and both being a great route to university. However, the Certificate of Higher Education is much more academic than a HNC qualification.
Now that you have a basic answer to this question, check out the rest of this article to delve deeper into the similarities and differences between the two qualifications.
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Is a Certificate of Higher Education and a HNC the same?
The Certificate of Higher Education and HNC qualifications sound very similar to each other. After all, they share many of the same aspects!
For instance, they are both classed as Level 4 qualifications. If you are unsure what the levels of education actually mean, check out this article from Think Student.
However, there is one major difference between them. HNCs are vocational, higher education qualifications. This qualification is mostly practical-based and gives students the chance to learn by actually doing things. Therefore, they prepare students for employment.
In comparison, the Certificate of Higher Education is an academic qualification, which is less practical. However, these qualifications are equivalent to each other, as they are both equivalent to the first year of a bachelor’s degree.
Despite this, they are not the same qualification. This answer is summed up at the end of this article from NI Direct Government Services.
Are HNCs and the Certificate of Higher Education assessed in the same way?
Due to the different natures of HNCs and a Certificate of Higher Education, they are assessed slightly differently. The Certificate of Higher Education is usually assessed academically via written work, essays and assignments.
Sometimes, students can be assessed practically, depending on the subject. More information about the Certificate of Higher Education can be found in this article from University Compare.
In comparison, HNCs are assessed via practical tasks and projects, due to the nature of the qualification. However, some parts can be assessed via academic written work, similarly to the Certificate of Higher Education.
More information about HNCs can be found in this article from Think Student.
Are the entry requirements for a Certificate of Higher Education and HNC the same?
The entry requirements for both of these qualifications are pretty similar. They are both quite low, meaning they are a great route to take to get into university during the second year of your degree if your grades to get into the first year were too low.
To apply for a HNC or Certificate of Higher Education, you will need at least one or two A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications, such as BTECs. The low entry requirements allow students who may not have done very well in their A-Levels to still get into university.
This is because they can still complete a HNC or Certificate of Higher Education and use the credits from one of these qualifications to enter the second year of a bachelor’s degree.
Are the durations of a HNC and Certificate of Higher Education the same?
The time to complete a HNC and Certificate of Higher Education is the same. They both take about a year to complete if a student is studying full time.
They may take two years if a student is studying part time. They both take a short time to complete because they are both equivalent to the first year of a bachelor’s degree at university.
Both of these qualifications can then be used to enter the second year of a bachelor’s degree at university. You can find out more information in general about HNCs if you read this article from University Compare.
Should you do a Certificate of Higher Education or a HNC?
This question depends on the type of person that you are. If you are more academic and enjoy being assessed mostly via written tasks and essays, then the Certificate of Higher Education would probably be best for you.
In comparison, if you learn in a more practical based way, taking a HNC could be more beneficial. Regardless of what you choose, these qualifications are both fantastic options to take if you want to find a way to get into university and you don’t have the correct grades to get into a year one bachelor’s degree.