HNC and HND courses

Here's why these flexible qualifications might be right for you content

Here's why these flexible qualifications might be right for you

Higher National qualifications are widely recognised by employers, colleges and universities. Think of them as the foundations to a degree – you can get a valuable, buildable qualification, without committing to a subject with four years of study all at once.

What makes an HNC/HND special? content

What makes an HNC/HND special?

You can take the first step into higher education while keeping your options open, here’s how:

  • You’ll get a feel for a subject and where it can take you, before signing up to a full degree
  • With an HN under your belt, you can take a gap year or a break and come back again to continue your studies when it suits you
  • You can top up your HN to a degree, or fast-track into year two or three of a relevant degree
  • You still have the choice to move away later for further study without delaying your learning
  • They're specifically designed to lead to careers, giving you the knowledge and the practical skills that employers are looking for

Learn locally in your community, choosing from a range of subjects:

How HN courses work content

How HN courses work

How HN courses work

Higher National qualifications often form the first part of a degree so that you can study in stages that suit you.

  • HNC is SCQF Level 7: You can usually apply with 1 Higher or based on your experience, check the entry requirements on the course you're interested in
  • HND is SCQF Level 8: This is usually studied after an HNC, it will expand and deepen the knowledge and skills you have in the subject

HN qualifications can help keep your options open to enter courses in a relevant subject, for example: you might progress from HNC Social Services to a degree course like BSc Adult or Mental Health Nursing or BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology.

Whether you choose to study part-time (1 day per week) or full-time (3 days per week), there are lots of paths you can take to reach a career that you love, and HNC and HND courses can help you get there.

HNs are awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), and are recognised vocational-based higher education qualifications.

Flexibility and support while you study content

Flexibility and support while you study

Flexibility and support while you study

  • We offer part-time (1 day per week) and full-time (3 days per week) options
  • A mix of scheduled classes and personal study allows you to fit learning in with your commitments
  • We offer tailored learning support with our smaller class sizes
  • We provide cost of living support to help our students
How will I pay for my course? content

How will I pay for my course?

How will I pay for my course?

Most students don't have to pay for the cost of their course if studying an HNC or HND for the first time.

The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) has different funding options for full-time study and part-time study so check your eligibility. You must still apply to SAAS to get your tuition fees paid even if you are not applying for any other type of support.

How will I study? content

How will I study?

How will I study?

Our full-time and part-time HN courses are made up of weekly timetabled learning, usually with your lecturer in your class group, and flexible personal study, which you can fit in around your other commitments.

Some of our HNCs and HNDs can be studied online or at any of our college centres, while subjects such as Professional Cookery, Contemporary Art Practice or Textiles will be based at our purpose-built training kitchens and art studios.

Find out about your local college centre to see what facilities are available near you.