How HNDs Help You Avoid Starting Adult Life With A Huge Debt
“A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a higher education qualification of the United Kingdom … This qualification can be used to gain entry into universities at an advanced level, and is considered equivalent to the second year of a three year university degree course.” – Wikipedia.org
How To Avoid Leaving School With No Definite Career Path
HNDs provide opportunities to specialise within a professional sector, and are a way of earning a recognised qualification in less time than a university degree.
According to an article by Michael Hewens from Edexcel – quoted in The Independent – HNDs are just right for people who:
- are leaving school but want to start work whilst thinking about a degree,
- want to pursue a two-year higher education programme which employers around the world recognise,
- are worried about leaving home and running up debts whilst studying,
- did not do that well in their ‘A’ levels and are rethinking their study options.
Hewens suggests that studying for an HND would be an interesting route forward, especially as HNDs are professional qualifications that are widely recognised by employers around the world.
“Higher National Diplomas are ‘outcome based’, meaning that students demonstrate that they can achieve the stated learning outcomes in the programme by undertaking a range of practical and varied assessment tasks. There are no theoretical essays, and Higher National assessment is geared to the demands of a vocational specification which expects practical relevance.
“Each HND consists of 16 units. There is a standard core of seven units for all subjects but centres are able to present different packages of specialist units to cover local requirements. They are designed with employers and employment in mind.”
So What Makes An HND Different From An Academic Degree?
Looking at the types of content covered in an HND, the emphasis is far more on the practicalities of the subject than on academia. So taking as an example the HND in Travel and Tourism: there are compulsory units covering topics such as Sustainable Tourism and Employability Skills, and the assignments required throughout the course encourage students to discuss topics with managers and specialists within their own organisation.
Similarly, in a Purchasing Management HND course, the topics covered include the effects of web-based systems on the supply chain and the importance of international Contract Law – and once again students are encouraged to find out more from people within their own businesses. And if this interest in the workings of different departments on their doorstep doesn’t get them noticed, then nothing will!
A Secret Universities Don’t Want You To Know …
These examples should provide a taste of how Higher National Diplomas are assessed, and why they offer practical insights into a candidate’s chosen business. With full support from a tutor wherever the studies are undertaken – be they at a local college or even on the Internet – the HND is a great head start in a career that doesn’t:
- require a degree
- cost thousands
- take up three years of your life.
The HND is widely recognised as a practical learning step with a professional slant, and which is flexible enough to be a first step toward a degree if you desire.
To read Hewens’s original article, click here.
Are you thinking about taking an HND? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this!