A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a work-related course provided by further education colleges in the UK.
A full-time HNC takes a year to complete, or 1-2 years part-time. An HNC is equivalent to the first year of a Bachelors degree.
Unlike many degrees, HNC courses are vocationally focussed and therefore can lead straight on to a career. Moreover, they are a great stepping stone up to a higher qualification, as you can choose to ‘top up’ an HNC with an HND which you can further ‘top up’ with a one year Bachelor’s ( Top Up ) degree course, in order to convert it to a full bachelor’s degree.