Undergraduate Study

Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Undergraduate Study

Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Higher National Certificate


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.

  • Academic institutions set their own entry requirements for HNC courses depending on the subject. Minimum entry requirements include A level qualification (or equivalent).
  • HNC graduates can pursue an HND or Level 5 course which are equivalent to 2nd year of a Bachelors degree.
  • There are a number of career routes students can take after HNC such as getting a graduate job or becoming self-employed.
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