The Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a level 4 qualification. These are vocational and work-related courses, focusing on specific sectors. You can study a wide choice of subjects, all with the desired aim to gain practical knowledge and skills to aid your future career choices.
HNCs are valued and respected qualifications. They have been around for a long-time and employers like them because of the practical nature of the study which is aligned with the necessary theory you need to operate successfully in your chosen area of work. They can count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations as well.
HNCs take one year to complete and then you can choose to progress to the HND and complete that the next year. They are normally studied at a further education college. You will need some previous qualifications at level 3, like A-levels or BTEC, though relevant experience in industry can be accepted at entry.
Universities also accept these qualifications and with an HNC you may be able to enter a degree at year two or the final year, which means you can save on the costs of university study significantly.