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A guide to qualifications and levels

Qualifications unpicked

Higher National Diploma

Honours Degree

For those students wanting a practical route to the workplace

An honours degree is a grading classification in the UK that distinguishes achievements of undergraduate students. A degree with honours denotes a degree in a given subject that requires a higher level of academic learning and achievement.

Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are work related Higher Education qualifications. While degrees tend to focus on gaining knowledge, HNDs are designed to give you the skills to put that knowledge to effective use in a particular job. They are highly valued by employers both in the UK and overseas. Because HNDs are designed to give you the skills for a particular field of work, they can lead straight to a career. You can often go on from an HND to study a degree as they are the equivalent of one or two years of university study. So completing a HND can allow entry into the second or third year of a bachelor’s degree, dependent on the course.

Higher Apprenticeships A great alternative to university which offer training up to degree level with both on and off the job training options. Higher apprenticeships are available in a range of subjects.


Foundation Degree An alternative to university with a practical and industry related ethos Foundation Degrees are modern, Higher Education qualifications that are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge that businesses are looking for. They can also offer an alternative route into Higher Education at a university. A Foundation Degree usually takes two years of full-time study to complete, and sits at the same level as the Higher National Diploma and equivalent to the first two years of a three year bachelor’s degrees.

Our Foundation Degrees are run in conjunction with a variety of HE institutes including universities of Bolton, Derby and Hertfordshire and if you successfully complete the Foundation Degree course and achieve good grades, you may progress onto a third year with this or other institutions to top up your Foundation Degree to a full honours degree. Alternatively, you could progress on to further professional qualifications, or use the Foundation Degree to change or further your current career.

Over 85% of our Access students go on to study full degrees or Foundation Degrees at universities across the UK.

For the latest information please visit, email: or call 020 8266 4000

Higher Level Learning & Skills Guide  

A summary of the higher education courses and options available at Barnet and Southgate College

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