OND and HND Top-Up Degrees in UK Universities

HND Top-up degrees in UK universities are popular among international students. It is essential first to establish the significance of a Higher National Diploma (HND) and Ordinary National Diploma (OND) certificate.

With an HND or OND from a foreign country, you may be able to begin working right away in your home country because the HND, on its own, as an example in some countries, is now deemed equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. An HND may sometimes be referred to as a foundation degree. You can also use an HND to gain admission into a postgraduate course in the UK.

Finding work in the UK that can sponsor your work visa while using your foreign HND or OND certificate to support your application is nearly impossible. However, you can still go on to study at a UK university and achieve a full bachelor’s degree within a shorter time frame – one year of study with an HND (or two years of study if you have only an OND). This article explains some key facts and demystifies misconceptions about OND and HND top-up degrees in UK universities.

What is a Top-up degree?

A top-up degree is equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate course. The Top-up degree course allows you to achieve a bachelor level qualification and thereby graduate with a BSc (Hons), LLB (Hons), or BA (Hons). It allows you to convert, i.e. ‘Top-up’ your existing HND or OND into a degree.

What are the entry requirements to study HND top-up degrees in UK universities?

You should possess an HND qualification before most universities will consider your application in the UK. However, if you have been awarded an Ordinary National Diploma (OND), you will be considered for admission into a Top-up degree. In such a case, you will be required to complete the Top-up degree in two years.

What is the duration of a top-up degree?

A Top-up degree is a one-year course which begins either in September or sometime in January. The start date can vary depending on the university you have chosen. The completion time is 12 months in total. If you want to gain entry with your OND, your Top-up degree will be extended to two years. This makes OND and HND top-up degrees in UK universities attractive to international students.

Can I enrol on a UK top-up course with my foreign HND or OND?

Foreign HND and OND graduates can enrol in final year HND Top-Up degrees in UK universities as part of a bachelor’s degree programme to ‘top-up’ their HND qualifications, depending on their course. Similarly, if you possess only an OND, you can enrol on an undergraduate degree course from the second year of your studies.

Do I need to complete a top-up degree before I am eligible for jobs in the UK?

You may want to do a Top-up degree to qualify for a specific job role in the UK or to continue pursuing an area of interest. If you want to pursue a career path that takes you to a higher academic level, you may choose to top up your OND or HND. Foreign OND or HND qualifications provide direct routes into many roles, but to be considered for graduate schemes and graduate-level jobs in the UK that are eligible for the UK work visa sponsorship, you will need a bachelor’s degree at least. This is why many foreign OND and HND graduates decide to enrol in OND and HND top-up degrees in UK universities.

Can I get a student visa sponsorship to study OND and HND top-up degrees in UK universities?

UK universities sponsor visas for international students looking to study Top-up degrees. The university you choose should be a licensed student visa sponsor. Also, you must have an unconditional offer of a place on a Top-up course. To prove this, the university will send you a reference number (called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)) once they have offered you a place on the Top-up course. You need a CAS before you can apply for your student visa.

Are top-up degree holders eligible for a Graduate Visa in the UK?

A Graduate visa will give you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years to find a job after completing your Top-up degree course. You will need to be on a student visa to be eligible to apply for a Graduate visa.

Which courses are available in top-up degree programmes in the UK?

You can study a variety of courses in a Top-up degree. Examples include Computer Science, Hospitality and Tourism, Nursing and Physiotherapy, Law, Business and Management, Engineering, etc. Every course will have its entry requirements, so check the course you are interested in to find out what they require.

10 most popular top-up degree providers in the UK

Top-up Degree ProvidersExamples of Top-up Degree Courses Available
University of ChesterNursing, Policing Law and Investigation, Business Management and Administration
The University of the West of England (UWE)Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Early Years Education, Information Technology, Business and Management
University of WolverhamptonComputer Software Development, Sound Production, International Nursing Studies, Emergency Practitioner
University of DerbyComputing and Information Technologies, Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Nursing Studies
University College Birmingham (UCB)Digital Marketing, Aviation and Airport Management, Business Enterprise, Early Childhood Studies, Culinary Arts Management
Coventry UniversityInformatics, Global Business, Applied Mechanical Engineering, International Marketing, International Business
University of WorcesterIntegrated Working with Children & Families, Applied Health and Social Care, Business Management
University of Wales, Trinity St.DavidCommercial Music Producer, Early Years Education and Care, Sports Coaching and Performance, Business and Management
South West College (validated by The Open University)Engineering, Sport & Exercise, Construction Engineering & Management, Visual Media Arts, Building Services and Sustainable Energy
De Montfort UniversityBusiness Administration and Management, Global Arts Management, Fashion Management
Most Popular HND Top-Up Degrees in UK Universities

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