UK Universities that Accept HND for Masters

You may be wondering which are the UK universities that accept HND for masters, and how to find information on getting into a UK master’s with your HND qualification from abroad. This question is addressed below.

Are there UK Universities that Accept HND for Masters?

What is an HND?

Providing a more direct route into certain fields than university, a Higher National Diploma (HND) is the ideal qualification for individuals who prefer to study while working. Full-time HND courses take two years to complete – or four years if part-time. HND courses are often offered at polytechnics and further education colleges throughout the world.

The HND is designed around acquiring and developing the skills needed in specific careers, so employers can highly value it. An HND can establish you in various careers, including civil engineering, business and finance, graphic design, computer science, and management.

Is my foreign HND equivalent to a degree?

In the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF), completing an HND is equivalent to completing two-thirds (two years) of an undergraduate degree. By contrast, a Bachelor’s degree is a level 6 qualification that usually takes three years to complete full-time.

As part of the HND course, students are normally assessed through a series of assignments, projects and practical tasks. Thus, an HND is not directly equivalent to a UK degree. However, in some countries such as Nigeria, an HND has been confirmed to be equivalent to a degree.

What is a top-up degree?

Graduates of HNDs are able to continue their education by enrolling in the final year of a Bachelor’s degree i.e., Top-up. The goal might be to qualify for a specific role, to pursue an area of interest, or to qualify to apply for a master’s degree. You should decide whether to top up your HND qualification according to the career path you would like to pursue.

Therefore, to earn your Bachelor’s degree, you should only need to study full-time for one more year. Nowadays, many universities overseas offer Top-up degree courses for graduates looking to complete their degrees.

Can I do a top-up degree in a different subject?

You will learn crucial concepts at each stage of your Bachelor’s degree that will serve as a platform to learn more advanced concepts in subsequent years. Therefore, most universities will insist that your HND is closely related to the top-up degree you want to apply for.

Top-up degree courses may, however, offer some flexibility. Some UK Universities accept HND for masters if you have work experience in your field of interest and demonstrate that you have an interest in the course. 

Some universities that offer top-up degree courses in the UK are: Sheffield Hallam University; Coventry University; London Metropolitan University; University College Birmingham; University of Northampton

Can I apply for a graduate job with my foreign HND qualification?

You may be able to enter many roles directly using your HND qualification if it is a shortage occupation job. Still, you will need a full bachelor’s degree to be considered for graduate schemes or entry-level jobs. Many HND graduates top up their qualifications for this reason, i.e., to access graduate entry-level jobs even while they study overseas.

Can I enrol in a master’s degree course with my HND?

To get into a UK master’s degree course with your HND qualification, an undergraduate degree will usually be required for admission to most master’s programmes. HND graduates who wish to get into master’s programmes directly may be able to do so at some universities. Still, you will need to check the course entry requirements since these are limited opportunities.

In a limited number of master’s programs, particularly MBAs, in the case of UK universities accepting HND for masters, they may accept work experience as evidence of eligibility instead of a formal degree.

You would need to have a significant amount of experience in the industry, for example, five years or more – at senior level, to be considered for an MBA admission.

Alternatively, some universities offer integrated master’s programmes to enable you to get into a UK master’s degree course with your HND qualification, enabling you to finish your undergraduate degree and gain a postgraduate degree simultaneously.

From HND to Masters
How to apply for a UK masters degree course with HND

Some UK universities that accept HND for masters will first accept HND graduates onto their Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) section of the master’s degree. You may eventually get into a UK masters degree course with your HND qualification, but it is not a direct route.

Upon successful completion of the PgCert stage of the master’s course, you will enter the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) stage of the Master’s degree programme.

After completing all taught masters course modules with satisfactory marks, you will be enrolled in the research project (dissertation) phase of the master’s degree. Upon completing the dissertation, you will be officially awarded a masters degree. 

Nevertheless, students who top up their HND to an undergraduate degree have a chance of getting admission into the UK universities that accept HND for masters. They can be enrolled as master’s students immediately at the beginning of their master’s course.

That is the only difference between enrolling as a PgCert student with an HND qualification and enrolling as an MSc student with a degree qualification.

The course and the lectures are identical. Students enrolled directly in the master’s degree sit alongside PGCert students in the same lecture hall. The same assessments will be required of both groups.

For administrative reasons, you cannot be enrolled as a master’s student at the start of the master’s course (except in some MBA courses); instead, you are enrolled throughout the year of study as a PgCert, PgDip Student and then an MSc/MA student as you have passed the taught elements of the master’s course. 

Note that for teacher training PgCert courses to train as a primary or secondary school teacher in the UK, an undergraduate degree is compulsory for an HND holder. 

List of UK Universities that Accept HND for Masters

Sheffield Hallam University
London Metropolitan University
Bournemouth University
London South Bank University
University of Wales Trinity St.David
University of Suffolk
List of UK Universities that Accept HND for Masters

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