Higher National Certificates (HNCs) or Higher National Diploma (HNDs) via BTEC/EDEXCEL are work-related higher education qualifications and are generally suitable for candidates who wish to progress from vocational type qualifications, advanced apprenticeships or as part of the Higher Apprenticeship framework or standard. They will provide you with an introduction to a subject. This qualification is designed to equip you with the basic knowledge, understanding and skills required for a general vocational area. Higher National qualifications don’t just qualify you for work. Some HNCs allow direct entry into the second year of a degree programme, and many HNDs allow direct entry to the third year of an Honours Degree. Possessing an HNC or HND can also give you entry to a number of professional bodies. So whether you want to go straight into a job, or continue your studies, getting a Higher National can be a great place to start. HNCs usually take one year to complete and are a Level 4 qualification (equivalent to the first year of study on an Honours Degree). HNCs are usually studied two years part-time or one year full-time and many candidates then go on to other qualifications or areas of study. HNDs usually take two years to complete and as a Level 5 qualification equate to the first two years of Honours Degree study.