If you wish to study abroad for a degree from a recognized university and wish to save money by completing the first two years of studies locally, a Pearson BTEC HNC or HND would be more suitable for you. HNCs and HNDs focus on ‘practical learning’ and can lead into a new career, or help you progress in your current line of work. BTEC HNC and HND are better recognized by overseas’ Employers due to its practicality.


HNCs and HNDs: what they are

HNCs (Higher National Certificates) and HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) are work-related (vocational) higher education qualifications. While bachelors degrees tend to focus on gaining knowledge, HNCs and 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, and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations.
HNCs and HNDs are provided by over 400 universities and further education colleges. HNCs can take one year to complete full time and two years part time (or in other situations such as distance learning). HNDs take two years full time and can also be taken part time (which takes longer).

Qualification levels

What’s an HND?
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a work-related course provided by higher and further education colleges in the UK. A full-time HND takes two years to complete, or three to four years part-time. Generally an HND is the equivalent to two years at university.

What’s an HNC?
A full-time Higher National Certificate (HNC) takes one year to complete, or two years part-time. Many HNC courses cover the same subjects as an HND, but an HNC is one level below an HND (it’s generally equivalent to the first year at university).

BTEC HND and HNC courses are popular study options, and are highly regarded by employers. They are better recognized by overseas’ Employers due to its practicality.

If you’re at college and thinking about applying to uni in the next couple of years, you’ve probably heard a lot recently about vocational qualifications like BTECs. More and more students are opting to study BTECs over A-Levels these days, and universities are starting to pay attention to this educational trend. But what are BTECS all about?

What is the difference between BTECs and A-Levels?

Confused about the difference between BTECS and A-Levels? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

BTEC stands for ‘Business and Technology Education Council’, named after the body which first governed the qualifications (it’s now Edexcel). BTECs are gaining popularity as an alternative to A-Levels, but they actually cover a whole range of academic levels. BTECs at levels 1 and 2 are equivalent to GCSEs, level 3 to A-Levels, and levels 4 -7 hold the same status of achievement as a degree.

BTECs are vocational qualifications, rather than traditional academic courses, with typical subjects offered at BTEC level including Business Studies, Graphic Design, Travel and Tourism, Engineering and Information Technology – you can’t study subjects like History or English at BTEC level.

One of the main differences between BTECs and A-Levels is the way both are assessed. A-Levels mainly involve two years of study geared towards a few big tests at the end, whereas BTECs are continually assessed via coursework and practical projects. You might only just be hearing about BTECs now, but they’re not a new qualification – they’ve actually been around since 1984.

Why is everyone talking about BTECs?

Level 3 BTECs have been getting a lot of press recently – according to UCAS, the number of A-Level students achieving grades ABB (the average grades you need to get into the top universities) has fallen by 2,500 over the last year, but the number of BTEC students achieving the equivalent to ABB has gone up by 16%! Some universities have been historically more focused on A-Levels as suitable entry requirements, but as the numbers of students studying BTECs has risen, the qualification has become more and more respected, and Edexcel now says over 100,000 BTEC students apply to university every year, with the number steadily rising all the time.

So, how do universities feel about BTECs?

Universities have learned that BTECs are a great alternative to A-Levels, and very few institutions won’t consider BTEC students as candidates – even Oxford and Cambridge include BTECs as part of their overall course requirements, although usually alongside other qualifications as well.

Just like with A-Levels, every course and every university is different, so you’ll need to check the entry requirements of every institution carefully, but the standard 18-unit extended BTEC level 3 Diploma is equivalent to three A-Levels, and plenty of universities will be happy to accept you onto a relevant course if you’re predicted to get good final results. If you’re doing a 12-unit BTEC, most higher education courses will want you to have an A-Level or AS Level too. Some institutions, such as Oxbridge, will count a BTEC towards your overall grade requirement, but will want you to have one or two A-Levels as well, even if you studied an 18-unit course. It’s all down to the individual institution and course, so checking is key – if you’re not sure, why not give the admissions department a ring? They’re always happy to help.

One important thing to note is a level 3 BTEC will usually only get you onto a related course at university, i.e. one in the same or a very similar subject. That’s because BTECs are very practical and teach you the skills to succeed in that particular area, but not always the more general skills that can be applied across all courses, like essay writing and analytical thinking.

So, if you studied a BTEC in Business Studies at college you’ll be able to read Business Studies at university, but probably not English Literature. Again, this is very similar to A-Levels – you can’t study all arts subjects at A-Level and go on to read a science degree, and vice versa.

What are the benefits of an HND or HNC?

Unlike many degrees, these courses are vocationally focused and therefore can lead straight on to a career. Moreover, they’re a great stepping stone up to a higher qualification, as you can choose to ‘top up’ an HND or HNC with extra studies at a later date, in order to convert it to a full bachelor’s degree.

YES Academy is a Pearson BTEC Centre and it offers BTEC HND and HNC along-side the MQA Diploma. Students do not need to sit for any extra examinations as the same assignments for MQA Diploma will be submitted to BTEC for assessment.

YES Academy is currently offering scholarships for YES Students studying for MQA Diploma for the following Programmes:
Diploma in Business Management + BTEC HND & HNC Business (Full tuition fee: RM21,500)
Diploma in Graphic Design + BTEC HND & HNC Graphic Design (Full tuition fee: RM21,500)
Diploma in Information Technology + BTEC HND & HNC Information Technology (Full tuition fee: RM21,500)
Drop by our college and we can further explain how to study abroad for UK Degree with less than RM125K.