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HND Computing

This course is recruiting for direct entry to Year 2 only. Use the enquire button to contact us about this.

Course information

Course Summary

NOTE: This course is recruiting for direct entry to Year 2 only. Use the enquire button to contact us about this.

The BTEC Higher National Diploma in Computing is aimed at students wanting to continue their education through applied learning. The course provides a wide-ranging study of the computing sector and is designed for students who wish to pursue or advance their career in computing. In addition to the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin the study of the computing sector, the HND in computing gives students experience of the breadth and depth of the sector that will prepare them for further study or training.

Course Code:N3204
Study Type:Full Time
Academic Level:Level 5
Awarded by:Pearson (BTEC)
Course Length

Year 1 HNC and Year 2 HND (Full-Time).

Year 1 and 2 HNC (Apprentices only) Year 1 and 2 HND (Apprentices only)

UCAS Course Code104G
UCAS Abbreviated TitleHND/Comp
UCAS Institutional CodeNESCT N49
Course Detail

The Higher Nationals in Computing and Systems Development has been developed to focus on:

  • Providing education and training for a range of careers in computing.
  • Providing opportunities for facilities managers to achieve a nationally recognised Level 4/ Level 5 vocationally specific qualification.
  • Providing opportunities for learners to gain a nationally recognised, vocationally specific qualification to enter employment in computing or to progress to higher education vocational qualifications such as a degree in computing or a related area
  • Developing the knowledge, understanding and skills of learners in the field of computing.
  • Providing opportunities for learners to focus on the development of higher-level skills in a computing context.
  • Providing opportunities for learners to develop a range of skills and techniques and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

The course has been developed with career progression and recognition by professional bodies in mind. It is essential that learners gain the maximum benefit from their programme of study.

Learners possessing an HNC/D Diploma in Computing and Systems Development and a number of years (usually between 3–5 years) of post HNC/D experience in the IT or computing industry are able to apply for ‘Associate Membership of the British Computer Society’.

Aims of the qualification

This qualification meets the needs of the above rationale by:

  • Equipping individuals with knowledge, understanding and skills for success in employment in the computing industry.
  • Enabling progression to an undergraduate degree or further professional qualification in computing or a related area.
  • Providing opportunities for specialist study relevant to individual vocations and contexts.
  • Supporting individuals employed or entering employment in the computing industry.
  • Developing the individual’s ability in the computing industry through effective use and combination of the knowledge and skills gained in different parts of the programme.
  • Developing a range of skills and techniques, personal qualities and attributes essential for successful performance in working life and thereby enabling learners to make an immediate contribution to employment.
  • Providing flexibility, knowledge, skills and motivation as a basis for future studies and career development in computing.

This course is suitable for participants who wish to develop high levels of technical competence. If a learner enrols for an HNC they would be eligible to gain a grade for the HNC. If they then move onto an HND, the learner is graded on their HND performance. The grade for the HND will include units from the previously achieved HNC.

HNC course is made up of 8 units, all of which must be completed. All Full-time students take the following core units in year 1:

Higher National Certificate Level 4 (Year 1)

Mandatory Core Units (Level 4)

  • Unit 1: Programming (15 credits)
  • Unit 2: Networking (15 credits)
  • Unit 3: Professional Practice (15 credits)
  • Unit 4: Database Design & Development (15 credits)
  • Unit 5: Security (15 credits)
  • Unit 6: Managing a Successful Computing Project (Pearson-set) (15 credits)

Additional units (Level 4)

  • Unit 8: Computer Systems Architecture* (15 credits)
  • Unit 11: Maths for Computing* (15 credits)

*Potentially subject to change

Students study on Tuesdays and Thursdays only during the first year unless they are apprentices in which case they study on Tuesdays in the first year and Thursdays in the second year.

Higher National Diploma Level 5 (Year 2)

To make up the total of 16 units, a further 8 units will be taken. All students must study the following core mandatory units:

  • Unit 13: Computing Research Project (Pearson-set) (30 credits)
  • Unit 14: Business Intelligence (15 credits)

In addition, a further six units must be completed in order to achieve the HND.These units are potentially subject to change and some units not listed here may be studied.

  • Unit 15: Transport Network Design (15 credits)
  • Unit 16: Cloud Computing (15 credits)
  • Unit 18: Discrete Maths (15 credits)
  • Unit 19: Data Structure and Algorithms (15 credits)
  • Unit 20: Advanced Programming (15 credits)
  • Unit 27 Artificial Intelligence (15 credits)

Teaching & Learning Methods:

Various teaching and learning methods will be used in the classroom to ensure your learning experience is positive and rewarding. Classroom activities may involve group work, peer assessment, role play, discussion, written work and assignment work. Lectures, Demonstrations, Self-directed study, Practical work, Presentations, Tutorials and Online Reading. External visits may be organised as appropriate to complement the program of activities in the classroom.


You will be assessed in various ways, including; Observations, Group work, Written assessment, Tests and Exams, Oral presentations, Project and time constrained assessments.

The course includes both formative or practice assessment and formal summative assessments. The purpose of a formative assessment is to develop and test your understanding in the subject area. Formative assessments do not count towards your final module mark but your course team will give you feedback to help you improve. Formal or summative assessments normally count towards your module/unit mark and therefore towards your final award (i.e. class of degree, distinction/merit/pass). Assessment methods may include written examinations, and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and often a major project or dissertation in the final year.

Students on NESCOT higher education course are typically taught in class sizes of 16 or fewer. Details of the course timetable will be available at induction.

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Course Fees

Fees for Academic Year 2022/23

Annual Fees: £6,100

Concession: NO
Government Subsidised: NO
Student Loan Available: YES (Higher Education funding may be available)

Full fee information here

Fees are for 2022/23 entry and are for UK students of all ages. For more information about financial support for students, please click here.

Entry Requirements

For students who have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • A BTEC Level 3 qualification in Computing
  • A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent) and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent)
  • Other related Level 3 qualifications
  • An Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved further education institution
  • Related work experience
  • An international equivalent of the above.

The minimum entry qualifications for the programme are:

From A levels: 64 UCAS Tariff points

BTEC: Merit/Pass/Pass profile

Plus: GCSE (A*-C) (or equivalent) and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) : minimum of five subjects including Mathematics and English Language.

We will consider a range of alternative qualifications, or experience, such as level 3 Cisco, Microsoft or Oracle.

Applications from international students with equivalent qualifications are welcome. All students who are non-native English speakers and who have not undertaken their final two years of schooling in English, must be able to demonstrate capability in English at a standard equivalent to the levels identified below, before being recruited to the programme.

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
  • PTE 51
  • IELTS 5.5; Reading and Writing must be at 5.5 ● or equivalent.

A minimum IELTS score of 6 overall, with no element below 5.5, or equivalent is required for those for whom English is not their first language.

Your Next Steps

A Learner can progress to or within employment and/or continue their study in the same or related vocational area. Career options include Business, Information Systems, Database Management and Design, Computer Programming, Systems Analysis, Networking engineering, Technical support, Software engineering or Business Management and Games Development.

Further education and training is available at Nescot, either on the professional courses including CISCO, Microsoft and Oracle. On completion of course, participants can progress onto BSc degree programmes dependant on grade profile achieved.

Other Information


This Nescot College website describes the facilities and courses which the College intends to offer during the academic year commencing Autumn 2022. The web pages are prepared in advance of the academic year to which they relate and every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in these pages is helpful, fair and accurate at the time of printing. However, this information is subject to change over time.

Nescot will take reasonable steps to provide the courses and services as described, however, the College cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility. Some circumstances, such as staff changes, resource limitations and other factors over which the College has no control, such as industrial action or a change in the law or the level of demand for a particular programme or module (please note that this list is non-exhaustive), may result in the College having to withdraw or change aspects of the programmes, modules and/or student services detailed on the website. This could include, but not necessarily be limited to, programme/module content, staffing, the location where the programme/module is taught or the manner of teaching delivery, and the facilities provided to deliver or support the programme. Where circumstances demand an unavoidable change or where it is necessary for the College to discontinue a programme of study, Nescot will take all reasonable steps to minimise the effect and all proposed changes will be notified to potential applicants who have registered an interest in the relevant programme at the earliest possible opportunity as well as being reflected on the College’s website. In addition, any changes between the website and the proposed course and services will be notified to applicants at the time of making an offer.

All prices quoted may be subject to change and you will be notified of any such change when any offer of a place is made to you by Nescot.

Should you become a student of the College, this notice shall be a term of any contract between you and Nescot. Any offer of a place at the College shall be subject to the student enrolment conditions and the College’s rules and regulations as amended from time to time. A copy of the Nescot’s current terms and conditions can be obtained in writing from Nescot, Quality Office, Reigate Road, Ewell, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 3DS.

Last updated -  03/11/2021