Options with an HNC/D



After studying for an HNC or HND you can either choose to continue your studies, enter work, or do something different.

Progress to further study

You may choose to go on to a range of different courses from an HNC or HND however typical routes are:

  • From an HNC you may progress to an HND or to a degree course.
  • From an HND you may progress to a degree course.  

If you are planning to go on to degree level study you should check what year you can enter. Sometimes having an HNC or HND will allow you advanced entry into year two of a degree course. An HND will allow you to progress to year three of some degree courses at the University of the Highlands and Islands and possibly to year three of some courses run by other institutions.

Whether or not you can gain advanced entry to a degree course normally depends on two things:

  1. Whether the course you have completed is in a relevant subject (and has enough 'credits').
  2. How popular the degree course is that you wish to join - for some popular courses advanced entry is not offered.


Undertaking degree level study can be beneficial as it tends to open more opportunities for employment - such as graduate training schemes and graduate placements. Some careers also require specific degrees - such as teaching, nursing and social work. You can check what qualifications are needed for different careers by using a careers database such as the one offered by prospects, or myworldofwork. Discussing your further study options and your career ideas with your tutor or a careers adviser can be helpful if you are trying to decide whether or not to continue with your studies.

Funding for further study

If you are deciding what course to do next it may be important to consider funding. SAAS normally only fund you if you are progressing in your studies (i.e. going up to the next level). However, there are some exceptions to this rule, so you may receive extra funding if you need to repeat a year for medical reasons. They also do provide funding for  HNC or HND students going into year one of a degree. However, if you want to do a second HNC or HND then this may be more problematic. Further information about funding is available on the SAAS website.

Entering the workplace

Most HNC or HND courses are vocational in nature - this means that they give you a qualification that is relevant to a specific kind of work. Once you have your HNC or HND you may seek work in a field related to your qualification, or look for something else.

You can see what previous HNC and HND graduates from the university have gone on to do by searching our graduate case studies. If you want to look for jobs related to your qualification a good place to start is our job searching information.

Other Options

Some graduates will choose other options such as taking a year out, self employment or volunteering.

Further Information

  • Careers and Employability Centre Advice Sheet: Options with an HNC / D
  • You can find out what other HNC / HND graduates went on to do on the case studies pages.
  • The SAAS website gives details of funding rules.
  • The job search pages give details of where to look for work.