What is an HND (Higher National Diploma)?

An HND is a British qualification recognised internationally. It is worth 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), or the equivalent to studying two years of an undergraduate degree. It is designed to enable students to acquire skills to perform a job.

ESNE, through its school of technology ESTEC, offers students in Ciclos Formativos de Grado Superior programmes (Spanish work-related higher education qualification) the possibility to complement their training with an HND to obtain a double international qualification.

An HND will enable the student to acquire skills for real life. They will learn through modules and will be assessed though practical tasks.

HND is a British Further Education Qualification recognised internationally. It is worth 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), or the equivalent to studying two years of one of our university degrees.

As complementary training, HND courses are delivered simultaneously with the courses of a Ciclo Formativo. They add 30 ECTS credit value, spread across the two years that a Ciclo Formativo lasts: 15 ECTS in year one and 15 ECTS in year two.

HND is a Level 5 qualification in the QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework, www.accreditedqualifications.org.uk).

The programme consists of 16 study units which will provide students with good insight into key skills and knowledge they need to acquire.

How long does it take to complete an HND?

An HND is usually completed in two years, at the end of which students will be awarded qualification worth 120 ECTS.

It is compulsory for the student to pass all of the 16 subject units of the HND to obtain the qualification.

Students in Ciclos Formativos de Grado Superior in ESTEC, can extend their studies and access an HND.

Is the HND qualification recognised in Spain? Will it grant me access to university?

HND qualifications offered by ESNE through ESTEC, are accredited by UNED ( Spanish distant learning university) which means that students can progress to a university degree in any Spanish university, whether government-owned or private.

Once they have completed their HND, students will be able to obtain the corresponding academic validation and credentials from the school students office. This document will allow them entry to UNED.

Students need this document, their HND and NOP (Notification of Performance issued with the HND, which specifies each subject unit studied and the grades obtained) to apply for admission to the university of their choice, where the Chancellor will make a decision based on the contents and credit value of their existing HND.

ESNE is a University school itself and therefore it admits students from ESTEC’s HND programmes who would like to go on to study an undergraduate university degree.

What can I do with an HND?

Enter the labour market – once students obtain their HND, they will be ready to find work in their field of choice.

Since HNDs focus on skills and knowledge relevant to the labour market, a large number of companies such as Shell, BAE Sytems, PWC and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group are constantly hiring candidates from work-related qualifications.

Moreover, over 70 institutions and professional schools in the UK recognise HNDs in order to be able to affiliate with them. In an increasingly competitive global labour market, an HND will help you stand out from the rest.

Progress to university degree – 95% of higher education schools in the UK will admit students holding an HND to a top up undergraduate degree. Nearly 300 universities in the world – amongst which are the Top 100 universities according to The Times international ranking- admitted students from HND programmes into their undergraduate degree programmes.

ESNE offers direct progression to its undergraduate degree programmes.

For more information about BTEC and HND visit:


For more information about the UK’s National Qualifications Framework visit: