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Certificates and diplomas

Certificates and diplomas are vocational and work-related qualifications. They may be studied full-time or part-time at a range of levels. Part-time courses may form part of a higher apprenticeship.

Certificate of Higher Education (CHE) - Level 4 Qualification:

  • offered at universities, colleges and further education colleges (accredited by a higher education institution) on a full-time or part-time basis
  • part-time study usually over two years, comparable to one year of full-time study at degree level
  • progression can be to a diploma or degree
  • equivalent to the first year of a degree.

Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) - Level 5 Qualification:

  • a vocational qualification in subjects, such as nursing and youth and community work
  • usually two year full-time, comparable to two years study of a degree
  • offered by universities, colleges and further education colleges (accredited by a higher education institution).

BTEC Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma (HNC/HND):

  • offered by universities, colleges, further education colleges (accredited by a higher education institution).
  • cover vocational subjects such as art and design, business, engineering, construction
  • can be studied part-time if you are in a relevant job
  • institutions set their own entry requirements but qualifications at level 3 or evidence of recent study is usually required.
  • you may, with further study, be able to top this up to a degree
  • a higher certificate is equivalent to the first year of a degree and a higher diploma is equivalent to the second year of a degree.

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean