Vocational courses provide a greater edge to the students by helping them to efficiently utilize their skills and knowledge. Explore this article to know more about these vocational courses in UK.

Vocational Courses in UK

When one talks about vocational courses in UK, it’s the Higher National Certificates (HNCs) or Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) or the BTEC National Diplomas that are being discussed. Unlike the bachelor’s degree programs that are designed to put forth the focus on gaining knowledge, these are work related higher education qualifications and focus on “knowledge through doing” rather than “knowledge through reading”. Because HNCs and HNDs allow the students to put their skills and knowledge to effective use, they are highly preferred by the employers in UK as well as other countries. Completing these diplomas is considered equivalent to the second year of a three year university degree course as HND takes two years of full time study to complete or one year full time study if HNC has already been completed. However, part time completion takes longer. Upon successful completion (assessed through assignments, projects, and practical tasks throughout the course), one can look for a career at junior management level and even have the option to convert HNCs or HNDs to bachelor’s level degree with extra studying. While the HNCs can allow an entry into the second year of a degree, HNDs can allow an entry into the second or third year of a degree.
HNCs and HNDs Subjects
Wide range of subjects is available in HNCs and HNDs such as:
  • Agriculture, Environment and Related Subjects
  • Applied and Pure Sciences
  • Architecture, Building and Planning
  • Business and Administration
  • Computing, Mathematical and Information Sciences
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Education and Teacher Training
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Health and Medicine
  • Humanities
  • Law and Legal Courses
  • Social Sciences and Communications
  • Travel, Tourism and Leisure
Application Procedure
  • Students who want to opt for these vocational courses can apply in the universities or institutions of their choice through Universities and Colleges Admission Services (UCAS) website.
  • The students can choose to apply for five courses from among the list by filling a single application form. Although there are no closing dates for applying to these vocational courses, it’s recommended that you leave enough time to apply, travel arrangements, and accommodation lookout in UK.
  • Apart from this, documents supporting the fulfillment of the eligibility, including the test scores of IELTS exam. Upon receiving a call or letter of acceptance from the university or college, the students may then proceed with visa formalities.
Admission Requirements
  • Depending upon which part of UK one is planning to study, pre-qualifications like those equivalent to one or two UK’s advance levels or two Scottish Highers or a Higher National Certificate or BTEC National Diploma or International Foundation Year plus an IELTS score of 5.5 to 6.0 is required.
  • Some universities may require complete transcripts/mark sheets/related documents of the previous academic records to be submitted along with the IELTS scorecard at the time with the application forms along with the letter of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

On the statement of purpose it should be clearly mentioned why the student has chosen the particular stream and how he/she will manage financially during the stay in UK. The letter of recommendation should preferably be from the person who has taught the student, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the student. It should also contain the reason as to why does the person think that the student would excel in the chosen field.

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