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The Higher National Diploma Computing for England HTQ

Digital employers need professionals with advanced digital skills, and the digital-based job market offers an exciting array of rewarding opportunities. Equivalent to two years of a university degree, this employment-focused Higher National Diploma Computing for England taught at Bolton College gives you the chance to develop the work-ready and future-proof digital skills that employers demand.


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The Higher Education courses shown on Bolton College’s website are taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton. Therefore, all the information applicants and learners provide will be shared between these two organisations. Applicants and learners will receive communication from both the University of Bolton and Bolton College. Student Finance Loan applications should be made using the institution ‘University of Bolton’ not Bolton College.


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The Higher National Diploma Computing for England

  • Key Information

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    Award: HND
    Mode of Study: Full-time
    Duration: 2 Years
    Location: Bolton College
    UCAS Points: 48
    UCAS code: 104G
    Start Date: Sept 2024

  • Course Details

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    This Higher National Diploma Computing for England course is taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton.


    Our Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing for England can help turn your interest in technology into a rewarding career in the digital sector. This approved Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ) focuses on developing your digital and transferable knowledge and skills, ready to impress employers or continue with further study. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) approved the course as meeting the Business Analyst occupational standard at Level 5 and this is highly regarded by industry. This stamp of quality shows that the course has been developed in collaboration with industry-leading employers to produce business-ready graduates prepared for the ever-evolving digital sector.      


    Throughout the course, our dedicated experts will guide you to gain in-demand knowledge and understanding with cutting-edge practical and professional skills. This exciting qualification delivers learning on artificial intelligence, web development, cloud computing and games development with the use of VR technologies, alongside a range of the latest high-tech equipment, including walking robots, a six-legged spider robot, robotic arms and 3D AI software.    


    We'll support you to train for skilled, practical employment in the digital sector through stimulating workshops and a diverse curriculum. As well as learning through lectures, seminars and practical classes, you'll undertake an individual research project focused on a business computing topic. We'll support you in gaining vital employability skills such as problem-solving, teamworking, leadership, decision-making, planning, self-reflection and cultural awareness. We'll also help build your academic and lifelong learning skills, empowering you to research new technologies and keep abreast of innovations and enhancements in the digital sector throughout your career.  


  • Highlights

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    • This approved Higher Technical Qualification provides opportunities for you to progress towards achieving eligibility for professional body membership and vendor certifications with organisations such as the BCS, CompTIA, CISCO, Microsoft, Huawei, Oracle and AXELOS.
    • The computer suites at Bolton College offer up-to-date, high-specification equipment and software.
    • We'll encourage you to undertake a work placement during the summer break. This is recommended but is not a course requirement.
    • Upon successfully completing this programme, you'll be awarded the Higher National Diploma in Computing for England qualification by the University of Bolton.
    • Bolton College scores highly in student satisfaction surveys for its HE provision, and we take pride in offering you the opportunity to learn from our industry-experienced staff.
  • Key Features

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    • You'll have the chance to participate in project trips to gain first-hand experience in the industry and gain knowledge and insights from guest speakers during class time.
    • This cutting-edge HTQ course offers essential and in-demand computing and digital knowledge alongside vital academic and employability skills. Focused on equipping you for a career in the digital sector, it also prepares you for higher-level study, including a full degree programme or degree apprenticeship.
    • Dedicated to continuous learning and development within the digital sector, our staff foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning to ensure they're always at the forefront of digital trends, developments and practices.
    • Our student-centred approach to teaching and learning means we'll work with you individually, providing tailored help and support throughout your studies.
    • You'll have the opportunity to develop and enhance crucial skills such as communication, teamwork, organising and planning, numeracy, problem-solving, flexibility and adaptability, action planning, self-awareness, initiative, personal impact and confidence, environmental sustainability, and social, public and ethical responsibility.
  • Professional Recognition

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    Holders of the Higher National Diploma in Computing for England are eligible for Associate Membership of the BCS. The BCS represents IT professionals both in the UK and internationally and is a member organisation of CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies).

  • Entry Requirements

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    • 48 UCAS points. We accept a full range of qualifications that carry UCAS points, including A-levels, BTECs and T levels. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points. For most courses, we are also able to consider non-tariffable qualifications
    • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. Relevant computing-related subjects are preferred.
    • You should also have GCSEs in Mathematics and English at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent).
    • This course is also open to applicants who have extensive appropriate work experience in the IT sector. If you don’t possess the academic qualifications listed above but have extensive appropriate work experience, we’ll be delighted to consider your application.
    • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
    • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 5.5 with no less than 5.5 in reading and writing (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
    • If you apply or enrol on this course, Bolton College and the University of Bolton will share the information you provide. You’ll also receive communications from both organisations.


    Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

  • Career Opportunities

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    Higher Technical Qualifications open up an exciting world of opportunity, empowering you for the future. The University of Bolton's Higher National Diploma in Computing for England taught at Bolton College is an approved Level 5 Higher Technical Qualification. It's ideal if you're seeking a career in the digital sector or wish to progress to the final year of a computing-related honours degree or degree apprenticeship. If you're already working in the digital sector, you can use this Higher National Diploma to upskill or retrain, acquiring valuable digital experience and gaining vital new skills to support your career progression.


    This qualification was developed in close collaboration with experts from employers, vendors and professional bodies to ensure you gain the skills and knowledge you'll need to succeed in the future. Your learning will be rooted in the real world so that you leave the course as a work-ready graduate with the professional skills and behaviours that employers need.


    What can I do with this qualification?

    As a graduate of this Higher National Diploma, you'll be digitally skilled and industry-ready. You'll be well-prepared to take on roles in general computing such as systems analyst, data designer, systems tester, database administrator, IT project manager, IT support technician and web designer. With additional experience and training, it can also support you to pursue digital roles such as artificial intelligence architect, web developer, growth hacker and cloud specialist. 


    Upon successfully completing the Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing for England, you'll be able to progress to higher-level qualifications. For instance, you'll be eligible to apply for final year top-up programmes, such as the University of Bolton's BSc (Hons) Computing (top-up) or degree apprenticeship training through your employer. Further study in specialist areas such as network engineering, software engineering, data analytics, security, intelligent systems, and applications development should also be possible.


    Bolton NHS Trust are endorsing our Higher Technical Qualifications which means that they are offering a direct link to employment post studying with us. Keep updated on their digital roles by following the link below: 



    Alternative career options

    You also use this qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, relevant experience and/or further study may be required. Some possibilities include:


    • Digital copywriting
    • IT sales
    • IT training
    • Teaching
    • Research and development
    • Network engineering
    • Product management
    • Technical writing
    • Social media management
    • Cyber security
    • Information systems management
    • Games development


  • Fees & Funding

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    course fees hnd computing 23
    Useful information

    When completing your student finance application, please list your institution as ‘University of Bolton’, not ‘Bolton College’.


    Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2024-2025 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2022-2023 policy on for information. 


    The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.



    Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.


  • How To Apply

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    Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

    University of Bolton
    Deane Road
    Bolton, BL3 5AB
    United Kingdom

    Tel: 01204 903903

  • Teaching & Assessment

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    The varied nature of this Higher National Diploma programme means that we use a wide range of teaching and learning methods. We combine timetabled classes with student-centred and independent learning to ensure you acquire and develop the appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills. You can expect to attend lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and informal group study sessions. There will also be opportunities to go on site visits to view state-of-the-art projects, and attend guest lectures by specialists from industry, professional bodies or other academic institutions. 


    There are significant opportunities to spend time with the tutors and technicians during timetabled classes, practical work and tutorials. However, we'll still expect you to devote a significant amount of time to personal study. For example, you might engage in general background reading, revisit practical work, attend technical meetings and lectures provided by professional bodies, or work on assignments. 


    We use various assessment methods, depending upon the learning outcome in question and the type of module content being assessed. You'll have opportunities to informally test your understanding of subjects before completing the formal assessments that count towards your final mark or grade. Each module/unit will typically contain at least one piece of practice or 'formative' assessment, for which you'll receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental, and any grades/marks you receive for them do not count toward your module/unit mark or grade. 


    There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module/unit. Methods include a range of coursework assessments such as exams, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, and final year major project. The grades from the formal assessments count towards your module/unit mark or grade.




    The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.


    • Programming
    • Networking
    • Professional Practice
    • Database Design and Development
    • Security
    • Website Design and Development
    • Planning a Computing Project
    • Software Development and Lifecycles
    • Computing Research Project (Pearson Set)
    • Network Security
    • E-Commerce and Strategy
    • Game Design Theory
    • User Experience and Interface Design
    • Business Process Support
    • Internet of Things


    Assessment methods


    Assessment method

    Level One

    Coursework (100%)

    Level Two

    Coursework (100%)


    Learning activities


    Learning activity

    Level One

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

    Level Two

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)



    The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


  • Contact Us

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    Rachel Upsall

    Curriculum Leader, Bolton College


    Telephone: 01204 482 274


    Justine Walker

    Higher Education Quality Leader


    Telephone: 01204 482 021


    Paul Morgan

    Computing Lecturer B



    Information Team
    Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482000