HND Computing

The Higher National Diploma in Computing is a nationally recognised university-level programme which places emphasis on employer engagement and work readiness. The programme is designed to help computing students secure the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to succeed in the workplace. Students will study a range of modules which include elements of theory and practical.

At our Stamford campus, this programme is offered as a general pathway in the field of computing, keeping doors open for a wide range of career paths and future study options. The programme aligns with level 4 and 5 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ), meaning those students wishing to progress to level 6 study can do so whilst feeling better prepared. Students have the option to study level 6 of the BSc (Hons) Computing and Information System at UCP subject to successful interview.

Graduates from the Higher National Diploma in Computing will have developed a sound understanding of the principles in their field of study and will have learned to apply those principles more widely. Graduates will have learned to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems.

Students will be able to perform effectively in their chosen field and will have the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. Furthermore, graduates will have developed a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent initiatives, organisational competence and problem-solving strategies. They will be adaptable and flexible in their approach to computing, show resilience under pressure, and meet challenging targets within a given resource.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

If you are applying to start in September 2021, you must meet the following entry requirements:

48 UCAS points with at least one qualification in a computing related subject:

  • A-levels (DD)
  • BTEC (PPP)
  • Cambridge Technicals (PPP)
  • Access to HE (45 credits)

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSE English language and mathematics at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.

If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 5.5 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • Programming (15 credits)
  • Networking (15 credits)
  • Professional Practice (15 credits)
  • Database Design and Development (15 credits)
  • Security (15 credits)
  • Managing a Successful Computing Project (15 credits)
  • Software Development Lifecycles (15 credits)
  • Website Design and Development (15 credits)
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • Computing Research Project (30 credits)
  • Business Intelligence (15 credits)
  • Data Structures and Algorithms (15 credits)
  • Application Development (15 credits)
  • Games Design Theory (15 credits)
  • Emerging Technologies (15 credits)
  • Games Development (15 credits)

    If it is unviable to run an optional module due to student demand, an alternative module will be offered.

    A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

    • For details of progression and module scenarios please refer to the Academic Regulations.
    • For details of assessment offences please refer to the Academic Regulations.
    • For details of how we will inform you of changes to modules please refer to page 2 of the terms and conditions.

    When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one full day a week over two semesters per year). We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

    There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

    If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

    The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the whole year and open until 9pm from Monday to Thursday during term time. You will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

    Timetables are available at least one month before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

    The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

    Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

    Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
    • 80%     Coursework*
    • 20%     Practical Exams
    Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
    • 70%     Coursework*
    • 30%     Practical Exams

    * Some coursework may be conducted as a controlled assignment within a supervised time period.

    We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

    As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience in addition to their work placement to aid their career development.

    In the second year on HND full-time study, we encourage students to undertake a week-long placement which will be documented via a blog to assess skills.

    After successful completion of the HND Computing, you have the opportunity to apply for the Level 6 of the BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems course to obtain a full honours degree with a further year of study.

    Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

    • Software Engineer
    • Data Analyst
    • Database Administrator
    • Web Developer
    • Networking Engineer
    • Research and Development Engineer
    • IT Support Officer
    • Games and Graphics Designer

    Adam Wright

    I am the Course Leader for the HND in Computing and have been running this provision at the Stamford campus since 2012.

    In my role as course leader, I oversee the curriculum design and delivery of the higher national provision within computing. I have experience in running programmes within further and higher education since 2010 and I am very passionate about education. My aim has always been to ensure a higher national for local students is available in the community with a robust structure and up-to-date topical elements. As well as delivering on the higher national and some FE provision, I am the ILT Lead for Stamford College which involves supporting staff in utilising technology to aid teaching, learning and assessment.

    My background is in media, database design and website development. I graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BSc (Hons) in Web Technology. Prior to this, I studied the BTEC National Diploma IT Practitioners course. Since I started my teaching career, I have also studied the Diploma for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) at level 5. I have experience in managing and creating websites for a variety of small businesses and individual users, including the management of social media campaigns. Within my ILT role, I have experience in business systems development and consultation; I am a champion in the development and roll-out of Google Education and I maintain company intranets.

    I like to build a good rapport with my students and develop a supportive community during the study of the higher national programme. I look forward to the prospect of working with you.


    • BSc (Hons) Web Technology
    • BTEC National Diploma IT Practitioners
    • Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Level 5)
    • Microsoft Office Specialist: Word 2016
    • Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel 2016
    • Microsoft Office Specialist: Access 2016
    • Microsoft Office Specialist: PowerPoint 2016

    When you have chosen a course to study at University Centre Peterborough, your next step is to make an application.

    All FULL-TIME APPLICATIONS must be made to UCAS via a web-based tracker system – (the institution code for University Centre Peterborough is P56).

    All PART-TIME APPLICATIONS can be submitted directly to University Centre Peterborough. You can download and complete the following form then email to, or send it through the post, or visit us in person.

    Before you apply, please check that you meet the entry requirement which is listed on the course information pages.

    If you have any questions about making an application contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email

    If you are currently studying

    University Centre Peterborough are committed to supporting all of our applicants who are currently studying A-level, BTEC, Access to HE or other qualifications. We want everyone achieve the best possible outcomes and we will support applicants in the coming months so they are not disadvantaged in any way due to recent changes in exams and grading. All applicants should continue to work hard as this will help teachers assess your ability and help prepare you before starting your higher education or degree course.

    When to apply

    We advise you to make an application for your chosen course as soon as possible to secure your place. We will process your application within 1 to 5 working days so you know if you have been successful and received an offer.

    The following timeline is for applications to start a course in September 2021.


    • Applications for the majority of courses will be made by 6pm on 29th January 2021 (previously 15th January 2021).
    • If you have not made your application by this date you can still apply to University Centre Peterborough at any time afterwards.


    • If you missed the first UCAS deadline, you can still apply through UCAS Extra from Thursday 25th February to Sunday 4th July 2021.
    • This also gives you the opportunity to add University Centre Peterborough as an additional choice if you have used all five choices and are not holding any offers.


    • From Monday 5th July 2021 you can apply via UCAS through Clearing.
    • Clearing is for those who have not yet applied or students who have waited until they have received their grades. However, you do not need to wait until you receive your grades before applying through Clearing.
    • If you have applied and been accepted at another university, you still have the opportunity to change to study at University Centre Peterborough.
    • If you don’t get the grades you expected, don’t panic. Just contact us during Clearing and we can  usually confirm your place very quickly. We are used to helping students at this time of year.

    Types of offer

    When you make an application, you will receive one of the following offers:

    • CONDITIONAL OFFER: You will have to meet certain conditions before the start of the course (such as achieving your exams with a certain grade). We will specify these conditions when making you an offer. When you achieve these grades your place will then be confirmed.
    • UNCONDITIONAL OFFER: You already meet the entry requirements for the course (i.e. you have achieved the grades already) and we are happy to offer you a place without conditions.
    • DECLINE: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you a place at this time. We will advise you why you were unsuccessful on this occasion and we can give you advice on alternative courses for progression.

    Applicant days

    • We will be holding an Applicant Day for new students on Saturday 20th March 2021.
    • This invitation only event is available to students who are holding a Conditional Offer or Unconditional Offer. It will give you the opportunity to meet other students, academic staff and participate in subject sessions to help prepare you before starting in September 2021.
    • If you are still deciding on where to study then this day can be a great chance to see if studying with us is right for you.

    Advice Sessions and Open Days

    • If you would like help with your application, more information about student finances or have any questions, then you are welcome to book onto one of our regular Advice Sessions where you can speak to a member of staff for help and advice.
    • During our Open Days we run a series of talks on a variety of topics including applications and student finance.
    • For dates and times of the latest Advice Sessions and Open Days visit

    Key Facts

    UCAS Code
    Institution code
    Validated by:
    Pearson Edexcel

    Stamford Campus

    Duration and Delivery

    Full-time 2 years (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

    Part-time 4 years (1 full day a week over two semesters per year)

    Start Date
    September 2021

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2021/22 will be:.

    • HND Full-time: £6,500 per year
    • HND Part-time: £3,250 per year

    There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

    Additional Notes

    Click here for terms and conditions 2021/22 including our complaints policy.

    Course enquiry

    HND Computing

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