Essential information:


Higher National Diploma in Computing and Systems Development



Start date:


End date:


Weekly hours:

3 full teaching days (including MTA sessions) plus 2 required study days.



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What does this course involve?

This two-year course of study provides you with the opportunity to develop both theoretical knowledge and practical skills over a wide range of computing applications. The UK as a whole has a significant shortfall of specialist and skilled IT and Computing personnel, and recent industrial statistics have shown that IT and Computing skills are in demand, in particular when combined with the ability to manage projects.

Although the HND is a two-year course and one level higher than the HNC you may wish to complete your studies after one year and there is the opportunity to leave with the HNC qualification. Students usually apply for the two-year HND course unless they have a specific requirement to study on the one-year HNC course.

The HND is a Level 5 qualification equivalent to the second year of a university-level course. You will develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills over a wide range of computing applications using industry standard software and equipment whilst learning in a supportive, friendly environment.

You will develop the skills and techniques you need alongside the opportunity to undertake a number of Microsoft industrial (MTA) qualifications. You will have access to networking, gaming and PC hardware laboratories, as well as industry standard design and development tools. You will gain an insight into the knowledge needed to progress in to employment in the IT and Computing industry, whilst retaining a strong focus on how fundamental computing techniques and technologies underpin all industries.

Modules within this course will build upon those already studied on the HNC programme in year one, and would typically include additional topic areas covering network security systems, computer games design and development, additional programming and systems development, and project development (often involving a “live” client).


What qualifications do I need?

You will need 80-120 UCAS points, or an appropriate qualification at Level 3. GCSE English and Maths at grade A-C are also a requirement. However, ALL applications are considered individually with your potential to succeed on the programme considered with reference to both academic qualifications and relevant personal experience.

We pay particular attention to the personal statement and the reference(s) provided with the application. Applicants from the UK or European Economic area (EEA) wishing to apply for an HNC/HND need to do so via UCAS.


Assessment techniques include report-based assignments, ongoing coursework, practical workshops, video-based submissions, project work, presentations and group work.

Fees & Costs

As part of their Programme tuition fee of £6,000, UK students will receive a Welcome Pack. This will include a good quality laptop, student membership of the British Computer Society (BCS), and access to 200 Microsoft Developer software packages. There are also a variety of UK-based academic and industrial visits planned including expos, such as EuroGame and Bletchley Park (visits are subject to change due to availability). The cost of taking the Microsoft MTA exams is included within the tuition fee stated.

English or EU full-time students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan, which is paid directly to the university or college. Grants and Loans are available for Maintenance (Living) Costs, but you will need to give details of your household income. Loans have to be paid back whereas grants do not, and what you receive is based upon your individual circumstances. Please see for further information.

For further information regarding the College’s current fees to study on a Higher National Certificate programme, please contact Support Services on 01843 605062 or e-mail


On successful completion you could apply to progress onto the final year of a degree course at a UK university, within areas such as General Computing, Computer Science, Network and PC Hardware Engineering, Web Development, Software Development or Games Development.

HND graduates could move into careers at Technician or Developer level, and begin working towards chartered status (CITP).

UCAS Search options

  • Institution Code Name: CANT
  • Institution Code: C12
  • Campus Code: 1 (Broadstairs)
  • Course Code: I101

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