Advice and Guidance for HND Applicants
The following advice, guidance and questions are designed to help you think about whether
you have chosen the right course, the right level of study and about other things which may be
important to consider when deciding to study including the time and financial commitments
1) Do you think this is the right level of study for you? BTEC Level 3 is equivalent to A’ level and the BTEC Higher
National Diploma (HND) is at level 5 which is equivalent to the first two years of a University degree.
2) If you are paying for your studies yourself, the first year’s tuition fees must be made before the start of the
course. For your second year, you maybe be able to pay in instalments for which be an instalment surcharge will
be added to the total that you pay.
3) If you plan to study part-time, you can apply for a loan to cover your tuition fees only (there is no maintenance
loan) as you are expected to be working at the same time. If you are in receipt of benefits, you may continue to
claim if you are on a part-time course – you do NOT get any benefits if studying full-time.
4) If you plan to study as a full-time student you are expected to give priority to your studies (ie. arrange your
working hours/holidays/childcare around the timetable.). Once a timetable has been allocated for the semester, it
cannot be changed and the student must follow the given timings. The timetable and subjects change every
5) If you apply for a student loan, you apply to Student Finance England (SFE). You can do this online and it is
quite straightforward. Your college will be “The City College” and you can find your course from the list that SFE
provides when you start to type your course name “HND in ..…You just have to pick the right title of your chosen
HND course. SFE do all the checks on your application and ask for any extra information that they may need.
Once they have approved your loan application, they will write to you to let you know how much money you are
being lent and the schedule of payments. SFE then instruct the Student Loan Company (SLC) to pay you. The
College can only speak to the SLC about your tuition fee loan and you can only speak to SFE about your
application, payments etc. The College cannot ring SFE to ask any questions about you or your loan (as a matter
of data protection).
6) Full-time students will have 15 hours per week in class and are expected to spend an extra 10 hours per week
on the studies in their own time. Part-time students will have 6 hours of classes a week and are expected to
spend a further 4 hours per week on their studies in their own time.
7) You must realise the importance of coming to all classes and making complete submissions for all subjects in
every semester by the given deadlines. A complete submission comprises both a paper copy and an electronic
copy. You must make every effort to PASS units during the allocated timescale for the programme and not fall
Have you chosen the right course? For example, anyone wishing to becoming a psychologist will NOT benefit
from following an HND in Health & Social Care Management.
9) Do you feel that anything in your life outside college might affect your ability to complete the course
successfully – such as family or work commitments?
10) How would you rate your computer skills? It is your responsibility to learn the computing skills required to be
able to follow an HND programme such as web research, word -processing, keeping back-ups of your work,
uploading files etc.
11) All applicants must take a Numeracy and Literacy test and attend an interview for a place on the course.
Are you applying for an HND in Health & Social Care?
1) Do you already have experience of or are you currently working in the Care sector? If so, you must provide
proof of this. If you have never worked in the Care sector, you will be required to find relevant work before you
will be allowed to start the course. Please be aware that you must be able to prove that you have a minimum of
200 hours of relevant work experience in order to be able to complete the HND in Health & Social Care. This is a
mandatory requirement of the course and there is no way around this. Please be aware that caring for a relative
will not count towards this course requirement as it cannot be verified by an impartial agency/employer.
2) If you require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance, you will be responsible for arranging this. You
will not get DBS clearance if you have a criminal record and so, are unlikely to get employment in the Care sector
now or in the future. You must declare all criminal convictions to the College immediately otherwise we cannot
advise you appropriately.
Student Loans – a quick guide (www.slc.co.uk)
If you are applying through Student Finance England, funding for full-time courses is currently made up of a
tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan. The maintenance loan is intended to pay for travel to and from college
and books. It is not intended to pay rent, food, gas or electric or other living expenses. Depending on your
circumstances, you may also be eligible for a childcare grant and / or a maintenance grant. Grants do not need to
be repaid but all loans (maintenance and tuition) must be repaid, on a monthly basis, once you are
working and earning more than the threshold which is currently £21,000).
If you are applying for student funding, then your fees will be paid directly to us in three instalments on
confirmation of attendance at three points throughout the year.
If you are applying for a Student Loan then it is essential that you do so as soon as possible. The quickest way to
do so is to apply online through Student Finance England. Please note that, if you are applying / have applied for
maintenance, all queries about maintenance grants or loans must be directed to the Student Finance England
student helpline on 0300 1000607.
In order to qualify for a student loan, your attendance has to be confirmed at three different times throughout the
year, so it is essential that you come to your classes and tutorials regularly. NOT attending regularly may
jeopardise your tuition fee loan and maintenance loan (if applicable).
In order to speed up the process of your Student Loan Application:
· Please make your initial application to Student Finance England as soon as possible. It is quickest to make an
· Please bring copies of any correspondence from Student Finance England to the College.
· Sometimes Student Finance England (SFE) will contact you, asking for further information. If this is the case,
then please let us know. We are always available to offer advice and help should it be necessary.
· Please attend your classes/tutorials regularly, so we can approve your attendance as soon as possible.
· Please also note that we CANNOT approve attendance until after two weeks of attendance. That will only
happen once SFE has processed your application successfully. Therefore, if you have any requests from the
SFE – to provide additional information – it is essential you deal with them as soon as possible, or it will hold up