Higher Education

Higher National Qualifications

Higher National Certificates (HNC) and Higher National Diplomas (HND) are taught in a range of subjects. They give you the practical skills you need to do a job and the knowledge your employer will expect you to have. Find out more.


A Degree is a level 6 qualification and usually takes 3 years full-time, although some very specialist areas of study may take 4 or even 5 years to complete. The two most common Degrees are either called a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc), such as a BSc in Horticulture. Honours Degrees are divided into four 'classes' (like grades): 1 (first - the highest level), 2.1 (upper second), 2.2 (lower second) and 3 (third or pass). You can find out more information about Degrees from UCAS.

Postgraduate Qualifications

A Postgraduate qualification is awarded after a Degree. These qualifications combine theoretical learning and more on hands-on, practical application for the job market. They take a year or more to complete and can be studied full- or part-time. Many offer direct entry onto Master's Degrees at partner universities. You can study qualifications such as Crop Protection & Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering. Postgraduate qualifications are usually studied at a further education college or at a university. You can find out more information about the venues offering the courses from UCAS.

Masters and PhDs

A Masters is a Postgraduate qualification that can be taught in scientific (MSc) or non-scientific arts (MBA) subjects and usually take 2 years to complete. A doctorate (PhD) usually takes 3 years or more to complete and comprises graduate study and a dissertation. This is the highest level of study someone can achieve. Subjects available include Rural Estate & Land Management and Farm & Agricultural Business Management. Masters and doctorate qualifications are usually studied at a university. You can find out more information about universities from UCAS.