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Frank shares his experience of taking the HND route to a full Business degree

  • 24 June 2022
  • 9 min read

Why I chose the Higher National Diploma route 

I had applied to study Business and Management at University, however I did not have enough UCAS points to be accepted on a 3 year BA course. Upon calling the University of Portsmouth in an attempt to change their mind they explained I could do a HND through Havant and South Downs College (HSDC), lasting 2 years, and top that up with a final year at the University to achieve my full BA. It seemed like a no brainer quite frankly, and having been out of education for 4 years actually worked as a new introduction back into that way of thinking.

Taking the BA Business and Management Top-Up

After completing the HND, I planned to take the final year top-up option. I wasn’t enjoying my job and in hindsight wish I had applied to University when I left college. When I found out I didn’t have enough UCAS points but a two year HND with a final year top-up was available it seemed a perfect alternative. I would get a shot at working for my degree, and not lose any extra time in going down this alternative route as it would still take 3 years.

The best part of doing the HND at a local college 

I went to HSDC when I was 16 so I was already familiar with the surroundings, which always helps. I think the main thing though was that it offered itself as a good introduction back into that space of learning. It also enabled me to save money by not moving into student accommodation, as well as get a part-time job to support me whilst in full-time education.


I knew the top-up was something I wanted to do and that the University of Portsmouth had a good reputation

Frank Wright

Using the University's campus services while at college

I regularly visited the library to do my work. I found the resources invaluable and it was really good to surround myself in an environment with people all focussed and working on their own thing too. It also created a distinction between being in a place to work and learn, and then being able to go home and just chill out without having to think about any of the college stuff. I think this is really important and helps to create a focus when needed, but also a chance to shut off and wind down which is equally as important.

How the HND and top-up helped me in starting my career

I now work for Hampshire County Council as a Project Manager. Completing the HND and top-up meant I had a degree to my name from a top University. It helped me to develop my ability to work on my own with autonomy, and juggle multiple projects and pieces of work at one time. All of which are skills employers look for.