Student working on a computer

UCAS code


Mode of Study



2 years full-time

Start date

September 2023


If you're seaching for a way into computing – whether that's creating smartphone apps, connecting businesses, or helping communities talk to each other – you'll find this Higher National Diploma (HND) Computing course a smart answer.

You'll learn the computing methods that lie behind the systems millions of people rely on daily, including programming, networking, business intelligence and IT security. You'll also use your learning to solve practical issues in placement and community project opportunities. When you graduate, you'll be prepared for work in the computing industry, or for top-up study to convert your HND into a Bachelor's degree. 

This course is open to UK and EU students, and to international students who don't need a Student Route Visa.

This course takes place at Isle of Wight College in Newport.

Isle of Wight College

Find out more

While studying at Isle of Wight College, you can access our student support services and community including study support, the Students’ Union and our library's online resources.

Course highlights

  • Learn the skills you need for your computing career, studying with staff who have industry experience
  • Get experience of working in the computing sector through a work placement
  • Shape your studies to match your interests and work aspirations
  • Discover how to enhance lives with your computing skills, and work on community projects and events
  • Study at Isle of Wight College in Newport, with access to the latest computing learning resources, journals and publications
  • Have access to the University's student support services and community including the Library, study support, sport and recreation facilities, and the Student Union
  • Skip the UCAS process and apply directly to our BSc (Hons) Computing, if you decide you want to continue your studies

Entry requirements

HND Computing entry requirements

Typical offers
  • An A level in Computing or related subject,
  • T level (Merit) in:
    • Digital: Digital Production, Design and Development
    • Digital Business Services
    • Digital Support and Services
    • Science
  • Level 3 vocational equivalent (diploma / extended diploma), or
  • equivalent industry experience in a relevant field
Selection process
  • Applicants will be invited to attend an interview, to which you should bring a portfolio or e-portfolio of recent work.
  • This interview will include an admissions test and a tour of the facilities.

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Careers and opportunities

The computing expertise you develop on this course will set you up for employment in areas including systems design and analysis, commercial or scientific systems development and web development.

What jobs can you do with a Computing HND?

Roles you could go into could include:

  • Business continuity analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Web developer
  • Systems analyst
  • Computer programmer
  • Online course developer

If you want to continue your studies, you can top up your HND to a Bachelor's degree by joining the final year of the BSc (Hons) Computing course.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Futureproof your career

What you'll study on this HND Computing course

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. In each year, you need to study modules worth 120 credits.

Modules currently being studied

Core modules in this year include:

  • Computer Systems Architecture – 15 credits
  • Database Design and Development – 15 credits
  • Managing a Successful Computing Project – 15 credits
  • Networking – 15 credits
  • Professional Practice – 15 credits
  • Programming – 15 credits
  • Security – 15 credits
  • Website Design and Development – 15 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Advanced Programming – 15 credits
  • Business Intelligence – 15 credits
  • Computing Research Project – 30 credits
  • Database Management Systems – 15 credits
  • Games Development – 15 credits
  • Operating Systems – 15 credits
  • User Experience and Interface Design – 15 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


There's an emphasis on interactive teaching on this course, giving you the chance to take a leading role in your own learning. Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops and discussion groups
  • Tutorials
  • Practical and coaching sessions
  • Work-based learning (during your placement in year 2)

How you're assessed

The way you're assessed on this course reflects the requirements of the computing industry. You'll be assessed through:

  • Examinations
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Projects, portfolios and case studies
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Oral assessments through presentations or discussion groups

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

You'll normally spend 2 days a week at the Isle of Wight College, and you'll need to do some reading and additional studies above those contact hours. Your days in college will include lectures, seminars, workshops and discussion groups, tutorials and practical sessions. You'll work in supportive small group environments with experienced teaching staff, as well as studying by yourself.

Term dates

You'll follow the Isle of Wight College term dates on this course. 

Supporting your learning

Even though you'll study at one of our partner colleges, you'll still be a student of the University of Portsmouth.

You'll have access to support via video, phone and face-to-face from University teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following University services:

Types of support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees 

2023 start

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £6,165 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £6,165 per year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £19,200 (subject to annual increase)

This course is only open to international students who don't need a Student Route Visa.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Costs breakdown

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees. So you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £100 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Contact our Housing Support Team if you need help and advice about accommodation.


How to apply

To start this course in 2023, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – G402
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.