HNDs are modern qualifications, designed for ambitious, career-minded students that want to progress into a job or university. If you’ve got a clear idea of what industry you want to work in and would like to take a course that will let you use your creativity and ambition, a HND could be for you.

Read more

HND in Ireland fast facts:

  • Studied over two years
  • Taught in 21 Irish Further Education institutes
  • A diverse range of 17 subject areas available
  • Many universities consider HNDs equivalent to the first two years of a degree
  • More than 1000 Irish students are currently enrolled on an HND
  • Part of the world’s most popular vocational qualifications suite – BTEC

Why study an HND?

Studying an HND is about putting theory into practice. You’ll learn everything you need to know about working in an industry through a combination of classroom time, independent study and hands-on practical tasks, where you get the chance to do the kinds of things you will one day do in the workplace. Things like:

  • Produce a radio show
  • Write a business plan
  • Create a computer game animation
  • Design a poster
  • Sketch a portfolio of fashion designs
  • Film and edit a documentary
  • Devise a personal training plan
  • Record and produce a music track
  • Direct a play

HNDs are career-minded. HND students are helped to decide what kind of job they want to do after graduation and supported to make the transition into work.

Many HNDs provide work placement opportunities, giving students hands-on experience of how what they’re learning applies in a real workplace. Because HNDs are highly valued by employers for the in-depth skills and know-how they provide, they provide excellent employment opportunities.

HNDs are widely recognised by universities as equivalent to the first two years of a degree. This means an HND can get you ‘advanced entry’ to the second/final year of more than 1,300 degree courses worldwide, giving you the best of both worlds: studying in Ireland for two years before getting a degree with one/two years of overseas study. Visit our Degree Course Finder to see where an HND could take you. 

Because HNDs are designed in consultation with employers, there is a huge range of subject areas available and each one is closely aligned to an industry sector. Some subject areas have a number of pathway options within them, allowing students to specialise towards a particular job role or professional area.

Read more about some of the most popular HND
subject areas in Ireland today

Creative Media Production Art and Design Business
The most varied of the HND subject areas, Creative Media Production covers specialisms as diverse as radio, journalism, moving image, computer games. There is also a general subject study option, covering a range of key areas. Covering the diverse and exciting world of art and design, this subject area includes specialisation in 3D design, graphic design, fine art and interactive media. There is also a general subject study option, covering a range of key areas. This HND subject area includes specialisation options in all the main areas of business: management, marketing, accounting, law and human resource management. There is also a general subject study option, covering a range of key areas.

Find out about the HND subjects you can study in Ireland