Higher National Diploma

Internationally recognised qualifications.

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is an academic higher education qualification in the United Kingdom and various other countries. Qualification of the same title is also offered in Nigeria, Argentina, Brunei, India, Malta, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and some other countries with British ties. 

This qualification can be used to gain entry to over 95% of UK universities including the University of Oxford or Cambridge at an advanced level (admission to Year 3 of a bachelor degree); HND is equivalent to a foundation degree or the first two years of a bachelor degree. 

Higher National Diplomas are graded, usually based on a weighted average of the marks gained in exams and other assessments. Grade boundaries may vary by institution, but usually follow the boundaries given below:

Distinction – typically 70% and higher

Merit – typically 60-69%

Pass – typically 40-59%


Degree and Diploma Recognition

The recognition in Portugal of higher education degrees and diplomas awarded by foreign higher education institutions is regulated, since January 1st 2019, by Decree-Law no. 66/2018. This Decree-Law repeals the previous two regarding these issues, Decree-Law no. 283/83 and Decree-Law no. 341/2007.

The new Decree-Law standardizes the procedures for the recognition of foreign qualifications, making them more transparent, equitable and simple, introducing changes to the previous legal regimes by clarifying concepts, and widening the recognition to short cycle higher-education diplomas that have identical level, objectives and nature to Portuguese professional higher education technical courses. Simplified procedures are introduced, namely by establishing a system of precedence for the recognition of level, which guarantees a more automatic process for the decision, avoiding repetition, reducing costs and response times for recognition decisions.

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