Higher National Certificates (HNCs)

We offer a growing number of HNCs which are practical and technical qualifications equivalent to the first year of an honours degree. All higher nationals provide specialist knowledge and skills-based experience.

HNCs form the first year of our higher national qualifications and are offered on a full-time and part-time basis, allowing you to work in your chosen industry whilst gaining a qualification.

Higher National Diplomas (HNDs)

HNDs are technical and skills-based qualifications, designed for specific types of careers. They are the equivalent to the first two years of an honours degree and are designed to help you progress into employment.

All HNC/D qualifications are awarded by Pearson Edexcel.

Over two years of Higher National study at Northampton College, you will achieve a full HND and it will cost less than going straight to university. In many cases you can progress to one of many universities across the country to top up your HND into a degree with one or two further years of study (depending on the type of degree). So, in three years, you could achieve three qualifications: an HNC, HND and a degree for less than the cost of one traditional university-delivered degree.

If you are planning to start a full-time or part-time University Level course, you will be able to apply for a student loan from the beginning of the academic year in which your course starts. For more information go to www.slc.co.uk

Higher Level Apprenticeships

If you’re employed and want to gain a University Level qualification while you work, we offer opportunities for you to progress your career. Higher Apprenticeships combine learning in the workplace with ‘off the job’ training at college. For more information, please contact 01604 734323.

Teacher education

Inspiring others through a passion for teaching and learning is a professional skill that could lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career. We have a range of courses that are relevant for all levels, from teaching assistant to lecturer:

Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training

Validated by the Pearson Awarding Body, this diploma is delivered part-time over a two year period. Classes are normally once a week in the early evening to fit around existing work arrangements.

This is the full teaching qualification for the Learning and Skills sector and successful completion allows application for QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) status. It is suitable for people employed in teaching and/or training positions in Further Education or industry and costs £2,000 per year (£4,000 for the full Diploma).

Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Award in Education and Training

This is a 14-week course for those who wish to gain an introductory teaching qualification before taking up a teaching or training role, or for those who have just started teaching or training. This course is normally available twice during the year, starting in September and then again in February. The course includes one three-hour lesson per week, held in the early evening to fit around existing work arrangements. The Award costs £500.

Professional Apprenticeship – Learning and Skills Teacher

This apprenticeship is available to new full-time teaching staff employed by Northampton College with no/little teaching experience, and includes the opportunity to study for the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, along with an estimated one day per week completing off the job training and the supported development of classroom practice during the apprenticeship. The qualification is planned to take 24 months to complete. 

If you require information about the Initial Teacher Training courses or the apprenticeship, and how to apply for them, email Amanda Baker (ITT Coordinator) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..