Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing

Qualification codes Ofqual Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Qualification numbers:

Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing: 603/0471/6
Purpose of the Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in Computing
The purpose of Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in Computing is to develop students as professional, self-reflecting individuals able to meet the demands of employers in the computing sector and adapt to a constantly changing world. The qualifications aim to widen access to higher education and enhance the career prospects of those who undertake them.
Objectives of the Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in Computing
The objectives of the Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in Computing are as follows:

  • To equip students with computing skills, knowledge and the understanding necessary to achieve high performance in the global computing environment.
  • To provide education and training for a range of careers in computing, including network engineering, software engineering, data analytics, security, intelligent systems, and applications development.
  • To provide insight and understanding into international computing operations and the opportunities and challenges presented by a globalised market place.
  • To equip students with knowledge and understanding of culturally diverse organisations, cross-cultural issues, diversity and values.
  • To provide opportunities for students to enter or progress in employment in computing, or progress to higher education qualifications such as an Honours degree in computing or a related area.
  • To provide opportunities for students to develop the skills, techniques and personal attributes essential for successful working lives.
  • To provide opportunities for those students with a global outlook to aspire to international career pathways.
  • To provide opportunities for students to achieve a nationally recognised professional qualification.
  • To provide opportunities for students to achieve vendor accredited certifications.
  • To offer students the chance of career progression in their chosen field.
  • To allow flexibility of study and to meet local or specialist needs.
  • To offer a balance between employability skills and the knowledge essential for students with entrepreneurial, employment or academic aspirations.

Who is this qualification for?
The Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications in Computing are aimed at students wanting to continue their education through applied learning. Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals provide a wide-ranging study of the computing sector and are designed for students who wish to pursue or advance their career in computing. In addition to the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin the study of the computing sector, Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in computing give students experience of the breadth and depth of the sector that will prepare them for further study or training.
Once you have successfully completed the HND you can continue on to study the third year of a degree or honours degree at a number of UK and International Universities.
The BTEC Higher National Qualifications have been developed with career progression in mind. They allow for progression into or within employment in the business sector, either directly on achievement of the award or following further study to a degree.
This qualification is suitable for students who have already decided that they wish to enter this area of work or for others who wish to use this qualification as a stepping stone in order to enter the specialist area of computing.
Registration is the process which formalises entry to the awarding body for Learner’s for a qualification of a programme subject and level. Certification is the process of claiming a certificate in recognition of a Learner’s achievement of a qualification. The Registration and Certification Fee is included in the tuition fees.
Entry requirements and admissions
Although Pearson do not specify formal entry requirements, as a centre it is your responsibility to ensure that the students you recruit have a reasonable expectation of success on the programme.
Pearson BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals in Computing
The entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • A BTEC Level 3 qualification in Computing
  • A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent) and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent)
  • Other related Level 3 qualifications
  • An Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved further education institution
  • Related work experience
  • An international equivalent of the above.

Centres may wish consider applicants’ prior learning when considering their acceptance on a Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals, through Recognition of Prior Learning.
English language requirements

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2; or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 5.5; with both Reading and Writing elements at 5.5;

Mature applicants – a minimum of 3 years work IT experience and meet the English language requirement.
Assessment of BTEC Higher Nationals is by assignment, typically one or two assignments per module. These assignments will vary and include a mix of formal reports, presentations and practical tasks, but there will be no formal exams.
All modules will be individually graded as ‘pass’, ‘merit’ or ‘distinction’ To achieve a full qualification you must pass all 8 Modules to achieve the Higher National Certificate and all 15 modules to achieve the Higher National Diploma.
Its includes, for example, lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations, group discussions, and case study analyses

Full Time: Two Years
Part Time: Three Years

January, May & September
*Course commencement – Subject to number of student applications
Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing

  • Qualification credit value: a minimum of 240 credits of which 120 credits are at Level 5, and 120 credits are at Level 4 and usually attained via the HNC.
  • Total Qualification Time (TQT) Higher National Diploma (HND) = 2,400 hours.
  • Total Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Higher National Diploma (HND) = 960 hours

Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing

Unit Unit Credit Level
Core Unit Mandatory Programming 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory Networking 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory Professional Practice 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory Database Design & Development 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory Security 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory Managing a Successful Computing Project (Pearson – Set) 15 4
Optional Strategies Information Systems 15 4
Optional Website Design & Development 15 4


Unit Unit Credit Level
Core Unit Mandatory Computing Research Project (Pearson – Set) 30 5
Core Unit Mandatory Business Intelligence 15 5
Optional Network Security 15 5
Optional Information Security Management 15 5
Optional Artificial Intelligence 15 5
Optional Systems Analysis & Design 15 5
Optional Networking Management 15 5

Course specification is available on: