Diploma to Degree: A pathway to success with Scottish Qualifications Authority

Students and staff at Glasgow Clyde College and Glasgow Caledonian University feature in a short film produced by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) that highlights the value of SQA’s Higher National qualifications and the partnership agreements that allow successful HN students into years two or three of a degree programme at university.

The video, filmed at each campus, demonstrates the benefits to students of completing a HN qualification before moving on to a university degree.

And with EAIE 2015 - Europe's largest international higher education conference - in Glasgow this week - it’s a great example of one of the routes into university education available to students who study in Scotland.

SQA interviewed Eric Brownlie, Director of Learning and Teaching at Glasgow Clyde College who talked about the benefits of agreements between colleges and universities. He said: “Articulation arrangements between colleges and universities have strengthened a lot in the last few years and that has really helped young people to gain advanced entry into university. HND qualifications are now widely recognised by universities as a logical route into study.”

Julia Weedon, Head of College Recruitment and Partnerships at Glasgow Caledonian University spoke about the positive impact that HND qualifications have on students. She said: “Joining year three of our degree programmes gives students the opportunity to have qualifications for every year of study whilst at college – and be job ready. The importance of having qualifications, work experience and links into industry sectors, before coming to university, are very advantageous.”

Katie Stewart, Articulation Assistant at Glasgow Caledonian University talked about her personal experiences of studying a HND at college and how it prepared her for advanced entry at university. She said: “While studying for my HND a lot of the assessments techniques that we used were the same as we have at university, there was a lot of focus on presentations and also group assessments…having experience of knowing how to work in those situations gave me a head start on classmates.”

John McMorris, Director of Business Development at SQA said: “SQA has agreements in place with a range of institutions enabling progression for HND graduates to articulate directly onto the second or third year of a university degree. The partnership between Glasgow Clyde College and Glasgow Caledonian University is a great example of the strength of our Higher National Qualifications and the articulation agreements we have in place with higher education institutions across Scotland.

“Our Higher National Diploma has been a key foundation upon which generations of successful careers have been built, providing students with the skills and experience they need to excel for over 90 years. Increasingly our HND allows graduates to progress onto degree programmes at a host of prestigious universities across Scotland and around the world.”

Find out more about SQA articulation agreements through Diploma to Degree.