NextGen: HN - Articulation and Progression

We are committed to providing guidance, training, and support to enable centres to engage in meaningful articulation and progression conversations with their Higher Education institution (HEI) partners.

We want to ensure colleges are in the best possible position to develop workable local articulation agreements which are in the spirit of our NextGen: HN principles.

Support for centres

We have focused on working collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders on this work to date.

We are also happy to attend meetings with staff in centres to discuss issues relating to articulation and progression and answer any questions.

We can support centres with discussions on progression from HNCs to HNDs – either from existing HNCs to NextGen HNDs, or progression between colleges.

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What will articulation and progression look like?

Articulation from NextGen HNC to HEIs

Articulation agreements between colleges and HEIs are generally, although not exclusively, local arrangements and are based on the notion of credit accumulation and transfer (CAT).

The opportunity to enter employment or progress along the SCQF framework into further college or university study has long been widely recognised as one of the key strengths of SQA’s Higher National provision. The NextGen development will strengthen these opportunities for articulation and progression and ensure they are protected and enhanced. HEIs may offer advanced standing - direct entry to second year of degree programmes - to students based on the level they have achieved.

Articulation is currently defined by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) as ‘a student gaining entry into the second year of a degree with a Higher National Certificate (HNC) gained at college, or into the third year with a Higher National Diploma (HND) gained at college’.

Therefore, with prior arrangement, a collaborative ‘matching of content’ and a satisfying of any further University conditions a student gaining a NextGen HNC could articulate to a second year of a degree.

Articulation to a NextGen HND in same institution.

There are many routes that could lead to a HND within the same institution.

If the preceding study level was a NextGen HNC the articulation is straightforward. However, at this early stage it is possible that the preceding qualification was a non-NextGen HNC.

It is relatively common practice that most colleges would allow their students to achieve 15 credits at HNC level as a matter of course. Given this, and in keeping with previous handovers between old and new qualifications, the college will need to review its own frameworks. Where direct articulation gaps are evident, the college should consider Recognition of Prior Learning.

Once entry has been gained to the NextGen HND, further articulation should be possible to third year of a degree if the above conditions are met.

Articulation to a non-NextGen HND in a different institution

NextGen HNs are standalone. Therefore, a student who has succeeded in a NextGen HNC will bring 15 credits as an entry offer to a NextGen HND. Centres will have to assess whether or not the relevant knowledge has been covered for potential success in HND and beyond. Again, recognition of prior learning may be used to facilitate this.

Articulation for part-time and day release learners

For students studying in these modes, recognition of prior learning can allow 'fast-track' assessment and centres can assess the current level of prior knowledge and build upon it, allowing for work-based experience and academic success to be fairly considered.

NextGen: HN webinar recording and blog post

Watch a recording of our recent articulation and progression webinar and read the associated blog post.