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Your Questions Answered – What are HTQs?

10 August 2022
- 3 Minute Read

Earlier this year, we announced university-level IT and computing learners can now to choose to specialise in cyber security, network engineering or software engineering via a HTQ. But what is an HTQ?

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are technical qualifications that are approved by employers. There are many different types and are usually taught in the classroom at colleges, universities or independent training providers. HTQs are an alternative to apprenticeships or degrees. They may suit you if you want a more practical, employer-led study programme.

HTQ qualifications have been developed by awarding bodies in collaboration with employers and businesses so that you get the specific training, knowledge and skills required for your chosen career. After completing your HTQ in your chosen field, employers will regard you as highly employable.

What are the types of HTQ?

There are many different types of HTQs, such as:

  • higher national diplomas
  • higher national certificates
  • foundation degrees
  • higher education diplomas

Not all higher national diplomas, higher national certificates, foundation degrees and higher education diplomas will be HTQs. Look out for the HTQ quality mark to tell you if a qualification has been approved.

Can I start a HTQ?

To start a HTQ, you’ll need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • live in England

You can apply for a HTQ while you’re still at school.

What are the entry requirements?

Each educational provider sets their own entry requirements for HTQs. The grades or qualifications you’ll need to have will depend on the type of course you’re applying for. You can check out our entry requirements here.

What level is an HTQ?

Our bespoke IT degree programme incorporates a one-year HNC, one-year HND and one-year top-up degree, taught in partnership with UWE Bristol, out of our impressive £3m Advanced Digital Academy at Cheltenham Campus.

The HNC – Higher National Certificate – is equivalent to the first year of university and covers modules such as programming, web design, networking, database design, software development lifecycles, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

 The HND – Higher National Diploma – is equivalent to the second year of university and is the point at which students can choose to specialise in cyber security, software engineering or network engineering. Modules include network management, network security, forensics, Internet of Things, cloud computing and app development.

What are the fees involved?

Tuition fees vary depending on the course. You may also be eligible for funding from student finance, grant or bursary. This will depend on your circumstances and the type of HTQ you’re studying. Get in touch with our Student Services team to find out more.

Will there be work placements?

Work placements are not usually included on a HTQ.

However, many courses do offer you practical skills and experience through:

  • workshops
  • labs
  • work experience

Studying at GC means you will have access to our unrivalled connections to employers across the county.

What happens after I complete a HTQ?

After completing a HTQ, you can:

  • get a job in your chosen career
  • go on to further study, such as getting a degree
  • volunteer to help build your skills and experience

If you have any unanswered questions, get in touch with our Student Services team. Alternatively, if you are ready to apply, click the button below.


Why Gloucestershire College?

We guide any ambitious and motivated person on their journey through education and their career, by providing the right environment that encourages and nurtures individual talents.

Our industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching team provide our students with the skills businesses truly need.

We are here to help

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90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

Ofsted has rated us good.

  • We offer industry relevant facilities
  • Our lecturers are passionate subject specialists
  • Employers value our students' skills

We'll look after you. We have dedicated teams to help you and a great Learning Mentor scheme.