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Computing & IT

Computer technology is increasingly embedded in business processes and society, so there are always opportunities for suitably qualified professionals. Equivalent to two years of a university degree, this Computing HND offers you the practical and personal skills needed for a role in the sector or progression to higher-level study.


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The Higher Education courses shown on Bolton College’s website are taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton. Therefore, all the information applicants and learners provide will be shared between these two organisations. Applicants and learners will receive communication from both the University of Bolton and Bolton College. Student Finance Loan applications should be made using the institution ‘University of Bolton’ not Bolton College.

BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing

  • Key Information

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    Award: HND
    Mode of Study: Full-time
    Duration: 2 Years
    Location: Bolton College
    UCAS Points: 48
    UCAS code: 104G
    Start Date: 19/09/2022

  • Course Details

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    This HND BTEC Computing course is taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton.


    This Level 5 HND in Computing can help you turn your interest in technology into a rewarding career opportunity. It’s designed to develop your knowledge and skills across a range of computing and information technologies essential to businesses in this evolving economic sector. The course also aims to help you gain key transferable skills that employers highly value.


    Throughout the course, our team of dedicated experts will guide you as you gain knowledge and understanding, as well as practical, professional and subject-specific skills. Your studies will focus on the core knowledge required by all computing professionals, such as programming, networking, database design and development, security, professional practice, business intelligence and how to manage a successful computing project. You’ll build on this learning with optional units that concentrate on developing your understanding and skills in areas such as games development and advanced programming, where you can use your imagination and creativity to modify and manipulate software to create animations and cutting-edge interfaces.


    We’ll help you learn essential skills from problem-solving, supporting individual computer users and organisations, and maintaining and managing their online systems. You’ll undertake an individual research project, where you’ll explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of computing in the context of a business environment. Overall, we’ll support you as you develop cognitive, intellectual and thinking skills and gain valuable key, personal and transferable skills ready for employment or further study.

  • Highlights

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    • The course provides opportunities for you to progress towards achieving eligibility for professional body membership and vendor certifications with organisations such as the BCS, CompTIA, CISCO, Microsoft, Oracle and AXELOS.
    • The computer suites at Bolton College offer up-to-date, high-specification equipment and software.
    • We’ll encourage you to undertake a work placement during the summer break. This is recommended but is not a course requirement.
    • Upon successfully completing this programme, you’ll be awarded a Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing.
    • Bolton College scores highly in student satisfaction surveys for its HE provision, and we take pride in being able to offer you the opportunity to learn from our industry-experienced staff.
  • Key Features

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    • This course offers essential subject knowledge that you’ll need to progress successfully within or into the world of work or onto further study.
    • Our approach to teaching and learning is student-centred, so we’ll work with you on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout your studies.
    • You’ll have the opportunity to develop and enhance crucial skills such as communication, teamwork, organising and planning, numeracy, problem-solving, flexibility and adaptability, action planning, self-awareness, initiative, personal impact and confidence, environmental sustainability, and social, public and ethical responsibility.
    • You’ll have the chance to participate in project trips to gain first-hand experience in the industry and gain knowledge and insights from guest speakers during class time.
  • Professional Recognition

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    Holders of the Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing are eligible for Associate Membership of the BCS. The BCS represents IT professionals both in the UK and internationally and is a member organisation of CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies).

  • Entry Requirements

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    • 48 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
    • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
    • You should also have two GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) in English and Mathematics.
    • This course is also open to applicants who have extensive appropriate work experience in the IT sector. If you don’t possess the academic qualifications listed above but have extensive appropriate work experience, we’ll be delighted to consider your application.
    • You’ll be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
    • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.


    Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


    If you apply or enrol on this course, Bolton College and the University of Bolton will share the information you provide. You'll also receive communications from both organisations.


  • Career Opportunities

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    If you choose to complete a BTEC HND in Computing, it’s expected that you’ll be aiming to go on to employment or progress to a final year at university. Pearson developed these qualifications in close collaboration with experts from employers, vendors, professional bodies, universities and colleges to ensure you gain the skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in the future – whichever route you take.


    What can I do with this qualification?

    This HND is designed to prepare you for a career in general computing in roles such as systems analyst, data designer, systems tester, database administrator, IT project manager, IT support technician and web designer.


    If you successfully complete the Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND in Computing, you’ll be able to progress onto a higher level qualification. For instance, you’ll be eligible to apply for final year top-up programmes, such as the University of Bolton’s BSc (Hons) Computing (Top-up). Further study in specialist areas such as network engineering, software engineering, data analytics, security, intelligent systems, and applications development should also be possible.


    Alternative career options

    Diploma holders can also use the qualification as a stepping stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, relevant experience and/or further study may be required. Some of these careers include:

    • Digital copywriting
    • IT sales
    • IT training
    • Teaching
    • Research and development
    • Network engineering
    • Product management
    • Technical writing
    • Social media management
    • Cyber security
    • Information systems management
    • Games development
  • Fees & Funding

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    Univeristy course fees

    Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on for information. 

    The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

    For 2021-2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


    Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


  • How To Apply

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    For valued members of the University of Bolton Group and progressing students, we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible.


    If you have carefully considered your course and institution choices and decided that this course is the best option for you, you may apply free of charge to the University. By selecting the appropriate link from the list shown below, you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this, and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.


    When you are asked to add a contact email address, please ensure you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address, we will be unable to identify you as a partner and offer you the benefits of being part of our group.


    NOTE: You cannot apply both through UCAS and directly to Bolton. Submitting an application to any university through UCAS during the same academic year will void any direct application you make to Bolton.


    For courses starting in September, please be aware that we are required to share your information with UCAS if we accept you on this course. We will create a simplified UCAS acceptance record on your behalf and return this to UCAS. By submitting your application directly to the University of Bolton, you agree to these terms.


    If you are ready to apply directly, please select your chosen start date from the list below.


    Before applying, please read the entry requirements section of this page.


    If your course runs at multiple locations or has various start dates, please be sure to select the correct application link from the list below.


    Before beginning your application, you should have the following information to hand:

    • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

    • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

    • Details of any employment history, including name, address, dates and role

    • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

    • Details including email addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference


    Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

    Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already inputted.


    If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or



    We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

  • Teaching & Assessment

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    The varied nature of this HND programme means that we use a wide range of teaching and learning methods. In order to ensure you acquire and develop the appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills, we combine timetabled classes with student-centred and independent learning. You can expect to attend lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and informal group study sessions. There will also be opportunities to go on site visits to view state-of-the-art projects, and attend guest lectures by specialists from industry, professional bodies or other academic institutions.

    There are significant opportunities to spend time with the tutors and technicians during timetabled classes, practical work and tutorials. However, we’ll still expect you to devote a significant amount of time to personal study. For example, this time might be spent engaging in general background reading, revisiting practical work, attending technical meetings and lectures provided by professional bodies or working on assignments.

    We use a range of assessment methods, depending upon the learning outcome in question and the type of module content being assessed. You’ll have opportunities to test your understanding of subjects informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark or grade. Each module/unit will normally contain at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you’ll receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades/marks you receive for them do not count toward your module/unit mark or grade.

    There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module/unit. Methods include a range of coursework assessment such as exams, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, and final year major project. The grades from the formal assessments count towards your module/unit mark or grade.



    The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

    • Programming
    • Networking
    • Professional Practice
    • Database Design and Development
    • Security
    • Managing a Successful Computing Project (Pearson Set)
    • Computer Systems Architecture
    • Website Design and Development
    • Computing Research Project (Pearson Set)
    • Business Intelligence
    • Advanced Programming
    • Network Security
    • E-Commerce and Strategy
    • Game Design Theory
    • User Experience and Interface Design


    Assessment methods


    Assessment method

    Level One

    Coursework (100%)

    Level Two

    Coursework (100%)


    Learning activities


    Learning activity

    Level One

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

    Level Two

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)



    The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


  • Contact Us

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    Maggie Adeptun
    Programme Leader, Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482275

    Maxine Houghton
    Curriculum Leader, Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482274


    Information Team
    Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482000