Difference Between HND and B.A.

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    HND vs B.A.

    Higher National Diploma and Bachelor of Arts are two different higher qualification diplomas and degrees respectively.


    “HND” is acronym for “Higher National Diploma.” It is awarded in the United Kingdom. It is a diploma qualification and is used to get admission into universities. It is equal to the first and second year of a three-year degree course in a university. There are two levels or modules of HND. The universities accept students as either into their second year or third year in a four-year course. This is often called “top up.” After the three years, a student may have two different degrees: HND and Honors degree. This system is applicable in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It is equivalent to level 5 on the National Qualification Framework.

    The HND is a BTEC, or business and technology qualification. It is awarded by Edexcel. An HND can be completed in either a two-year, full-time course or a one-year, full-time course after acquiring the higher national certificate. After the completion of the diploma, the students can use “HND” after their names. The HND is graded as per the GNVQ. The HND in Scotland is different. It is awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The HND is equivalent to a level 8 on the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework.


    “B.A.” stands for “Bachelor of Arts.” It is an undergraduate course for liberal arts. It is a bachelor’s degree and takes three to four years depending upon the particular country. In European Union countries it is completed in three years. A B.A. is commonly used for the degrees; B.A. ordinary degree or B.A. (Hons).

    In the U.K. and Ireland, the B.A. degree is awarded to students of liberal arts only, but in some ancient universities like Oxford and Cambridge and Dublin, the system is different. In these universities, the B.A. degree is given to students who have already completed the final examination either in arts or science.

    In the United States, a B.A. stands for “Bachelor of Arts” or A.B. which stands for “Artium baccalaureus.” These are undergraduate degrees especially given to students of language, literature, math, social sciences, humanity, history, etc.


    1.“HND” stands for “Higher National Diploma”; “B.A.” stands for “Bachelor of Arts.”
    2.The HND is a business and technology qualification while a B.A. is an undergraduate course for liberal arts including, literature, math, social sciences, history, humanities, etc.
    3.An HND can be completed in either a two-year, full-time course or a one-year, full-time course after acquiring a Higher National Certificate. A B.A. is a three- or four-year course depending upon the country.
    4.An HND is basically a European diploma awarded by England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland; a B.A. is awarded in Europe, U.S., and Asia, etc.

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