Who is this qualification for?

The BTEC Higher National qualifications in Business are aimed at students wanting to continue their education through applied learning. Higher Nationals provide a wide-ranging study of the business sector and are designed for students who wish to pursue or advance their career in business. In addition to the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin the study of the business sector, Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in Business give students experience of the breadth and depth of the sector that will prepare them for further study or training.

Individuals who apply for any of the BTEC Business pathways will obtain an internationally recognised qualification that prepares them for roles in industry, while gaining a sound understanding of the chosen business pathway in general. The courses are suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • School leavers
  • Mature students returning to education (with related work experience)
  • Individuals in employment who wish to improve their career prospects
  • Individuals who wish to start their own business.

Aims of the Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Business

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Business offers students six specialist pathways designed to support progression into relevant occupational areas or on to degree-level study. These pathways are linked to Professional Body standards (where appropriate) and can provide professional status and progression to direct employment.

Holders of the Level 5 Higher National Diploma will have developed a sound understanding of the principles in their field of study and will have learned to apply those principles more widely. They will have learned to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. They will be able to perform effectively in their chosen field and will have the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.

Why should I do an HND course?

  • Gain a globally recognised qualification.
  • Ideal platform to move straight into employment, or on to undergraduate studies or a professional course.
  • Gain direct entry into the 2nd or 3rd year of a bachelor’s degree at university (subject to entry requirements).
  • Funding opportunities available subject to assessment by Student Finance England.

What else could these qualifications lead to? 

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma is recognised by Higher Education providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant business-related courses, for example:

  • BSc (Hons) in Business and Management
  • BA and BSc (Hons) in Business Studies
  • BSc (Hons) in International Management.

Students should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes at specific Higher Education providers. After completing a BTEC Higher National Certificate or Diploma, students can also progress directly into employment.

The Qualification:

On successful completion of the programme you will be awarded a BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma.

Awarding Body

Modes of Delivery

  • Full-time (HNC and HND)
  • Distance / Virtual Learning
  • Blended Learning

The units are assessed using a variety of assignments, class based activities and presentations.

Duration of Programme

  • 24 months (if starting from HNC)
  • 12 months (if progressing from HNC)

Tuition Fee

  • £6000 (per annum)

What’s Included?
Classroom lessons and our virtual learning environment are used to deliver all resources for this course including:

  • Study materials
  • Tutor support
  • External resources
  • Discussion with other students
  • Workload: 15 hours per week

The Student Voice

Students are at the heart of our delivery. Pearson consulted with students in the development of these qualifications. Students were involved in writing groups, their feedback was sought, and their voices added together with the views of other stakeholders. The results are qualifications that will meet the needs and expectations of students worldwide.

Entry Requirements:

The entry requirements for our Level 4 programs are:

  • Applicants must be 18 or over
  • Open Entry: At least one GCE A level pass, with supporting passes at GCSE at Grades A, B or C in appropriate subjects
  • Mature entry: Appropriate work experience
  • APEL / APL: Students already in employment or with relevant previous experience
  • English Language Competency/Requirements
    In order for students to be successful on Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications which are both taught and assessed in English, it is critical that they have an appropriate level of English language skills. Students are required to demonstrate suitable levels of English competence.
  • General Entry Requirements
    Christ the Redeemer College London seeks to recruit students of outstanding achievement and potential from all educational backgrounds.
    This means that good examination results are the main factor in the admission of students to our courses with at least a Grade C in English and Mathematics at GCSE O Level or equivalent. In addition to this, we can also use other information supplied to us to ensure we admit students with the most outstanding potential. This information might include prior and predicted grades, evidence of knowledge and commitment in your personal statement, employer and teacher references, performance at interview and any exceptional circumstances or personal barriers to learning that you have faced. This allows us to build up a full and rounded view of all our applicants. Although Pearson does not specify formal entry requirements, as a centre we take responsibility to ensure that our prospective students have a reasonable expectation of success on the programme. For students who have recently been in education, the entry profile therefore, is likely to include one of the following:
    • A BTEC Level 3 qualification in Business
    • A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent)
    • Other related Level 3 qualifications
    • An Access to Higher Education Certificate awarded by an approved further education institution
    • Related work experience
    • An international equivalent of the above

We consider applicants’ prior learning when considering their acceptance on a BTEC Higher Nationals, through Recognition of Prior Learning.

Any students considered to be eligible for exemptions for prior study, must first have this confirmed by the awarding body of the programme they have applied for.

Enrolment Dates
January, April, September


The skills offered as part of the Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma can provide graduates with the opportunity to work in many different areas of the business sector.

Below are some examples of job roles each qualification could lead to:

ACCOUNTING FINANCE Chartered Accountant
Accounting Technician
Financial Advisor
Business Development Manager
Business Advisor
Office Manager
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Human Resource Officer/Advisor
Training and Development Officer
Recruitment Consultant
Human Resource Manager
MARKETING Channel Marketing
Sales and Promotion Marketing Executive
Communications Planner
Digital Marketing Executive
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT Logistics Distribution Manager
Supply Chains Manager
Service Delivery Manager
Retail Manager
Business Consultant
General Manager

These job roles are based on descriptions from The National Occupational Standards for Business and Management – industry standards for skills, developed in collaboration with employers, professional bodies and others which make it easier for employers to describe job roles, externally and internally.

How Higher Nationals in Business provide both transferable employability skills and academic study skills?

Students need both relevant qualifications and employability skills to enhance their career prospects and contribute to their personal development. Pearson Higher National business qualifications embed throughout the programme the development of key skills, attributes and strengths required by 21st century employers.

Where employability skills are referred to in this specification, this generally refers to skills in three main categories:

  • Cognitive and problem-solving skills: critical thinking, approaching non- routine problems by applying expert and creative solutions, use of systems and digital technology, generating and communicating ideas creatively.
  • Intra-personal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self- monitoring and self-development, self-analysis and reflection, planning and prioritising.
  • Interpersonal skills: effective communication and articulation of information, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation.

Students can also benefit from opportunities for deeper learning, where they are able to make connections between units and select areas of interest for detailed study. In this way BTEC Higher Nationals provide a vocational context in which students can develop the knowledge and academic study skills required for progression to university degree courses, including:

  • Active research skills
  • Effective writing skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Team building
  • Exam preparation skills
  • Digital literacy
  • Competence in assessment methods used in higher education

BTEC Higher Nationals are vocational qualifications of which we work with employers on the design, delivery, and assessment of the course. This ensures that students enjoy a programme of study that is engaging and relevant, and which equips them for progression.

Just as the student’s voice is important, so too is the employer’s. Employers play a significant role in the design and development of all regulated qualifications, including the Higher Nationals in Business. This input should extend into the learning experience, where engagement with employers will add value to students, particularly in transferring theory into practice.

We consider a range of employer engagement activities. These could include:

  • Field trips to local businesses
  • Inviting members of the local business community to present guest lectures
  • Using employers to judge the quality of assessed presentations
  • (For the more entrepreneurial) establishing a panel of experts who students can pitch an idea to.

Students are integral to teaching and learning. As such it is important that they are involved as much as possible with most aspects of the programme on to which they are enrolled. This input could include taking into account their views on how teaching and learning will take place, their role in helping to design a curriculum, or on the assessment strategy that will test their knowledge and understanding.

There are many ways in which we capture the student voice and student feedback, both formal and informal. Formal mechanisms include the nomination of student representatives to act as the collective student voice for each student cohort, student representation at course team meetings, and an elected Higher Education representative as part of the Student Union. Student forums also take place periodically throughout the year with minutes and action plans updated and informing the overall annual course monitoring process. Unit specific feedback is also collated by students completing unit feedback forms, end of year course evaluations, and scheduled performance review meetings with their tutor.

However, this is not the only time when feedback from students is sought. Discourse with students is constant, teachers adopt a ‘reflection on action’ approach to adjust teaching, so that students are presented with an environment that is most supportive of their learning styles. Just as employers could have an input into assessment design, so too could students. This supports the development of assignments that are exciting and dynamic, and fully engage students in meaningful and informative assessment.

The biggest advantage of consulting students on their teaching, learning and assessment is securing their engagement in their own learning. Students feel empowered and develop a sense of ownership of all matters related to teaching, learning and assessment, not just their own experiences. Students could also view themselves as more accountable to their lecturers, ideally seeing themselves as partners in their own learning and not just part of a process.

Condensed and expanded delivery

At Christ The Redeemer College, we recognise that learners have different needs and varying levels of learning abilities.  Therefore, we offer the BTEC courses in both condensed expanded delivery modes.

Both versions have their advantages: the condensed version provides an opportunity for students to gain early success and achievement. This enhances their self-efficacy (the sense of one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed) and self-confidence, with teachers being able to identify and respond to less able students early in the teaching and learning cycle. The advantages of the expanded version include providing a longer timescale for students to absorb new knowledge and therefore, potentially, improve success, and giving tutors an opportunity to coach and support less able students over a longer period.

As there are pros and cons to both approaches, the use of a planning forum helps to ensure the most suitable approach.  We may choose to deliver the first teaching block using the expanded version, with the subsequent teaching block being delivered through a condensed approach.  This approach applies equally to programmes that are being delivered face-to-face or through distance learning.

We use wide range of techniques to deliver the scheme of work.

The table below lists some of the techniques that we use in a planned programme structure.

Technique Face-to-Face Distance Learning
Lectures and seminars These are the most common techniques used by tutors. They offer an opportunity to engage with many students, where the focus is on sharing knowledge through the use of presentations. Delivery would be through video conferencing and/or pre-recorded audio and/or visual material, available through an online platform. Synchronous discussion forums could also be used.
Workshops These are used to build on knowledge shared via tutors and seminars. Teaching can be more in-depth where knowledge is applied, for example to case studies or real-life examples.

Workshops could be student-led, where students present, for example, findings from independent study.

While more challenging to organise than for face-to-face delivery, workshops should not be dismissed. Smaller groups of three or four students could access a forum simultaneously and engage in the same type of activity as for face-to-face.
Tutorials These present an opportunity for focused one-to-one support, where teaching is led by an individual student’s requirements. These can be most effective in the run up to assessment, where tutors can provide more focused direction, perhaps based on a formative assessment. Other than not necessarily being in the same room as a student, tutors could still provide effective tutorials. Video conferencing tools provide the means to see a student, which makes any conversation more personal.
Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) These are invaluable to students studying on a face-to-face programme. Used effectively, VLEs not only provide a repository for taught material such as presentation slides or handouts but could be used to set formative tasks such as quizzes. Further reading could also be located on a VLE, along with a copy of the programme documents, such as the handbook and assessment timetable. A VLE is a must if students are engaged with online delivery through distance or blended learning, as this would be the primary or the key source of learning. Where distance learning is primarily delivered through hard copies of workbooks, etc., the same principle would apply as for face-to-face learning.
Blended learning The combination of traditional face-to-face learning and online learning. This can enable the students to gain personalised support, instruction and guidance while completing assigned activities and tasks remotely. Offline learning enables students to develop autonomy and self- discipline by completing set activities and tasks with limited direction and traditional classroom-based constraints.
Work-based learning Any opportunity to integrate work-based learning into a curriculum should be taken. This adds realism and provides students with an opportunity to link theory to practice in a way in which case studies do not. Many full-time students are involved in some form of employment, either paid or voluntary, which could be used, where appropriate, as part of their learning, for example when assignments require students to contextualise a response to a real organisation. It is likely that most distance learning students would be employed and possibly classed as mature students. Bringing theory to life through a curriculum, which requires work- based application of knowledge, would make learning for these students more relevant and meaningful. Perhaps more importantly, assessment should be grounded in a student’s place of work, wherever possible.
Guest speakers These could be experts from industry or visiting academics in the subject area that is being studied. They could be used to present a lecture/seminar, a workshop or to contribute to assessment. The objective is to make the most effective use of an expert’s knowledge and skill by adding value to the teaching and learning experience. As long as the expert has access to the same platform as the students then the value-added contribution would still be very high. Consideration would need to be given to timings and logistics, but with some innovative management this technique would still have a place in distance learning programmes.
Field trips Effectively planned field trips, which have a direct relevance to the syllabus, would add value to the learning experience. Through these trips, students could relate theory to practice, have an opportunity to experience organisations in action, and potentially open their minds to career routes. The use of field trips could be included as part of a distance learning programme. They will add the same value and require the same planning. One additional benefit of field trips for distance learning is that they provide an opportunity for all students in a cohort to meet, which is a rare occurrence for distance learning students.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a method of assessment (leading to the award of credit) that considers whether students can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess, and so do not need to develop through a course of learning.

We recognise students’ previous achievements and experiences whether at work, home or at leisure, as well as in the classroom. RPL provides a route for the recognition of the achievements resulting from continuous learning. RPL enables recognition of achievement from a range of activities using any valid assessment methodology. Provided that the assessment requirements of a given unit or qualification have been met, the use of RPL is acceptable for accrediting a unit, units or a whole qualification. Evidence of learning must be valid and reliable.

Students seeking RPL need to book an appointment with the Course Leader to review their previous academic attainments and work experience.

Equality and fairness are central to the provision at Christ The Redeemer College. Promoting equality and diversity involves treating everyone with equal dignity and worth, while also raising aspirations and supporting achievement for people with diverse requirements, entitlements, and backgrounds. An inclusive environment for learning anticipates the varied requirements of students and aims to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities.

Equality of opportunity involves enabling access for people who have differing individual requirements as well as eliminating arbitrary and unnecessary barriers to learning. In addition, students with and without disabilities are offered learning opportunities that are equally accessible to them, by means of inclusive qualification design.

The college’s equality policy requires all students to have equal opportunity to access our qualifications and assessments.

We are committed to making sure that:

  • Students with protected characteristics (as defined in legislation) are not, when they are undertaking one of our courses, disadvantaged in comparison to students who do not share those characteristics.
  • All students achieve the recognition they deserve from undertaking a qualification and that this achievement can be compared fairly to the achievement of their peers.

Our policy regarding access to its qualifications is that:

  • They should be available to everyone who can reach the required standards
  • They should be free from any barriers that restrict access and progression
  • There should be equal opportunities for all those wishing to access the qualifications.


The college offers the following pathways in Pearson BTEC HND Business. Please read these in conjunction with the Business Specification document.