Certificate of Higher Education


A Certificate of Higher Education (Cert.H.E./CertHE) is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom.[1]


The Certificate is awarded after one year of full-time study (or equivalent) at a university or other higher education institution, or two years of part-time study.[1][2] A CertHE is an independent tertiary award, an award in its own right, and students can study for a CertHE in various academic disciplines.

At Level 4 on the national qualifications framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the CertHE was once viewed as the academic equivalent of the Higher National Certificate, which was perceived to be vocational.[1] However, universities have since integrated both qualifications into the first year of an undergraduate honours degree and they now can be considered equivalent academically. Prior to 2015, the CertHE was equivalent to an NVQ Level 4.[3] In Scotland, a CertHE is at Level 7 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.[4]

A CertHE is not externally regulated but is accredited by a university itself. On completion, students are permitted to use the postnominals CertHE, sometimes followed by the course name in brackets and the university from which they earned their qualification.

Sometimes, having a CertHE can exempt the holder from some of the requirements of a bachelor's degree; for example, it might reduce the length of study by one or two years, or reduce the number of courses necessary to complete the qualification.[citation needed]

Comparison with other qualificationsEdit

A CertHE is worth 120 credits; 60 within the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).[citation needed]

A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is worth 240 credits (120 ECTS), of which 120 credits must be at Level 4 with a minimum of 80 credits at Level 5. A DipHE is equivalent to the first two years of an undergraduate degree.[5]

An undergraduate degree comprises a minimum of 360 credits.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas". Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Types of courses available at higher education level". UCAS. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  3. ^ "What qualification levels mean". GOV.UK. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Communicating the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)" (PDF). scqf.org.uk. August 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  5. ^ https://universitycompare.com/advice/student/what-is-a-certificate-of-higher-education/