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Progression to higher education 

Higher Technical Qualifications 

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are Level 4 and 5 qualifications that follow occupational maps. They offer learners the opportunity to start the jobs they want at entry level or pursue higher education (HE). We’re developing 5 HTQs in Digital and Healthcare, launching in September 2022: 

  • NCFE Level 4 Diploma: Cyber Security Engineer 
  • NCFE Level 4 Diploma: Data Analyst 
  • NCFE Level 4 Diploma: Digital Accessibility Specialist 
  • NCFE Level 4 Diploma: Network Engineer 
  • NCFE Level 4 Diploma: Healthcare Science Associate. 
Progression to HE 

Ensuring your learners are ready to progress to the next stage of their education or career is your number one goal. That makes it our number one goal.  

For many of our learners they will choose a learning pathway that gives them the option of progressing to higher education. Over 2 million students choose to study at UK HE institutions, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and it’s vital that our qualifications support your learners who want to progress in this way.  

We’ll ensure your learners are ready to enter university, with many of our qualifications carrying Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) points.  

Explore our qualifications 

Leading universities support our qualifications  

Large UK universities, including Russell Group institutions, support our qualifications. They accept these as a valid entry route to HE*.  

“Our results show that NCFE qualifications cover the essential foundational knowledge needed to provide learners with access to higher education studies.” 

Tim Barry, Head of the Department for Medical & Sport Sciences at University of Cumbria 

 Read case study 
*You should check entry requirements with your preferred HE institute, as HE institutions set their own entry requirements for degree courses. 

HE partnerships  

We’re members of several influential organisations that champion progression to HE with vocational qualifications: 

We’re also proud to partner with The Helena Kennedy Foundation (HKF), which exists to overcome social injustice by providing financial bursaries and mentoring to disadvantaged students in further education. This enables them to complete their studies in higher education and move successfully into employment. We make significant monthly financial contributions to the charity as well as providing support. 

By the sector, for the sector 

We regularly invite employers and stakeholders to take part in qualification development and scoping activities. This is why we receive support and endorsements for so many of our qualifications.  

We collaborate with household names such as Home Group, one of the biggest housing associations in the UK, and Communicorp UK, which is home to some of the most popular household brands such as Capital, Heart and Smooth Radio. 

Collaborate with us 

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HE institutions guide 

Get learners ready for HE with our quick guide. 



Information on all our qualifications and resources in one place. 

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NCFE travel qualifications are a great foundation for learners who wish to progress to Higher Education as the content and assessment methods help learners develop valuable skills such as self-directed study, critical thinking, problem solving and working collaboratively.

Dr. James Scott, Head of School of Tourism, Hospitality and Events at University of Sunderland

My experience of working with NCFE on qualification development has been very positive. It was great to see that we had the right people in the room to contribute to the development – it was useful to hear everyone’s thoughts on how they would benefit from the new qualifications.

Sonya Mullen, Learning and Development Business Partner at Home Group