Higher Nationals in Creative Media and Music

What are Dunboyne College's Higher Nationals?
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The Higher National Diploma is a two-year practical course, which gives students the opportunity to develop skillsets and portfolios which can be used to progress into the workplace at an advanced level.

Certification: Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma, with the option of a Higher National Certificate after year one. In some instances, courses may offer additional certification.

Level: Level 6 Higher Certificate

Credits: 120 ECTS credits


The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standardised system used by higher education institutions across Europe to facilitate the transfer and recognition of academic achievements and qualifications between different countries and institutions. ECTS credits represent the student workload required to complete a year of higher education study.

The ECTS system allows for credits for study to be transferred from one course of study to another. It is important to note that the acceptance of transfer credits is at the discretion of the receiving institution. As a student of DCFE, our course teams will work students on their progression routes throughout their time with us.

More information can be found on www.study.eu.


Each module in our HND courses has a significant practical focus. There are no examinations on our HND courses. We use continuous assessment and all assignments have been designed with a relevant industry focus in mind.



Dunboyne College’s Higher National Diplomas offer practical, career-focused training and education that prepares students for the workforce in a specific field. HNDs are two-year courses that provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional university degrees in practical and vocational subjects such as the creative arts.

With graduates having developed in-depth specialised skills, HNDs offer the flexibility to enter the workforce at an advanced, autonomous level or progress into higher education often at an advanced level.

By combining theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience, HNDs help students develop valuable skills that are directly applicable to their chosen profession, enhancing their employability and future career prospects.


The two years of an HND programme are structured to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of their chosen field, while progressively developing their practical skills and expertise.

Year One

The first year typically introduces students to foundational concepts, principles, and theories in their subject area. Students learn essential skills and gain a solid understanding of the underlying knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen field. This is accomplished through a series of heavily practical and vocational-focused modules and projects to apply what they have learned in real-world scenarios.

Year Two

The second year delves deeper into the subject area, covering more advanced topics and building on the knowledge and skills acquired in the first year. Year two involves more specialized modules, allowing students to explore their interests and tailor their education to their career goals. The second-year curriculum also emphasises practical, hands-on experience and can include work-based projects or simulated work environments.

Throughout the HND program, the two years are designed to complement and build upon each other, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for entry into the workplace at an advanced level. By providing a balance of theoretical understanding and practical experience, HNDs equip students with the necessary skills, knowledge, and confidence to excel in their chosen careers, allowing them to enter the workforce as competent professionals rather than at an entry-level.


Studying a Higher National Diploma at Dunboyne College of Further Education is an excellent choice for those who wish to gain practical, career-focused education and training that prepares them for success in their chosen industry.

Here are some key reasons why our college stands out as the ideal place to pursue an HND:

Cutting-Edge Equipment: Our college is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and tools that provide students with hands-on experience and practical skills using industry-standard equipment. This ensures that they are well-prepared to excel in their chosen fields upon graduation.

Professional Facilities: Our top-notch facilities, such as film, rehearsal, and recording studios, offer a realistic work environment where students can hone their skills and develop a strong portfolio. These resources enable students to gain valuable practical experience, boosting their employability and setting them apart from their peers.

Experienced Teachers: Our team of teachers brings a wealth of industry experience to the classroom, ensuring that students receive relevant and up-to-date knowledge, insights, and guidance. Our dedicated faculty works closely with students to help them develop the skills and expertise needed to succeed in their careers.

Industry Connections: Our college’s strong links with local and national employers provide students with unique networking opportunities, internships, and work placements. This exposure to the professional world helps students build essential connections and gain real-world experience that will benefit them in their future careers.

Supportive Learning Environment: At our college, students are part of a nurturing and inclusive community where they receive personalized attention and support to help them achieve their academic and career goals. Our smaller class sizes and dedicated faculty ensure that each student’s needs are met, fostering an environment conducive to success.

The Higher National Diploma’s more extensive coursework and advanced skillset make its graduates more competitive in the job market and better prepared for various creative media roles.

The Higher National Diploma is a recognised international qualification, delivered in over 50 countries worldwide. Graduates of our Higher Nationals can progress to various undergraduate degree courses upon successfully completing their studies.

The two-year duration and deep focus of the Higher National Diploma at DCFE often leads to stronger connections with industry professionals and organizations, providing students with valuable networking opportunities and a better understanding of the creative arts landscape. Plus, students will build an extensive portfolio of work to secure employment.





You can apply using the APPLY NOW button below.

You will find the course by selecting “Higher Nationals” in Department on the left and selecting the relevant course from the Course menu on the right. This is shown in the image below.