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  /   Courses   /   Undergraduate Courses   /   HND Business (Awarded by Pearson, in Partnership with USP College)


Running businesses and organisations today requires strong leadership and management skills. To ensure future success, companies are constantly on the lookout for capable managers and leaders. Employers want graduates who are academically qualified and work-ready with the practical knowledge and skills they need to make their business successful.

The BTEC Higher National Diploma is a two-year course that offers a strong emphasis on practical skills alongside the development of key knowledge and understanding of business.

Students are attracted to this strong vocational course because it gives them the knowledge and skills they need for a wide range of businesses in all sectors. Students can progress into employment or to further study.

A major progression path for students with a Higher National Diploma is to the top-up year of a degree programme, depending on the match of the Higher National units to the degree programme in question.

Study mode
Full Time
Start Date
February 2021
UK / EU Fees
£6,165 / Year
Study Level
HND Level 5
Study Length
2 Years

Course Details & Modules

This programme is ideal for students interested in developing business knowledge and management skills in any industry.

Contact Hours:

Year One will be 16 GLH* per week x 10 weeks x 3 terms = 480 hrs.
Year Two will be 14 GLH per week x 10 weeks x 3 terms = 420 hrs.

*Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

Course Stage Scheduled Activities (Hours) Guided Independent Study (Hours) Total Hours
Year One:
HNC (Level4)
480 720 1200
Year Two:
HND (Level 5)
420 780 1200

Unit 1 Business and the Business Environment

The aim of this unit is to provide students with background knowledge and understanding of business, the functions of an organisation and the wider business environments in which organisations operate. Students will examine the different types of organisations (including for profit and not for profit), their size and scope (for instance, micro, SME, transnational and global) and how they operate.

Students will explore the relationships that organisations have with their various stakeholders and how the wider external environments influence and shape business decision-making.

The knowledge, understanding and skill sets gained in this unit will help students to choose their own preferred areas of specialism in future studies and in their professional career.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1        Explain the different types, sizes and scope of organisations
  • LO2        Demonstrate the interrelationship of the various functions within an organisation and how they link to organisational structure
  • LO3        Use contemporary examples to demonstrate both the positive and negative influence/impact the macro environment has on business operations
  • LO4        Determine the internal strengths and weaknesses of specific businesses and explain their interrelationship with external macro factors

Unit 2 Marketing Essentials

This unit is designed to introduce students to the principles of marketing, enabling them to develop a basic marketing plan and to employ elements of the marketing mix to achieve results. While they will learn the underpinning theories and frameworks, they will also be able to relate these to real-world examples, including products/services that they encounter in their own daily lives.

Organisations such as Apple, Google, VISA, Burberry, Zara, Cadbury, Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola, UNICEF, BP and small local businesses all have at least one thing in common: they all use marketing to influence us to engage with their products and/or services. Whether it is becoming a loyal customer buying a product and service or donating to a charity, organisations use a range of marketing techniques and tools to inform and influence us.

The knowledge, understanding and skill sets that students will gain on successfully completing this unit will enhance their career opportunities; whether setting up their own business or being employed by an organisation.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1        Explain the role of marketing and how it interrelates with other functional units of an organisation
  • LO2        Compare ways in which organisations use elements of the marketing mix (7Ps) to achieve overall business objectives
  • LO3        Develop and evaluate a basic marketing plan

Unit 3 Human Resource Management

The aim of this unit is to enable students to appreciate and apply principles of effective Human Resource Management (HRM). People are the lifeblood of any organisation and being able to attract, recruit and retain talented staff is at the core of all HRM activity. This unit will explore the tools and techniques used in HRM to maximise the employee contribution and how to use HR methods to gain competitive advantage. Students will explore the importance of training and development in building and extending the skills base of the organisation and ensuring it is relevant to the ever-changing business environment. Students will also consider the growing importance of becoming a flexible organisation with an equally flexible labour force and become familiar with techniques of job design and with different reward systems.

The unit investigates the importance of good employee relations and the ways in which employers engage with their staff and possibly with trade unions. Students will gain an understanding of the law governing HRM processes as well as the best practices which enable an employer to become an ‘employer of choice’ in their labour market.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1     Explain the purpose and scope of Human Resource Management in terms of resourcing an organisation with talent and skills appropriate to fulfil business objectives.
  • LO2     Evaluate the effectiveness of the key elements of Human Resource Management in an organisation.
  • LO3     Analyse internal and external factors that affect Human Resource Management decision-making, including employment legislation.
  • LO4     Apply Human Resource Management practices in a work-related context.

Unit 4 Management and Operations

The aim of this unit is to help students understand the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. Students will consider the characteristics, behaviours and traits, which support effective management and leadership. In addition, this unit will introduce the concept of operations as both a function and a process, which all organisations must adopt to conduct business. Students will be introduced to contemporary and historical theories and concepts, which will support their learning for this unit.

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed sufficient knowledge and understanding of how management and operations make a positive,efficient and effective contribution to an organisation at a junior level. This could be in the role of a team leader or managing a specific aspect of an operation function and/or process. Underpinning all aspects of the content for this unit you will consider topics under two broad headings: management and operations.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1        Differentiate between the role of a leader and the function of a manager
  • LO2        Apply the role of a leader and the function of a manager in given contexts
  • LO3        Demonstrate an appreciation of the role leaders and managers play in the operations function of an organisation
  • LO4        Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in a contemporary business environment

Unit 5 Management Accounting

The overall aim of this unit is to introduce the fundamentals of management accounting, which apply to the wider business environment and the organisations which operate within that environment. Students will explore how management accounting uses financial data to aid planning decisions, and the monitoring and control of finance within organisations.

On successful completion of this unit students will be in a position to present financial statements in a workplace context and be able to assist senior colleagues with financial business planning. In addition, students will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to progress onto a higher level of study.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1        Demonstrate an understanding of management accounting systems.
  • LO2        Apply a range of management accounting techniques.
  • LO3        Explain the use of planning tools used in management accounting.
  • LO4        Compare ways in which organisations could use management accounting to respond to financial problems.

Unit 6 Managing a Successful Business Project

This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. The project brief will be set by the centre, based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). The theme and chosen project within the theme will enable students to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment.

The aim of this unit is to offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a project. They will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a business project, which meets appropriate business aims and objectives.

On successful completion of this unit students will have the confidence to engage in decision-making, problem-solving and research activities using project management skills. They will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate and examine relevant business concepts within a work-related context, determine appropriate outcomes, decisions or solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1        Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme
  • LO2        Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project
  • LO3        Present the project and communicate appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the evidence findings and/or analysis
  • LO4        Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance

Unit 8 Innovation and Commercialisation

This unit aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of innovation and commercial station.

In today’s competitive landscape it is critical that organisations continually innovate both their product offering and processes to ensure that they remain competitive in the market. Furthermore, adopting a more commercially driven approach is vital to maximize the Return on Investment (ROI).

In this unit, we will look at a number of tools and techniques organisations use to drive innovation and become more commercial in their approach. The aim of the unit is to give students cutting-edge knowledge as well as practical application of the key ways organisations become more innovative while remaining commercially driven.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1        Explain the context for innovation and determine the difference between invention and innovation
  • LO2        Explain the different types of innovation
  • LO3        Discuss the process required to commercialise Innovation
  • LO4        Evaluate the range of methods for protecting ideas and understand their advantages and disadvantages

Unit 9 Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

This unit provides students with an understanding of the definition and scope of entrepreneurship and an understanding of the enablers and barriers to business start-up.

Students will learn about the influence of national culture and economy on entrepreneurship and will explore the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs and the impact of personal situational factors, including education and background. Students will also learn about the role and importance of small firms to the economy, and about social enterprise and the social economy. Students will also be expected to understand the balance of risk and reward in starting a new venture and they will investigate and reflect on their own entrepreneurial and enterprising characteristics.  Examples of entrepreneurs and start-up organisations will be discussed and students will be expected to draw on local, personal and general knowledge together with their learning to be able to identify the characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures.

Learning Outcomes (LOs)

  • LO1        Explore and illustrate the range of venture types that might be considered entrepreneurial
  • LO2        Assess the impact of small businesses on the economy
  • LO3        Determine and assess the key aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Examine the different environments that foster or hinder entrepreneurships

Unit 11 Research Project (Pearson-set)

This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. Students will choose their own project based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). The project must be related to their specialist pathway of study (unless the student is studying the general business pathway). This will enable students to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment and their chosen specialist pathway.

The aim of this unit is to offer students the opportunity to engage in sustained research in a specific field of study. The unit enables students to demonstrate the capacity and ability to identify a research theme, to develop research aims, objectives and outcomes, and to present the outcomes of such research in both written and verbal formats. The unit also encourages students to reflect on their engagement in the research process during which recommendations for future, personal development are key learning points.

On successful completion of this unit students will have the confidence to engage in problem-solving and research activities which are part of the function of a manager. Students will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate workplace issues and problems, determine appropriate solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1        Examine appropriate research methodologies and approaches as part of the research process
  • LO2        Conduct and analyse research relevant for a business research project
  • LO3        Communicate the outcomes of a research project to identified stakeholders
  • LO4        Reflect on the application of research methodologies and concepts

Unit 12 Organisational Behaviour

The aim of this unit is to develop a student’s understanding of the influence culture, politics and power have on the behaviour of others in an organisational context. Students will be in a position to apply the principles of organisational behaviour to a variety of business situations.

On successful completion of this unit students will have an understanding and awareness of key influences which affect the behaviour of individuals, teams and organisations as a whole. They will be able to use this knowledge to make an immediate and positive contribution in the workplace, whether that role is as part of a team or as a team leader. This will be achieved through a strong appreciation of working in a team, having a more profound perspective of what makes people and organisations do what they do, and how to adjust one’s own behaviour to reflect the circumstances and situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1        Analyse the influence of culture, politics and power on the behaviour of others in an organisational context
  • LO2        Evaluate how to motivate individuals and teams to achieve a goal
  • LO3        Demonstrate an understanding of how to cooperate effectively with others
  • LO4        Apply concepts and philosophies of organisational behaviour to a given business situation

Unit 32 Business Strategy

The aim of this unit is to develop students’ awareness of the different kinds of strategy, which could be used in an operational, tactical or strategic role for an organisation. This will be underpinned by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the theories, models and concepts which could significantly support an organisation’s strategic choice and direction.

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed sufficient knowledge and understanding of strategy to make a positive, efficient and effective contribution to the development of business plans and operational direction. This could be in the role of a junior manager responsible for having a specific input into an organisation’s decision-making and planning.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1        Analyse the impact and influence which the macro environment has on an organisation and its business strategies.
  • LO2        Assess an organisation’s internal environment and capabilities
  • LO3        Evaluate and apply the outcomes of an analysis using Porter’s Five Forces model to a given market sector
  • LO4        Apply models, theories and concepts to assist with the understanding and interpretation of strategic directions available to an organisation

Unit 35 Developing Individuals, Teams and Organisations

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to appreciate that developing knowledge and skills to achieve high performance is a cross-organisation activity. Students will recognise that their own professional development is just one route to improving the performance of those teams and organisations in which they work. They will also gain an awareness of the context in which learning takes place and how development needs are linked to learning interventions aimed at supporting an organisation’s strategy.

On successful completion of this unit, students will have laid the foundations for their own continuing professional development, which will support their future engagement in lifelong learning. They will also be able to contribute to the development of others and make a positive contribution to the sustainable growth of an organisation.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1       Analyse employee knowledge, skills and behaviours required by HR professionals
  • LO2       Analyse the factors to be considered when implementing and evaluating inclusive learning and development to drive sustainable business performance
  • LO3      Apply knowledge and understanding to the ways in which high-performance working (HPW) contributes to employee engagement and competitive advantage
  • LO4      Evaluate ways in which performance management, collaborative working and effective communication can support high-performance culture and commitment

Unit 40 International Marketing

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to a variety of methods organisations use to coordinate their international marketing efforts. Students will critically evaluate the various challenges that organisations face when doing so. This unit will give students the knowledge and ability to work with marketing teams internationally and to study marketing at a higher level.

In today’s globalised economy it is essential that marketing efforts are able to transcend international borders. To do this, marketers must gain an appreciation of the various cultural, regulatory and political issues that exist in transferring marketing strategies into different countries and the impact it can have on both consumers and the organisation.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1        Demonstrate an understanding of how marketing contributes to business strategies in an international context
  • LO2        Evaluate entry to a selection of international markets and define the key success factors
  • LO3        Investigate how elements of the marketing plan can be adapted or standardised across international markets
  • LO4        Demonstrate an understanding of how to organise and evaluate international marketing efforts (multinational, global, transnational, meta-national, etc.)

Unit 43 Tapping into New and International Markets

In today’s global environment, organisations are constantly looking at new ways to expand internationally. With the rise of digital technology and the reduction of barriers to entry this is easier than ever before, but all organisations must consider a range of options when making the decision to expand internationally. In this unit students will explore how organisations are able to move into international markets, assessing the opportunities and threats of them doing so. The unit aims to provide students with the key tools and techniques to aid organisations to evaluate whether they should tap into international markets and assess the various implications of doing so.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1        Analyse the opportunities and threats for firms exposed to an increasingly globalised environment
  • LO2        Illustrate the advantages of trading blocs for firms
  • LO3        Determine the importing and exporting process and the practicalities involved
  • LO4        Evaluate ways SMEs can tap into international markets

Unit 45 E-Commerce & Strategy

Electronic Commerce, or E-Commerce, refers to any type of commercial/business transaction where information, data, products and services are exchanged across the Internet. These transactions can cover a wide diversity of business types to include: consumer-based retail sites (e.g. Amazon), sites that provide facilities such as auctions (e.g. eBay) and business exchanges between different organisations. E-Commerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services 24/7 with no barriers in terms of time or geography.

Within this unit students will gain an understanding of how and why businesses and organisations develop E-Commerce strategies: to remain competitive in the global market. Students will also appreciate the elements and resources required to set up an E-Commerce site and be engaged in the design and implementation of their own strategies that would in reality form part of a secure E-Commerce site.

Students will examine the impact that E-Commerce has on society and the global market for consumers, buyers and sellers in terms of the benefits and drawbacks of online purchasing. Through investigation, students will also research the technologies involved in setting up a secure E-Commerce site in preparation for their own E-commerce strategy.

There is an expectation that students will devise a strategy based on an element of E-commerce such as designing a shopping cart, an ordering system, payment system or an online marketing system, for example. This design should be fully implemented and evaluated accordingly in terms of its success or failure.

Standards and levels of support, marketing, CRM, promotion and supply chain management will all be explored within the context of developing the implementation strategy.

On successful completion of this unit a student will have gained both a technical and practical insight into E-Commerce strategy, design and development. As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1        Examine the strategies employed and the impact of E-Commerce on business organisations.
  • LO2        Analyse the hardware, software, web-based and database technologies involved in setting up a secure E-Commerce site.
  • LO3        Design an E-Commerce strategy based on a given end user requirement or specification.
  • LO4        Implement an E-Commerce strategy based on a given end user requirement or specification.

Key Facts

Unit Map

Students start by enrolling on the Higher National Certificate (HNC Level 4) course in the first year and the Higher National Diploma (HND Level 5) in the second year. The course is full time and you must take units worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. Each unit is worth 15 credits apart from Unit 11 Research Project, which is 30 credits.

Upon successful completion of the first year of study, students can progress onto the Higher National Diploma (HND Level 5) programme. Having achieved 240 Credits, students are awarded the HND. Student must submit for all eight units in the first year, but only need to pass seven for the HNC. Students who have not passed the HNC will not be able to pass HND Level 5. To pass HND Level 5, students need to submit seven units, but only need to pass six, including Unit 11 Research Project.

Become business-ready

On this programme you will develop a good understanding of the nature of business management in a world of volatility, uncertainty, change and ambiguity.

A key feature is to blend both academic study and skills training in order to enhance the employability of our graduates.

During the first year of study on the HNC you will complete the following eight units of the HNC Level 4:  Business and the Business Environment, Marketing Essentials, Human Resource Management, Management and Operations, Management Accounting, Managing a Successful Business Project (Pearson-set), Innovation and Commercialisation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.

During the second year of study on the HND you will complete the following units: Research Project (Pearson-set), Organisational Behaviour, E-Commerce and Strategy, Business Strategy, Developing Individuals and Teams, International Marketing, Tapping into New and International Markets.

The tutors on the programme have a wide range of experience and ongoing links with industry. With smaller, more intimate class sizes, we give our students one-to-one teaching and support.

Practical learning

The course focuses on the ability to think critically and will enable you to analyse and evaluate solutions to complex, real-life problems.

We focus on equipping you with the knowledge of contemporary management theories but, of equal importance, giving you the opportunity to apply and integrate that knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Awarded by Pearson, in Partnership with USP College

This HND course is offered at Oxford Business College, Awarded by Pearson, in Partnership with USP College This means you will study in the central Oxford premises or the West London Campus of Oxford Business College, taking advantage of our personalised teaching approach, experienced tutors and unbeatable location in the heart of these global education capitals, but following a syllabus designed and overseen by Pearson.

Career Prospects

The BTEC HNC/D in Business enables you to complete a two-year course (HND level 5) towards a BA (Hons) degree.   When you finish, you will be able to enrol in a UK university to do a top-up year and attain a full BA (Hons) degree in a range of Business-related degree courses.

Entry Requirements

UK Entry Requirements

Students must be 18 years-old or over at the time of registration. They must have at least one of the following to qualify for enrolment:

  • A recognised Level 3 Foundation
  • Baccalaureate (level 3) – overseas qualifications must be translated into English using the national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications (NARIC)
  • BTEC national level 3 diploma
  • A level(s) or High/Secondary School Diploma equivalent to A level(s)
  • Related work experience recognised as prior learning (RPL). Work experience should be relevant, it should involve relationships with colleagues and customer/clients where a student can demonstrate they have acquired some business-related skills such as communicating with customers or colleagues to meet business objectives, book-keeping, managing resources, planning and meeting work-related deadlines. For RPL the applicant needs to provide evidence of full-time employment in a relevant job in the UK. Usually two years of work experience are required. Evidence you need to provide includes one or more of the following:
    • Payslips or P60
    • Contract of employment
    • Letter from their employer with details of the role and the length of the employment
  • For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS score of 4.5, with no less than 4.5 in each of the components is required.

Applicants who do not meet these minimum requirements, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a HND course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year in February 2021.

Student Loans

UK/EU students are eligible to receive statutory student loans, subject to status.

International Entry Requirements

Please contact the Admissions Team for more information on international entry requirement.

How to Apply

Thinking of starting your studies in 2021-22? It isn’t late to apply!
Call our Clearing hotline today or apply online.

Clearing hotline:
01865 791 908
International callers:
+44 (0) 1865 791 908
Open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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