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Thursday, 12 December 2013

HND Computer Science

I've written previously about my informal review of the HND Computer Science. This new qualification was first introduced in August of this year as part of the HN Review and has proven to be surprisingly popular in centres. We're proud to be the first (and only) awarding body in the UK to offer a Higher National Qualification in this area.

The reason for the "mini-review" was that I had received anecdotal evidence that, although popular, the title and contents of the award weren't a great match. So I dedicated a little time each week to talking to individuals and groups about this qualification. In that time I think I've discussed it with a pretty large and representative cross-section of stakeholders. And it's clear that there is a consensus about a few things.

The title and qualification are liked. Overwhelmingly. So there is no question of the title changing. But there is also a clear view that the contents aren't quite right. The obvious things that are missing are mathematics and more "hard core" computer science, such as algorithms and data structures. As someone said: "There's no enough science in it to call it Computer Science".

The question is how we go about making changes to the award to make it a better fit. There are a number of options ranging from producing guidance to changing the award itself.  I'll be taking this forward internally and keep you posted.

But the changes will not be rushed and will not be huge (if there are any changes at all to the award itself). The current award is popular, and has sufficient options to orient the award in a number of ways. No-one wanted huge changes. Whatever comes out will be a clear evolution of what's there now.

Contact Caroline if you want to know more about HND Computer Science.

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