HND vs BSC: How to Beat Degree with HND

You can equate your HND with Bsc following these approaches
HND/BSC Balance can be achieved.
The first question I ask any HND admission seeker is “Why don’t you consider direct entry instead?”

This is "a taking" from my experiences with HND.

Nothing is practically wrong with going for HND or being an HND holder. Or I should say, nothing should be wrong with it. But from a different point of view, things may not be promising for you if you aim very higher with your HND certificate in the old or new Nigeria.

Federal Government has been working on bridging the gap between BSC and HND. This is why recently, in certain agencies, HND holders are upgraded to the level of their degree counterparts especially while being employed.

However, this dichotomy may remain long in other agencies, especially the private sector.

So what’s your position with your HND? 

RecommendedNYSC Year: Top Tips for a Successful CDS

Below is a series of limitations with Higher National Diploma which Degree holders are not experiencing.

  1. BSC holders are usually considered for teaching (especially education graduates) without further qualifications. Whereas, HND holders are expected to have, in addition, PGDE – Postgraduate Diploma in Education. This was why I wrote 6 Ways to Convert HND to Education Course (To Become a Teacher/Lecturer).
  2. BSC holders are mostly accepted for MSC without further qualifications. Whereas, some universities will not admit HND holders without professional qualifications (such as ICAN, etc) or PGD except for a few universities and courses detailed in my post, "Universities that Accept HND (with Lower Credit) for PGD/MSC".
  3. BSC holders are usually assigned administrative duties at work rather than practical field assignments which their HND counterparts are exposed to.
  4. Except most recently and to a few government establishments, HND holders were formerly employed with Grade Level 7; GL07 as opposed to Grade Level 08 for BSC holders. Yet, they are still limited to advancing beyond Grade level 14 as I detailed in the post, "Abolishing HND and BSC Dichotomy: Latest Developments You Must Know".

Does this mean it’s a woe to be a holder of HND?


But the best advice still remains the same. Upgrade yourself!

Then, how?


1. Obtain JAMB DE Form to Get a Degree

Consider obtaining a Direct Entry form to further your education to obtain a BSC. If you want to win the same position as the BSC holders, you must be there too. No other way!

I know this may sound absurd but it’s real and it can be the best thing to do. Most people have gone down to re-obtain the JAMB UTME and reapply to universities. That’s worse. But you have a quicker way.

If you obtain JAMB DE form with National Diploma (ND), you’ll be given admission to the 200 level of your proposed course. But with HND, you could be given a 300 level course. This doesn't work 100% of the time. Some universities are accepting this. See the list of those universities in, "Universities That Accept HND/BSC into 300 Level Direct Entry (DE)".

For instance, UNILORIN, for Engineering, accepts HND in a relevant Engineering discipline at Distinction or Upper Credits level from recognized Polytechnic or College of Technology after NYSC and may be considered for upgrading to 300 Level.

For more of this at UNILORIN, check my post “UNILORIN List of Available Courses, UTME, Direct Entry and SSCE subjects Requirements”.

This can be a way out of lower-grade stigma for HND holders too. For example, the University of Ilorin, through Direct Entry, accepts HND Lower Credit for the following courses and more.

  1. COMPUTER SCIENCE: Lower Credit in Computer Science
  2. MASS COMMUNICATION: HND (at least with Lower Credit) in Journalism, Mass Communication, Public Relations, and Advertising.
  3. AGRICULTURAL  EXTENSION AND  COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: A Higher National Diploma (HND or equivalent) in Agriculture or related field of study with a minimum of lower credit from a recognized institution in Animal Husbandry, Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Food Science, Home Economics, Fishery, Forestry, and Wildlife, etc; will be admitted into 300 level.

Note that I only use UNILORIN as a point of reference here, hundreds of other universities are accepting HND holders for Direct Entry admission on the same terms. Check the JAMB brochure.

READ: Is it Possible to Run Two Degree/PGD Courses Together?

2. Obtain MSC Form of Schools Accepting HND Holders

As already mentioned, most schools are not considering HND holders for the Master's Programmes. Yet, we have a handful of these universities who admit you with a convincing grade if you have HND.

See the list below.

  1. Achievers University Owo
  2. Federal University of Technology Minna
  3. And four others 

This list will continually be updated, subscribe to this blog or bookmark this page for such future updates.

A point to note here though. Even with MSC together with HND, a few companies may still be discriminating about the premises of your postgraduate studies.

3. Obtain a Top-Up Degree Form to Get a BSC

This is equally called HND to BSC Conversation programme. It takes, usually two or three years of academic programmes to convert HND to a degree in the same or related course. This is why it is called the HND-BSC Conversion programme.

The programme can also be taken to upgrade a weaker BSC grade in the same course or to another.

In most countries where Higher National Diploma is discriminated against, holders of this qualification resolve to the Top-up degree to be equivalent to or recognized as their BSC counterparts.

How does this work?

You obtain the form usually sold by universities or their polytechnic affiliates. You’re admitted for two- or three-year academic classes, tests, and exams. And after, you’re awarded BSC.

I detailed this in my post, “Top-up Degree in Nigeria and Abroad: All About One Year Course to Convert HND to Bsc

Below is the list of schools where you can obtain an HND to BSC Top-Up Degree.

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  1. Nice one, pls tell me more about that of Iree affiliation with Ajayi Growther... Pls I need more information about that

    1. Click the link in the post and read more at the other pages

  2. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.

    1. Can you go for degree with grade of 2.91(lower credit) in HND

  3. Good day Mr Tolani, some of these Universities (States and Private) issuing Top-up/BSc Conversion degrees, are no better than YABATECH... I mean some of them (States or Private)..

    1. That may be true. In Nigeria, as we both know, most organizations rewards certificates not competencies especially when employing. Somehow, it's not what you know but what you have.

  4. Thanks for this post!...Direct entry for HND holders will still take about 3yrs, without ASUU Strike and 4yrs or more with ASUU Strike. It takes 3 to 4 years to get two masters degree in Europe. So HND,MSc1(Turkey),MSc2(Finland),& PhD(Germany) [All in Europe except the HND] VS HND,BSc(UI),MSC(UI),PhD(UI) [All in Nigeria via Jamb DE]...In the field of engineering and as a lecturer in Nigeria.*Note:* I only use UI as a case (it can be Unilag or OAU or any other top universities in Nigeria) and same thing as Turkey, Finland & Germany (it can be any other countries in Europe) my question is will I still face discrimination as a Lecturer in Nigeria?... Considering my exposure in my field.

    1. I have to wait to contribute to the discussion. In the meantime, I invite other readers to share their views on this. Please be constructive.

    2. I have seen Professors in Private Uni, UI,FUTA,UNIBEN and some other parts of Nigeria without BSc. They have HND-PGD-MSc-PhD. But I'm not sure of UNILAG,OAU or LASU. So,I think it depends on the fields and the schools. Mr Tolani can help you find out more from his friends.Enjoy!

    3. @Tolani, Pls I need your response to this comment...

    4. I don't have deep knowledge about this. That's why I wait for other readers to contribute.

  5. Good afternoon Mr Tolani, please can I obtain Top up degree without JAMB DE form?

  6. You don't need DE to obtain Top-up degree. All you need is your HND/BSC result

  7. please sir good afternoon
    I graduated with lower credit (2.70)
    an OND holder
    I have been searching for university to go that accept lower credit for direct entry i want to obtain a BSC result instead of HND
    please sir do u know the one I can go please help,🙏🙏 m applying next yr sir
    thank you as you reply

    1. Check any of the posts below for such universities and courses

  8. Good morning and thank you for the information. I'm presently working in Portharcourt and Intending to run a masters degree with HND certificate. Kindly provide a guide or link in this regard. Thank you.

    1. In the post below, you will find the list of universities accepting HND for PDG/MSC.

  9. Good morning sir, please iam an HND holder,if I undergo a PGD program before MSC and PHD,can't I teach in universities as a lecturer?

  10. There are no jobs in Nigeria, that's why there is unnecessary stress on certificates. or HND doesn't guarantee any Job. If you have HND, move forward by doing a post graduate diploma if you are in Nigeria. In most foreign countries, they use credit loads and your transcript in line with their National Qualification Framework. Spending three more years to do a conversion from HND to B.SC clearly shows that we are far behind many progressive countries. HND in Britain is the equivalent of a National Diploma in Nigeria. Our government copied a system they don't understand.


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