Changes to HND Computer Science

We commenced the review of HND Computer Science in 2017 to address some of the issues that had been raised since it was first introduced in 2012. The main problem was that many people felt that it wasn’t “computer science-y” enough so we set out to address that issue. Unfortunately, the development took longer than expected — for a number of reasons, the main one being that the QDT wasn’t sure how “computer science-y” to make it. We had lots of conversations about such things as the role of mathematics within the award (should it be mandatory?) and machine code programming and other aspects of computer science. Long story short, the window for change got smaller and eventually closed before we could make fundamental changes to the award.

As you know, we’re currently carrying out the HN Review, which includes this qualification, and it felt wrong to make big changes now and big changes again next year. So, we made the pragmatic decision to pretty much leave the qualification as-is. We did tidy it and removed some of the inappropriate or low uptake optional units and added a bunch of new units such as Machine Learning and Digital Forensics. But the mandatory units are untouched and the award was not recoded.

The only take-away for centres is to make sure that you are aware of these changes and use the new framework (although the original – 2012 – framework will continue until 2021). A new HND Computer Science qualification will be produced as part of the HN Review, which we hope to have available to centres for August 2020. Please contact Caitlin for more information.

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