Higher technical qualifications (HTQs)

HTQs are technical qualifications that are approved by employers. There are many different types and are usually taught in the classroom at colleges, universities or independent training providers.

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HTQs are an alternative to apprenticeships or degrees. They may suit you if you want a more practical, employer-led study programme.

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Say hello to higher technical qualifications. These are level 4 and 5 qualifications such as HNDs and foundation degrees that sit between A and T levels and degrees that have been independently approved against the knowledge and skills that employers say they need.

Higher technical qualifications or HTQs can lead to high skilled, highly paid jobs in a wide range of sectors, giving you a step up in your chosen career or further study or a trusted route to help your workforce get the skills they need.

The first higher technical qualifications in digital occupations will be taught from 2022 leading to jobs like network engineer, software developer and data analyst.

HTQs in health and science and construction will start being taught in 2023 with full rollout of further occupations by 2025.

They will be taught in further education colleges, universities, institutes of technology and independent training providers across the country, giving learners choice and flexibility in how and where they study.

We want HTQs to be a prestigious and popular choice to get ahead. A high quality option alongside apprenticeships and degrees. With HTQs, learners and employers can have confidence in courses that provide the skills they need to succeed.

Look out for the approved qualifications quality mark logo and ask your local college or training provider about higher technical qualifications. Find out more at this web address.

Types of HTQs

HTQs are existing and new level 4 and 5 qualifications.

There are many different types of HTQs, such as:

You can take a HTQ in construction or health and science from 2023. Even more subjects will be available in the future.

Approved HTQs

Employers must approve a course before it is called a higher technical qualification. This means that not all diplomas, certificates and foundation degrees are HTQs.

Approved courses will always show the HTQ logo or banner.

HTQ quality mark banner

Starting a HTQ

To start a HTQ, you’ll need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • live in England

You can apply for a HTQ while you’re still at school.

Entry requirements

Each educational provider sets their own entry requirements for HTQs.

The grades or qualifications you’ll need to have will depend on the type of course you’re applying for.

Tuition fees and funding

Tuition fees vary depending on the course. They’re likely to cost from around £7,000 to £9,250 a year for a 1 or 2-year course.

You may be eligible for funding from student finance or a scholarship, grant or bursary. This will depend on your circumstances and the type of HTQ you’re studying.

Work placements

Work placements are not usually included on a HTQ.

However, many courses do offer you practical skills and experience through:

  • workshops
  • labs
  • work experience

After your HTQ

After completing a HTQ, you can:

Search and apply for HTQs

You can use UCAS to search and apply for HTQ courses. Alternatively, you can ask your local college or training provider.

Search and apply for HTQs on UCAS

Special educational needs (SEND) advice

You can get education advice if you're disabled or have special educational needs. 

It may help you choose what you'd like to do next.

Information for other countries: