Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)

HTQs are technical qualifications that employers have helped develop so you can get the right training and skills you need to succeed at work.

get the jump

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

You can study HTQs full time or part time. They are usually taught at colleges, universities or independent training providers.

One minute 30 second watch

View transcript

We're going to explore higher technical qualifications with Sam. He's studying computing.

HTQs are an alternative to apprenticeships or degrees and you can study HTQs full time or part time.

It's amazing because if you're passionate about tech industry, you get to do hands on experience, like practical work as well as theory. So you can combine them all together.

My name is Sam Dabiri and I really like this higher technical qualification course because it gives me the chance to do professional practice, project management, programming, data science and artificial intelligence - all the essential things that you would need when you get into the company or industry or workplace, as well as exploring your creativity.

You have the guidance, you have like great staff, great teachers that are willing to help you so you get all your knowledge and you put into practice and it gives you a very good start if you want to start your career in the tech world.

If you're passionate about technology, get on this higher technical qualification course to build your knowledge in a way that you can be useful in the industry. It will give the chance to do anything in any industry.

A higher technical qualification is just one of the routes to explore post 18. Check out the other videos in the series where we showcase apprenticeships and T Levels to see what's available.

Search Get the Jump to find out more.

Approved HTQs

Approved HTQs are new and existing level 4 and 5 qualifications approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Find out what the different qualification levels mean.

There are many different types of HTQs, such as:

  • higher national diplomas
  • higher national certificates
  • foundation degrees
  • higher education diplomas

Not all diplomas, certificates and foundation degrees are approved HTQs. Look out for the HTQ logo or banner which will always show on approved qualifications.

HTQ quality mark banner

Subjects available

HTQs in digital occupations are now being taught in a variety of subjects leading to careers such as network engineer, software developer and data analyst.

From September 2023, new HTQs in construction and health and science will also be available.

View HTQ subjects available now and in the future.

Starting a HTQ

To start a HTQ, you’ll need to be aged 18 or over and 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.

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 needed on a HTQ except in some professions.

However, many courses do offer you practical skills and experience through workshops, labs or work experience.

After your HTQ

After completing your HTQ, you can:

More information about HTQs

2 minute watch

View transcript

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.

First higher technical qualifications in digital qualifications taught from 2022 cover jobs like network engineer, software developer and data analyst.

2023's new HTQs cover health and science and construction, covering jobs such as nursing associates, sports coach, construction site supervisor or quantity surveyor. The full rollouts of all occupations will be complete in 2025.

HTQs are being 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 higher technical education to be a prestigious and popular choice to get ahead and HTQs will be 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 these websites.

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. 

You can also view a spreadsheet of HTQ providers on GOV.UK.

Search and apply for HTQs on UCAS

Explore your choices

Combine work and study

T Levels


A levels
Higher education
Higher technical qualifications (HTQs)
Vocational technical qualifications (VTQs)


Supported internships
School leaver schemes

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: