HND Business (Accounting and Finance)


Program Description


This course is awarded as a Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Business (Accounting and Finance).

Business is exciting and dynamic requiring resilient and adaptable people. This course focusses on developing students as professional, self-reflecting individuals able to meet the demands of employers in the business sector and adapt to a constantly changing world.

The course will also provide opportunities for students to develop their knowledge, skills, personal attributes and techniques for a future in the global business environment.

Course description

Learning and Teaching

A variety of learning and teaching opportunities will be available on your course, approximately 30% of your learning will include lectures, tutorials and class room based learning supplemented by workshop activities. Studying can include individual and group working.

Higher education courses also require students to undertake independent study and so approximately 70% of your studies will be through independent learning, research, reading and completing assessments. Independent study can also include working in the library or joining a study workshop at the College where you can gain support on study skills.


Approximately 59% of assessments are course work based, 38% are in person which may be a presentation or time constrained tasks and only one module has a formal exam. Assessments are designed to reflect the diverse business sector and so could be for example a live project, a case study, report or project.


The course aims to develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the global business sector through the study of 120 credits per academic year with a total credit value of 240 credits (equivalent to the first 2 years of an honours degree).

Year 1 - Level 4 Units

Six core units:

  • Business and the Business Environment
  • Marketing Essentials
  • Human Resource Management
  • Management and Operations
  • Management Accounting
  • Managing a Successful Business Project

In addition to the core units there are two optional units which have been selected to meet the requirements of the HNC Business Exit Award.

  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
  • Financial Accounting

Year 2 - Level 5 Units

Two core units:

  • Research Project
  • Organisational Behaviour

Five specialist and optional units:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Advanced Management Accounting
  • Financial Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Developing Individuals, Teams and Organisations

The overall qualification will be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction depending on unit achievements

What areas will I study?

You will study 15 units on this course, each unit has a credit value of 15 credits, except for the Research project which has a credit value of 30 credits.

The units to be studied are:

Business and the Business Environment (15 credits).

The aim of this unit is to provide students with background knowledge and understanding of business, the functions of an organisation and the wider business environments in which organisations operate.

Marketing Essentials (15 credits).

Marketing essentials introduces the principles of marketing, enabling students to develop a basic marketing plan and to employ elements of the marketing mix. During learning of the underpinning theories and frameworks, students will also be able to relate these to real-world examples, including products/services that may be encountered in our daily lives.

Human Resource Management (15 credits).

The aim of this unit is to enable students to appreciate and apply principles of effective Human Resource Management (HRM). This unit will explore the tools and techniques used in HRM to maximise the employee contribution and how to use HR methods to gain competitive advantage.

Management and Operations (15 credits).

Developing an understanding of the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. Students will consider the characteristics, behaviours and traits which support effective management and leadership.

Management Accounting (15 credits).

An introduction to the fundamentals of management accounting which apply to the wider business environment and the organisations which operate within that environment. Students will explore how management accounting uses financial data to aid planning decisions, and the monitoring and control of finance within organisations.

Managing a Successful Business Project (15 credits).

This unit is assessed by an externally Pearson-set assignment theme. The theme and chosen project within the theme will enable students to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment. The aim of this unit is to offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a project. Students will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a business project.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management (15 credits).

The definition and scope of entrepreneurship and an understanding of the enablers and barriers to business start-up will be considered in this unit. Students will learn about the influence of national culture and economy on entrepreneurship and will explore the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs and the impact of personal situational factors, including education and background. Students will also learn about the role and importance of small firms to the economy, and about social enterprise and the social economy. Students will also be expected to understand the balance of risk and reward in starting a new venture

Financial Accounting (15 credits).

This unit introduces students to essential financial accounting principles and techniques which will enable them to record and prepare basic final accounts. Students will learn how to prepare accounts for sole traders and partnerships as well as limited companies.

Research Project (30 credits).

This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. Students will choose their own project based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). The project must be related to their specialist pathway of study (unless the student is studying the general business pathway). This will enable students to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment and their chosen specialist pathway.

Organisational Behaviour (15 credits).

The aim of this unit is to develop a student’s understanding of the influence culture, politics and power have on the behaviour of others in an organisational context. Students will be in a position to apply the principles of organisational behaviour to a variety of business situations.

Financial Reporting (15 credits).

The financial reporting unit aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills which are required in the preparation of financial statements. Students will become aware of the appropriate financial standards which influence and inform the production of financial statements. Conceptual frameworks for financial reporting and how they are related to the reporting of financial information will also be explored.

Advanced Management Accounting (15 credits).

The overall aim of this unit is to develop students’ understanding of management accounting. The focussing on critiquing management accounting techniques and using management accounting to evaluate company performance. Students will explore how the decisions taken through the use of management accounting techniques influence managerial behaviour across an organisation.

Financial Management (15 credits).

Students will be introduced to basic financial management principles and strategies. The importance of maximising shareholder wealth and long term growth will be considered. The main focus is to introduce students to, and develop knowledge of, financial management decision-making and how this is used to support sustainable organisational performance. The role of a management accountant within a financial management system is also included.

Business Strategy (15 credits).

An awareness of the different kinds of strategy which could be used in an operational, tactical or strategic role for an organisation will be developed. This will be underpinned by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the theories, models and concepts which could significantly support an organisation’s strategic choice and direction. Aiming to develop sufficient knowledge and understanding of strategy to make a positive, efficient and effective contribution to the development of business plans and operational direction.

Developing Individuals, Teams and Organisations (15 credits).

The opportunity to appreciate that developing knowledge and skills to achieve high performance is a cross-organisation activity. Students will recognise that their own professional development is just one route to improving the performance of those teams and organisations in which they work. The context in which learning takes place and how development needs are linked to learning interventions aimed at supporting an organisation’s strategy will be reviewed. Aiming for students to appreciate the role of lifelong learning and to contribute to the development of others to make a positive contribution to the sustainable growth of an organisation.

What are the entry requirements?

Learners must be aged 18 years on or before 31st August of the academic year that the programme commences.

A minimum of 48 UCAS points is required for entry on to the programme, including points from a level 3 qualification.

A* to C grades or 9 to 4 grades in GCSE English Language and Maths (or equivalent) , equivalent Level 2 qualification or be able to demonstrate equivalent skills to IELTS 5.5 including reading and writing at 5.5.

Examples of relevant level 3 qualifications include:

  • GCE ‘A’ Level passes 1 x GCE ‘A’ Level pass plus AS level passes in appropriate subjects BTEC National Diploma or
  • Extended Diploma BTEC National Certificate A Level 3 Diploma or equivalent such as NVQ, GNVQ, International Baccalaureate, A recognised (Kite marked) Access Course City and Guilds Technical Baccalaureate Successful completion of a Level 3 apprenticeship.
  • Other relevant international qualifications

It is recognised that some learners may have significant relevant work experience or other professional qualifications and therefore may be admitted to the programme, please contact the course team to discuss in more detail.

To find out more about UCAS points, please visit

Where can I progress to next?

Typically after completing the Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Business (Accounting and Finance) students may enter employment in roles at junior management level or progress to a role with further work place training such as Accounting Technician or Financial Advisor. This qualification can also enable progression to roles within the wider business context such as Office Manager, Retail Manager and in Marketing.

Previous students who have entered employment have gone onto develop their own businesses in for example internet retail.

Students have also continued into higher studies, enrolling onto the final year of an honours degree. The College has a B.A. (Hons) Business and Management degree awarded by Newman University, or students can study elsewhere depending on their subject specialism. Please note that universities set their own entrance requirements and not all will offer final year entry.

Last updated Dec 2019

About the School

South and City College Birmingham is one of the biggest and most successful government funded colleges in the UK, ideally located in its second biggest city, Birmingham.

South and City College Birmingham is one of the biggest and most successful government funded colleges in the UK, ideally located in its second biggest city, Birmingham. Read less
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