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Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)

Whether you’re looking to take the next step in your chosen career or want to retrain into a new industry, an HTQ can help you gain the skills you need for a specialist technical job.

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are specialist technical courses developed with employers and delivered by industry experts.

The first HTQs, focussing on digital sector subjects like Cyber Security or Software Development, began teaching in September 2022. New qualifications in Health & Science, and Construction, begin teaching from September 2023, with more sectors coming soon.

By completing an HTQ, you will achieve a Level 4 or 5 qualification in your subject area.

Available to:

Adults living in England looking to gain specialist technical skills and a qualification


1-2 years

Age restriction:

18 and over

Course type:



Varies depending on the course and provider, government-funded loans covering tuition fees and maintenance may be available

How to apply:

Find an HTQ course that's right for you

About the course:

HTQs have been developed in partnership with employers and are delivered by industry experts and focus on the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are in-demand by employers.

They can also act as a stepping stone to further study, such as an apprenticeship or undergraduate degree.

By completing an HTQ you will also achieve a Level 4 or 5 qualification in your subject area. These technical qualifications include Foundation Degrees, Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas.

The courses are classroom-based with the opportunity to learn practical skills through workshops, role playing exercises, or using industry facilities.

On average an HTQ will take between 1 and 2 years to complete if studying full-time. Flexible options such as part-time, online and learning through short courses may also be available.

HTQs are provided by universities, Institutes of Technology, local colleges and independent providers.

Many providers will have their own entry criteria, such as minimum GCSE or A level (or equivalent) requirements. If you don’t have GCSEs or A levels, you may be eligible for an HTQ through an Access to HE course.

To find out more about HTQs, visit:

Advice and Guidance