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It is awarded after one year of full-time study (or equivalent) at a university or other higher education institution, or two years of part-time study. A Cert.HE is an independent tertiary award, an award in its own right, and students can study for a Cert.HE in various academic disciplines.
At Level 4 on the national qualifications framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Cert.HE is the academic equivalent of the more vocational Higher National Certificate. Prior to 2015 it was equivalent to an NVQ Level 4. In Scotland, a Cert.HE is at Level 7 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.
A Cert.HE is not externally regulated but is accredited by a university itself. On completion, students are permitted to use the postnominals CertHE after their name, sometimes followed by the course name in brackets and the University from which they earned their qualification.
Sometimes, having a CertHE can exempt the holder from some of the requirements of a bachelor's degree; for example, it might reduce the length of study by one or two years, or reduce the number of courses necessary to complete the qualification.
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