HND Leadership and Management HTQ (Online)

Course overview

Delivered online through distance learning, the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Leadership and Management is a two-year programme that provides specialist business education which develops the key knowledge and practical skills required to progress into employment or continued studies. It will give you the opportunity to explore modern and relevant industry skills necessary for roles that require critical thinking, effective planning and future management.

The HND in Leadership and Management is also a higher technical qualification that helps you develop as a professional, self-reflecting individual, able to meet the demands of employers in the business sector and adapt to a constantly changing world.

You can find out more about higher technical qualifications here:

The programme provides you with the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and behaviours aligned to the Occupational Standard (OS) for Operations or Departmental Manager. The units will prepare you to enter employment or progress your career with the qualities and abilities necessary for roles that require personal responsibility and decision-making, and support students to aspire to future management roles.

The subjects covered will also prepare you to progress to Level 6 higher education study, including higher apprenticeships and professional body qualifications. You will be able to develop and apply your own ideas to your studies, deal with uncertainty and complexity, explore solutions, demonstrate critical evaluation and use both theory and practice in a wide range of business situations. By the end of the programme, you will have a sound understanding of the principles of leadership and management and will know how to apply those principles more widely in the business world.

The HND in Leadership and Management is a modular programme delivered fully online by our teachers through our Virtual Learning Environment. When you study with Activate Learning, you will belong to a group of students studying and have regular on-to-ones, group interactions and taught sessions with a team of highly qualified and experienced teachers with business experience.

We understand the unique needs of students studying online; we appreciate that they may be juggling work, family, and other commitments, and at Activate Learning we are experienced in supporting people in those positions. We have a dedicated team of Higher Education Study Support Tutors who are on hand if you need additional help.

The HND qualification offers a solid foundation in business aimed at students who would like a broad knowledge of all management concepts. This is ideal for students interested in a leadership and management position with entrepreneurial, employment or academic aspirations.

You will study sixteen units in total.

In Year 1 you will study:

  • The Contemporary Business Environment – will develop the background knowledge and understanding of business, the functions of an organisation and the wider business environments in which organisations operate. You will examine the different types of organisation (including for-profit and not-for-profit), their size and scope (for example, micro, small and medium-sized enterprise, transnational and global) and how they operate. You will also explore the relationships that organisations have with their various stakeholders and how the wider external environments influence and shape business decision-making.
  • Marketing Process and Planning – you will be introduced to the dynamic world of the marketing sector and the wealth of exciting career opportunities available to support your decision-making in your career choices. You will have the opportunity to learn about the competencies and behaviours required by employers to work in the marketing sector. You will also be introduced to the key principles of marketing, enabling them to develop a marketing plan and to employ elements of the marketing mix to achieve results. You will study the underpinning theories and frameworks of marketing while relating them to real-world examples, including products and services that they encounter in their daily lives.
  • Management of Human Resources – you will develop an understanding of the purpose and scope of HRM activities. You will be able to apply a range of people-management skills to enhance the performance of an organisation by finding solutions to people-related problems.
  • Leadership and Management – will help you to understand the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. You will consider the characteristics, behaviours and traits that support effective management and leadership.
  • Accounting Principles – aims to introduce fundamental accounting principles that underpin financial operations and support good and sustainable decision-making in any organisation. You will develop a theoretical and practical understanding of a range of financial and management accounting techniques.
  • Managing a successful business project – offers you an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a small-scale business project. You will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a business project that meets appropriate business aims and objectives.
  • Digital Business Practice – will explore the impact of a range of digital technologies on the workplace. You will examine how these technologies can support businesses aims and services and allow interaction with customers, for example, to promote their business, to encourage people to visit their e-commerce site, to buy goods or services, to drive and increase sales, and to provide high levels of customer service.
  • Operational Planning and Management – will give you an insight into the complex nature of operations, processes and supply chain management, fundamental for understanding the holistic work environment in any industry or organisation.


In Year 2 you will study:

  • Organisation Behaviour Management – this unit will assist you in developing knowledge and understanding of how organisational behaviour concepts, theories and techniques can be applied in work and management settings to enhance individual, team and organisational performance. You will be able to apply this knowledge in a variety of business situations. You will appreciate how effective application of organisational behaviour principles can be used to explain why people behave and act in particular ways and to predict how employees will respond to certain demands. The unit will also develop your understanding of the influence of culture and of the operation of power and politics in organisations, and how these variables influence the actions and behaviour of people in an organisational context.
  • Managing and Leading Change – you will develop an understanding of the different types and scope of change that may occur in an organisation. The unit aims to illustrate the drivers and triggers for change and how they vary and affect organisations in different ways, including the degree of impact and management’s response to change. You will gain an appreciation of how the depth of change can influence organisational behaviour, both during and after the change.
  • Principles of Operations Management – provides you with an appreciation of the dimensions of operations management and its central role for organisations across a wide range of sectors. You will also gain the knowledge and skills required to progress to higher levels of study or employment in positions in operations, logistics and supply.
  • Business Strategy – will develop an awareness of the different types of strategic approach that could be used in an operational, tactical or strategic role for an organisation. This will be underpinned by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the theories, models and concepts that could significantly support an organisation’s strategic choice and direction.
  • Business Information Technology Systems – will enhance your understanding of contemporary business information technology (IT) systems and how organisations develop and continuously review their IT strategy to gain and maintain competitive advantage. You will explore the areas of business that benefit from the support of IT systems and how organisations are using IT as a driver for business improvement.
  • Developing Individuals, Teams and Organisations – will provide you with the knowledge of the different factors involved in diagnosing the skills, training and development requirements for their future employees and for your career goals. You will be introduced to the concept of high-performance workplaces and the strategic benefits this can bring to an organisation. You will recognise that your own professional development is just one route to improving the performance of the teams and organisations in which they work.
  • Business Communications and Relationships – you will look at concepts of communication in organisations and how to select communication techniques that are fit for purpose. You will also investigate the contribution of interpersonal skills to successful relationship management and consider ways to build positive relationships with partners, stakeholders and suppliers.
  • Business Data Analytics and Insights – will provide you with an understanding of how organisations in different contexts improve their efficiency through the use of effective data management techniques. You will look at the importance of data analysis and interpretation in informing business decision-making processes to enable organisations to stay current and competitive in a volatile macroenvironment. You will learn how key decision-makers, at various levels, are able to improve strategic outcomes by using more effective processes to gain an insight into the most appropriate data and information available to a business.

The HND will also help you to develop your academic writing and research skills providing you with the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving.

This course is delivered online and will consist of ‘live’ (synchronous) workshops and seminars along with learning materials which you will be guided through and able to complete at a time convenient to you. You will learn through research, independent study, directed study and workplace scenarios. By participating in vocational activities, you will develop key behaviours and transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, research, and analysis. Plus, you’ll be supported by a friendly, committed, and qualified team of lecturers who have both professional and teaching experience. 

You will be assessed through a mixture of written assignments, group assessment, peer assessment, portfolio assessment and practice-related coursework. You will also be supported with a wide range of learning resources made available via Activate Learning’s Online Learning Environment (ALO), including access to textbooks, articles, and multimedia content. 


You will have a range of support made available to you, including academic and pastoral support, learning support and access to additional support funds (if eligible). Please see our Support Pages for further information. 

Additional study support 

Whether you have a recognised disability, specific learning difficulty, or not, you will be eligible to access additional learning support in all the following areas: 

  • assistive software training 
  • IT upskilling 
  • essay planning and structure 
  • proofreading and editing written work 
  • bibliographies and referencing 
  • time management and personal organisation 
  • revision and exam tips 
  • presentation techniques 

You are likely to have a minimum of 64 UCAS points, that might be made up of:

  • Relevant Access to Higher Education Diploma, or
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business or related subject, at a Merit overall, or
  • T Level at Pass in a related subject

You will also need to have a GCSE grade 4 or above in maths and English. Other L2 qualifications in English and maths may be accepted.

Applications from students returning to education who do not possess the formal entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant industry experience, are encouraged, and will be considered on merit through our Recognition of Prior Learning procedure. There is no definitive list of evidence required as we want to recognise your achievements in continuous learning from a range of activities and so would welcome the opportunity to work through any application for recognition you may wish to make. Please do talk to us. Applicants would normally though be expected to have achieved a Level 2 maths and English qualification. 

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable by achieving a score in a recognised test such as: 

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2 
  • PTE Academic 51, or 
  • IELTS 5.5 (reading and writing must be at 5.5) 

On successful completion of this course, you can progress to a BA (Hons) degree (subject to meeting entry requirements) or a professional qualification in a business-related subject.

Career opportunities could include becoming an Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager, Specialist Managers, or business owner to name a few.

Applicants should apply online through the Activate Learning website.

Tuition Fees

Fees for September 2024 entry are £6,500 per year for UK students. 

Please note: Tuition fees are published for the first year of entry only and may increase in subsequent years for new students in line with an inflationary amount determined by the Office for Students. 

There are a variety of funding options available to help finance your studies. If you are a UK (Home) student, you don’t have to pay your tuition fees upfront. The government provides loans to cover your full tuition fee. You may also be eligible for a maintenance loan to help cover living costs. Alternatively, your fees may be paid by your employer, or we could arrange a payment schedule if you are paying your own fees. 

Additional costs

Students are advised that they will need access to a laptop or PC. We recommend that you budget £100 a year additional costs such as for stationary to undertake your studies. You can borrow textbooks and access journals from the recommended reading lists from our Learning Resource Centres, either on campus or online. If you choose to purchase textbooks, they may cost up to £60 each. 

Course Starts in 104 Days
  • 10 September 2024 - 10 September 2026
  • 2 Years
    • 16-18: £6500
    • Adult: £6500
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