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Nigeria Universities and Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

If you are considering pursuing a master’s degree in Nigeria, you may be wondering which universities and schools accept HND certificates, second class degrees, and third class degrees. This article will explore the various universities and schools in Nigeria that accept these qualifications for admission into their master’s degree programs.

We will also discuss the specific requirements for admission and the benefits of pursuing a master’s degree in Nigeria. By reading this article, you will gain a better understanding of the options available to you as you pursue your educational goals.

Criteria For Admission For Master’s Degree In Nigeria Universities and Schools

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the general criteria that Nigerian universities and schools typically require for admission into their Master’s degree programs:

  • Academic Credentials: Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution. For those with HND certificates or lower-class degrees, some universities may require an additional Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in the relevant field to bridge the academic gap.
  • Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA): The GPA requirements vary across institutions. While some universities are more lenient and accept lower grades, others might require a higher academic standing. It’s crucial to check the specific requirements of the university or school of interest.
  • NYSC Discharge Certificate: Candidates must have completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program or possess an exemption letter, validating their eligibility for employment and further studies in Nigeria.
  • Professional Experience: Some programs may prioritize applicants who have gained relevant work experience in the field related to the Master’s program they are applying to. This criterion  Letters of Recommendation: Universities often request two or three letters of recommendation from former lecturers, academic advisors, or employers. These letters should attest to the applicant’s academic and professional capabilities.
  • Statement of Purpose: A well-crafted statement of purpose that outlines the applicant’s academic interests, professional goals, and reasons for pursuing a Master’s degree in the chosen field is often a critical component of the application.

Adherence to these criteria doesn’t guarantee admission but presents a well-rounded application. Applicants are encouraged to consult the specific admission guidelines of their chosen institutions, as requirements can vary significantly from one university to another.

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Nigeria Universities that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs 

The educational landscape in Nigeria is becoming increasingly inclusive, offering a beacon of hope for holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates and graduates with Second Class Lower and Third Class degrees who aspire to further their education. The following universities are notable for their progressive admissions policies for Master’s Degree Programs, catering to a diverse range of academic backgrounds:

1)  University of Lagos (Unilag)

Known for its academic excellence, Unilag offers specific postgraduate programs that admit HND holders and graduates with lower classifications, provided they undergo a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) course where necessary.

2) University of Ibadan (UI): 

This prestigious institution has made provisions for applicants with HND, Second Class Lower, and Third Class degrees, especially for professional Master’s programs. UI emphasizes bridging courses or PGD programs for certain departments.

3) Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

OAU is inclusive in its admission policy, allowing HND and lower degree classifications entry into its Master’s programs, with some departments requiring a PGD for full integration.

4)  Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA)

FUTMINNA offers a range of technical and engineering Master’s programs that accept HND and lower degree classifications, with the condition of undertaking a PGD in relevant fields.

5) University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)

With a focus on academic inclusivity, UNN provides opportunities for HND holders and graduates with Second Class Lower and Third Class degrees to enroll in selected Master’s degree programs, following successful completion of a PGD if deemed necessary.

These universities represent the evolving educational ethos in Nigeria, emphasizing skill development and academic achievement over traditional degree classifications. Prospective students are advised to research specific program requirements and PGD offerings directly from the universities to ensure alignment with their academic and career objectives.

Nigeria Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs 

While universities often get the limelight for their diverse academic programs, several schools in Nigeria also play a pivotal role in providing advanced education to students with HND certificates, Second Class Lower, and Third Class degrees. These institutions offer tailored Master’s degree programs or Postgraduate Diplomas (PGD) designed to bridge the academic and professional gaps, ensuring that more students have the opportunity to further their education and career prospects. Below is a list of notable schools that are recognized for their inclusive admissions policies:

1) Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH): 

As one of the leading polytechnics in Nigeria, YABATECH offers PGD programs that serve as a pathway for HND holders and graduates with lower degree classifications to transition into Master’s degree programs, providing a solid foundation in various fields of study.

2) Federal Polytechnic Nekede

Known for its commitment to technical and vocational education, Federal Polytechnic Nekede extends its offerings to include PGD courses. These programs are specifically designed for HND graduates and individuals with lower undergraduate grades, aiming to elevate their qualifications for Master’s degree pursuits.

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3) Auchi Polytechnic 

With a robust selection of PGD programs, Auchi Polytechnic accommodates HND recipients and those with lower university degrees, facilitating their academic advancement. The institution is focused on equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen fields.

4) Kaduna Polytechnic (KADPOLY)

Emphasizing technical and vocational training, KADPOLY offers a range of PGD courses tailored for students with HND certificates and lower classifications from universities. These programs are instrumental in preparing students for the rigors of Master’s level education.

4) The Polytechnic, Ibadan

This institution stands out for its inclusive educational approach, offering PGD courses that cater to HND holders and university graduates with Second Class Lower and Third Class degrees. The Polytechnic, Ibadan, focuses on bridging the academic gap and fostering a conducive environment for professional development.

These schools represent key players in the Nigerian educational system’s efforts to democratize access to postgraduate education. By providing tailored programs and support, they ensure that students from diverse academic backgrounds have the opportunity to enhance their qualifications and achieve their career aspirations.


Can I apply for Masters with my HND certificate?

Yes, you can apply for a master’s degree with a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate, though the specific requirements will vary from university to university. Most universities will require that you have a minimum overall grade in your HND, as well as specific grades in relevant modules. You may also need to provide proof of English language proficiency, and some universities may require additional documentation such as a personal statement or references.

Can a third class do Masters in Nigeria?

Admission with a third-class degree in Nigeria for Master’s Yes, it is possible to pursue a master’s degree in Nigeria with a third class bachelor’s degree. However, it is important to note that there are certain requirements that must be met in order to be accepted into a master’s program. 

Does Open University accept third class for Masters?

The Open University in the United Kingdom does not have a policy of accepting third class undergraduate degrees for its master’s programs. However, there are some exceptions made on a case-by-case basis. If you have a third class degree and are interested in pursuing a master’s degree with the Open University, it is best to contact the university directly to discuss your options. 

 Can I apply for Masters with a second class degree?

The answer to this question depends on the university and program you are applying to. Generally, a second class degree is sufficient for admission into many master’s degree programs. However, some universities and programs may have more stringent requirements, such as a first class degree or a minimum GPA. Additionally, some universities may require applicants to have work experience or relevant professional qualifications in order to be considered for admission. 

Can I do Masters in the UK with a third class?

While it is possible to do a master’s degree in the UK with a third class honours degree, it may be more difficult to gain admission. Most universities in the UK require a minimum of a 2:2 (second class honours) degree for entry into their master’s programs. There are a few universities, however, that will accept students with a third class degree, provided they have relevant work experience or other relevant qualifications


In Nigeria, there are a number of universities that accept HND certificates, second class degrees, and third class degrees for admission into master’s degree programs. These include the University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ahmadu Bello University, and the University of Benin. 

The specific requirements for admission will vary from university to university, but generally speaking, candidates must meet the minimum academic requirements and provide all necessary documentation. It is also worth noting that some universities may require students to sit for a qualifying examination before they can be admitted into the program.

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