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

Norway is a great place to pursue higher education, with numerous universities and schools accepting a variety of qualifications, including Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), second class, and third class degrees.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive list of these institutions, along with information on the programs and courses they offer. Whether you are looking to study business, engineering, or any other subject, Norway has something to offer everyone. So, if you are interested in pursuing your studies in Norway for master’s degree, be sure to check out our list of top universities and schools.

Eligibility Criteria for Masters Programs in Norway

While the specific requirements may vary from one institution to another, the following bullet points provide a general overview of what applicants can expect:

  • Academic Qualifications: Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree equivalent to a Norwegian bachelor’s degree. This means a minimum of 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits for European degrees or the equivalent for degrees from other parts of the world. HND holders may need to provide additional documentation or complete bridging courses to meet this requirement.
  • Grade Requirements: Many Norwegian universities accept Second Class and Third Class Bachelor degrees for admission into their Masters programs. However, the competitiveness of the program and the number of applicants may influence the minimum grade requirement. Specific programs may have higher demands for grades.
  • Language Proficiency: For programs taught in English, non-native English speakers must provide proof of English language proficiency. This is commonly verified through standardized tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examinations. Programs taught in Norwegian will require proficiency in the Norwegian language, typically demonstrated through tests such as Bergenstesten.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Most institutions require two or three letters of recommendation from academicians or professionals who can attest to the applicant’s qualifications and potential for success in graduate studies.

It’s important for applicants to carefully review the specific eligibility criteria and admission requirements for each program and university to which they are applying. Preparing the necessary documents well in advance and reaching out to admissions offices for clarification can help ensure a smooth application process.

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

Norwegian higher education institutions have increasingly tailored their admissions processes to accommodate a diverse range of international qualifications. This inclusivity reflects in their acceptance of HND certificates as well as Bachelor degrees with Second Class and Third Class honors. The following list represents some of the universities in Norway that are known to consider applicants with these qualifications for their Masters degree programs:

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1)  University of Oslo

As Norway’s oldest and highest-ranking university, the University of Oslo offers a variety of Masters programs that are accessible to students with different undergraduate backgrounds. The university has specific pathways and bridging courses designed to help HND holders meet the requisite academic standards.

2) Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

With a strong focus on technology and natural sciences, NTNU values practical experience and may provide flexible admission criteria for applicants with HND certificates, particularly if they have relevant work experience or additional certifications.

3) University of Bergen 

Known for its research-intensive environment, the University of Bergen considers applicants with Second Class and Third Class honors for certain Masters programs, especially those in the humanities and social sciences, where the emphasis is on the applicant’s potential for research and innovation.

4) Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

NMBU is receptive to students with diverse academic backgrounds and offers programs in environmental, biological, and agricultural sciences where HND holders and graduates with lower class degrees can apply. The university looks for evidence of academic growth and professional development post-graduation.

5) Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) 

OsloMet prides itself on being practice-oriented and closely linked with the job market. It offers several Masters programs where practical experience and a strong motivation letter can significantly bolster the applications of those with HND certificates or lower-class degrees.

6) University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway

Situated in the northernmost part of the country, this university offers unique research opportunities and has programs that are open to students from various academic backgrounds, including those with HNDs and lower Bachelor honors, especially in fields related to Arctic studies and environmental sciences.

These universities exemplify Norway’s approach to higher education, which emphasizes inclusivity and the potential of each student. Applicants are encouraged to directly contact the admissions offices of these institutions or visit their official websites for more detailed information on specific program requirements and application procedures.

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

While universities often steal the spotlight when it comes to higher education, Norway’s specialized schools and institutions also play a significant role in shaping the educational landscape, particularly for international students holding HND certificates, Second Class, and Third Class Bachelor degrees. These schools offer a unique blend of academic rigor and practical skill development, making them an ideal choice for students aiming to enhance their expertise and employability. Here’s a list of notable Norwegian schools that welcome students with diverse academic backgrounds for their Masters degree programs:

1) BI Norwegian Business School

Recognized for its strong emphasis on research and innovation in business studies, BI Norwegian Business School offers several Masters programs that are designed to accommodate students with varied academic qualifications, including those with HND certificates and lower-class Bachelor degrees. The school focuses on developing leadership and analytical skills, making it a popular choice among international students.

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2) Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) 

For those with a creative flair and a passion for design, AHO provides a platform where practical experience and a robust portfolio can help bridge the gap for HND holders and graduates with lower-class degrees. The school’s Masters programs in architecture and design stress on hands-on projects and real-world applications.

3) Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics (HiMolde)

HiMolde is unique for its specialized focus on logistics, offering Masters programs that integrate theoretical knowledge with practical insights into supply chain management, transportation, and warehousing. Students with HND certificates, particularly those with relevant work experience, are encouraged to apply.

4) Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH) 

For those interested in sports, physical education, and outdoor life, NIH offers Masters programs that value a combination of academic credentials and practical experience. This institution is open to considering applications from students with diverse academic backgrounds, including HND holders.

5) The Norwegian Academy of Music (NMH) 

Aspiring musicians and music educators with HND certificates or lower-class Bachelor degrees in music or related fields may find their place at NMH. The academy values artistic talent and potential as much as academic qualifications, offering Masters programs that are designed to hone skills and foster creativity.

Each of these institutions has its own set of application requirements and selection criteria, so prospective students are advised to directly contact the admissions office or visit the official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


Can I apply for Masters with my HND certificate?

While some universities may require a bachelor’s degree for admission into a master’s program, many others will accept a Higher National Diploma (HND) as an alternative qualification. So, the answer to your question is: it depends. It is important to check with the specific university you are interested in to see if they accept HNDs for their master’s degree programs. If you do have an HND, make sure to highlight your achievements and experience on your application. 

Does Sweden university accept HND for Masters?

Each university has its own admission requirements, and it is best to check with the specific school you are interested in for more information. HNDs are recognized as a level 5 qualification in Sweden, which means they are generally seen as equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. 

Does Germany accept HND for Masters degree?

In general, universities in Germany do not accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) as an entry qualification for a master’s degree program. However, there are exceptions, and some universities may accept HNDs under certain circumstances. It is best to contact the specific university you are interested in for more information on their admission requirements. For example, some universities may accept HNDs if they are combined with other qualifications, such as relevant work experience or if the HND was earned from a recognized institution. 

Which university in the Netherlands accepts HND for Masters?

There are a few universities in the Netherlands that accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) for admission into their master’s degree programs. For example, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Hanze University of Applied Sciences all accept HNDs for their master’s programs. 

Does University of Aberdeen accept HND for Masters?

The University of Aberdeen, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Scotland, does not accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) for its master’s degree programs. The university requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent for admission to its master’s programs. However, the university does offer an International Diploma in Pre-Masters Studies (iDip) which is designed for international students who do not meet the entry requirements for a master’s degree.


Norway is a country that is known for its high-quality education, beautiful scenery, and welcoming culture. The country’s universities and schools offer a variety of programs that accept HNDs, second class, and third class degrees for master’s degree programs. 

Norway’s institutions are well-respected around the world, and the country is a great place to live and study. In conclusion, Norway is an excellent choice for those seeking to further their education, with a wide range of opportunities available. From the beautiful landscape to the quality of the educational system, Norway is a great place to pursue your dreams.

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