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

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Pursuing a Master’s degree can significantly enhance one’s professional standing, opening doors to new opportunities and potentially leading to career advancement. For many, the path to a postgraduate qualification can seem straightforward, but for those holding an HND (Higher National Diploma), or Bachelor’s degree with Second Class or Third Class honors, the journey can appear more challenging. 

However, there’s good news: several schools and universities in Singapore welcome students with these qualifications for their Master’s degree programs. In this blog post, we will delve into the criteria for enrolling in a Master’s program in Singapore and highlight specific institutions that offer these opportunities.

Criteria For Master’s Degree In Singapore

These criteria often vary from one institution to another but generally revolve around academic qualifications, work experience, and proficiency in English. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Work Experience: Certain Master’s programs, especially those related to business or management, may require applicants to have relevant work experience. The length and nature of required experience can vary, with some programs requiring at least two years of professional work.
  • English Language Proficiency: Since the medium of instruction in Singapore is English, non-native speakers must demonstrate their proficiency. This is typically measured through standardized tests like the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Minimum score requirements vary by program and institution.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Applicants might need to submit one or more letters of recommendation from academic or professional referees. These letters should attest to the applicant’s abilities, character, and suitability for the Master’s program.
  • Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement: A well-crafted statement of purpose or personal statement is crucial. It should outline the applicant’s academic interests, professional goals, and reasons for choosing the specific Master’s program and institution.

Understanding and meeting these criteria is the first step towards pursuing a Master’s degree in Singapore, especially for those holding HND certificates or Bachelor’s degrees with lower classifications. Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly research the specific requirements of their chosen institutions and programs to ensure a successful application process.

Read Also: Schools and Universities in Portugal that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

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

Singapore is known for its rigorous education system and high-quality tertiary education. However, it also offers pathways for individuals who may not have the traditional academic qualifications typically required for Master’s programs. Various schools in Singapore recognize the value of practical experience and alternative qualifications like HND certificates or Bachelor’s degrees with Second or Third Class honors. Here is a list of notable schools that provide Master’s degree opportunities for such candidates:

1) SIM Global Education

A leading private educational institution in Singapore, SIM Global Education has partnerships with international universities, offering Master’s programs that accept a wide range of qualifications, including HND and lower-class Bachelor’s degrees. They focus on the relevance of the applicant’s background and experience to the chosen field of study.

2) Kaplan Singapore

Kaplan Singapore is known for its flexible approach to admissions, offering several Master’s degree programs in partnership with overseas universities. These programs are designed to accommodate professionals looking to advance their careers, accepting HND holders and graduates with lower classifications who demonstrate potential for postgraduate study.

 3) PSB Academy

Catering to both full-time students and working professionals, PSB Academy offers Master’s degree programs in collaboration with reputable international universities. The academy values diverse academic backgrounds, including HND certificates and Bachelor’s degrees with Second or Third Class honors, especially for applicants with significant professional experience.

 4) James Cook University Singapore (JCU Singapore)

As the Singapore campus of James Cook University, Australia, JCU Singapore offers a range of postgraduate programs. They consider applicants with HND certificates or lower-class degrees for certain Master’s programs, particularly those with relevant work experience or a strong professional track record.

5) Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) 

MDIS offers various Master’s degree programs through its partnerships with international universities. The institute has a holistic admissions process, considering HND holders and Bachelor’s graduates with lower classifications, focusing on the applicant’s overall profile, including work experience and professional achievements.

These schools exemplify Singapore’s inclusive approach to education, providing pathways for individuals with diverse academic backgrounds to pursue higher education. Prospective students are encouraged to directly contact the admissions departments of these institutions for detailed information on specific program requirements, application procedures, and how their unique qualifications can be leveraged for admission into a Master’s degree program.

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

Singapore’s higher education landscape is not only about maintaining stringent academic standards but also about offering opportunities for a diverse range of students, including those with HND certificates, Second Class, and Third Class Bachelor’s degrees. The following universities stand out for their inclusive admissions policies for Master’s degree programs:

 1) Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Known for its research-intensive courses and innovative learning approaches, NTU evaluates applicants on a case-by-case basis. They welcome applications from HND holders and Bachelor’s degree graduates with lower classifications for selected Master’s programs, particularly those demonstrating strong professional accomplishments or exceptional skills relevant to the field of study.

2) National University of Singapore (NUS)

As one of Asia’s top universities, NUS has a competitive admissions process but considers a broad range of qualifications for its Master’s programs. Applicants with HND certificates or lower-class Bachelor’s degrees may be admitted into certain programs if they can show substantial professional experience or excellence in related extracurricular pursuits.

3) Singapore Management University (SMU)

SMU places a strong emphasis on leadership and innovation in its postgraduate offerings. The university has programs that assess applicants beyond academic grades, considering work experience, leadership potential, and personal achievements. This holistic approach opens doors for HND holders and those with lower-class degrees, especially in business and management fields.

4) Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) 

SUTD is known for its focus on design and technology. The university’s unique pedagogy and emphasis on creating a better world through design make it a fitting choice for those with practical diplomas like HNDs and lower-class Bachelor’s degrees in relevant fields. Applicants are evaluated on their portfolio, work experience, and potential to contribute to the program.

5) Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

SUSS is dedicated to lifelong learning and believes in the value of work experience and personal growth. It offers several Master’s programs that accept applicants with diverse educational backgrounds, including HND holders and graduates with lower-class honors, particularly those with a strong record of professional or voluntary work.

These universities exemplify Singapore’s commitment to accessible and inclusive higher education. Prospective students from varied educational pathways are encouraged to explore these opportunities further and consider how their unique experiences and qualifications can enrich their pursuit of a Master’s degree in Singapore.


Can I do a Master’s with an HND certificate?

Yes, it is possible to do a master’s degree with an HND certificate, but the requirements will vary depending on the university and the specific program. In general, most universities will require at least a 2:2 undergraduate degree for admission to a master’s program, and some may have additional requirements such as work experience or references. 

Which university in the Netherlands accepts HND for Masters?

Several universities in the Netherlands accept HND certificates for admission into master’s degree programs. For example, Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and the University of Groningen all accept HNDs. 

Can I do a Master’s abroad with a second-class lower (UK grading system)?

It is possible to pursue a master’s degree abroad with a second-class lower (2:2) degree, though requirements may vary depending on the specific program and university. Some universities in the UK, such as the University of Manchester and the University of Leeds, offer master’s degrees that are open to students with 2:2 degrees.

Can I do a Master’s with a 3rd class degree (UK grading system)?

Yes, you can do a master’s degree with a third-class degree from a UK university. However, it is important to note that not all master’s programs will accept a third-class degree, so you should check with the university you are interested in to see if you are eligible.

What is the CGPA for a third-class degree?

A third-class degree, also known as a 3rd, is generally the lowest grade that can be awarded in the UK grading system. The minimum CGPA for a third-class degree is typically 40-49%. This means that you will need to get at least 40% in each of your courses to be awarded a third-class degree. It is important to note that the exact GPA required for a third-class degree may vary slightly between universities. 


In conclusion, it is clear that there are many options available to students with HND certificates, second class and 3rd class qualifications who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Singapore. With the wide range of universities that accept these qualifications, it is possible to find the perfect program to suit your needs and interests. In addition, the affordability of these programs and the high quality of education that is available in Singapore make it an ideal destination for students looking to further their education. With the right degree, you can set yourself up for success in your future career.

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