Higher Education


Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications are designed to develop practical skills alongside specialist knowledge and understanding of the subject area. These qualifications have been well respected and recognised by employers and higher education institutions. The Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a Level 4 qualification which is equivalent to the first year of the Bachelor Degree. HNC qualification can be studied by those in employment for professional development to enhance their career prospects or level 3, A-level and Access to Higher Education students can use this as an alternative path to gain higher education locally at a lower cost.

The Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Computing offers students a broad introduction to the subject area via a mandatory core of learning, while allowing for the acquisition of skills and experience through the selection of optional units across a range of occupational sectors at level 4. This effectively builds underpinning core skills while preparing the student for subject specialisation at level 5. Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in research, self-study, directed study and workplace scenarios.

Entry Requirements

For students who have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

• A BTEC level 3 qualification in Computing/IT with a final grade profile of at least MMM
• A GCE Advanced Level grade profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject alongside others to total at least 96 UCAS points. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent).
• A relevant Access to Higher Education Certificate awarded by an approved further education institution
• Other related level 3 qualifications as deemed appropriate by the team
• Related work experience (references will be required)
• An international equivalent to any of the above

• A* to C grade (Grade 9-4) in GCSE English and Maths – strongly recommended

If you do not hold GCSE Maths and English at grade C (Grade 4-5) or above then it is strongly recommended that you study these before starting on a Higher National programme, both to support your study and to allow you to progress to employment or university. We strongly recommend that you obtain a grade B in GCSE Maths before applying for this course.

On receipt of your application to study this course, you will be invited to attend an admissions interview with a member of the teaching team to further discuss the course and its requirements. Please note that meeting the entry requirements does not guarantee an offer will be made. Offers are made based on the interviewer’s professional judgement.


Students develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the computing sector through six core units:
1. Programming
2. Networking
3. Professional Practice
4. Database Design & Development
5. Security
6. Managing a Successful Computing Project (Pearson-set unit).

In addition to this, HNC learners will also cover the following optional units:

8. Computer Systems Architecture
10. Website Design & Development

Note: Optional units may change to meet local employment need.


HNC units are assessed internally with some assessments being set by the awarding body and the rest set by the tutors. You will be graded for each individual unit with a Pass, Merit or Distinction. You may be assessed in many ways, such as presentations, written reports and practical tasks.

Awarding body

Pearson Edexcel


On successful completion of this course you can continue with employment or use the HNC as an entry to apply for other Higher Education qualifications e.g. HND or Bachelor Degree. You can apply to university to complete a degree in a related subject; entry to the degree may be at Year 2 dependent upon the university and degree programme. This qualification can also be used to support a job application within a related profession.

Additional information

During your interview you will be advised for the course fee, any additional course requirements and costs. The information on the college policies and procedures, Terms and Conditions and the Student Protection Plan (SPP) are available on the college website

Student and College Policies

Also, a copy of these terms and conditions and the Student Protection Plan will be given to you to read before enrolling on the course.

Further Information

For further information, advice and guidance call The Learner Experience Team on 01625 410062.

Duration and Times

Start date: 20/09/2021

End date: 24/06/2022

Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm

Days of week: TBA

Number of Weeks: 33

Weekly hours: 12.00

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