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 Pearson BTEC Level 3 National /Extended Diploma in Computing IT subject with a Merit grade profile
• A minimum of two A Levels at grade C or above with one in relevant subject
• T-Level qualification in a related subject with a Pass grade
• Access to Higher Education Diploma with relevant subject options awarded by an approved further education institution with a Merit grade profile
• Other related Level 3 qualifications
• Extensive relevant work experience – mature learners who have extensive work experience and/or professional qualifications in a related industry are welcome to apply.
• A* to C or 9 to 4 grades in GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent)

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 discuss the course and its requirements further. 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.


You will study a total of eight units throughout the course for the HNC. The six mandatory units will provide a general foundation, one specialist and one optional unit will introduce you to particular computing concepts and theories in more depth.

HNC Mandatory Units:

• Unit 1: Programming
• Unit 2: Networking
• Unit 3: Professional Practice
• Unit 4: Database Design & Development
• Unit 5: Security
• Unit 6: Planning a Computing Project (Pearson-set unit).

In addition to the mandatory, you will study one specialist and one optional unit, which will be selected to meet the local employers need:

• Unit 10: Cyber Security
• Unit 13: Website Design and Development

Note: Optional units may change to meet local employment need.
Unit Specification: Computing (2022) – RQF | Pearson qualifications


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 BTEC


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: 19/09/2022

End date: 23/06/2023

Time: 12:00am - 12:00am

Days of week: TBA

Number of Weeks: 33

Weekly hours: 12.00

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