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 lower cost.

General Engineering is a very specialist subject area which encompasses many professions and industries aside from engineering itself. The broad nature of the subject matter allows for both generic units of study alongside specialist components and the Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate has been developed to focus on the education and training of engineers/technicians who are employed at a professional level in a variety of types of technical work such as in systems design, manufacture, maintenance and technical services areas of the mechanical, aeronautical, electronic and electrical engineering industries. These qualifications focus on the development of the higher-level skills in a technological and management context and develop a range of skills, techniques and attributes essential for successful performance in working life. The Higher National Certificate provides an opportunity for you if you are an engineer/technician to achieve a nationally recognised Level 4 vocationally specific qualification. It also provides an opportunity for you if you are currently in full-time learning to enable you to progress to higher education to enable you to enter employment as an engineer/technician.

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 Engineering with at least one Merit in the final Grade profile
• A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent)
• Other related Level 3 qualifications
• A minimum of two A Levels with one in a related subject at Grade C or above
• Access to HE with relevant options
• Extensive relevant work experience – mature learners who have extensive work experience and/or professional qualifications in a related industry are welcome to apply.

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 Certificate, both to support your study and to allow you to progress to Higher Education.

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.


To gain HNC qualification you will study number of core, specialist and optional units relevant to your chosen pathway which will develop your skills and knowledge in the specialist engineering subjects.

Units for HNC General Engineering Pathway:

•Unit 1: Engineering Design (Core)
•Unit 2: Engineering Maths (Core)
•Unit 3: Engineering Science (Core)
•Unit 4: Managing Professional Engineering Project (Pearson Set) – (Core)
•Unit 6: Mechatronics – (Optional)
•Unit 8: Mechanical Principles – (Optional)
•Unit 13: Fundamentals of Thermodynamics and Heat Engines – (Optional)
•Unit 19: Electrical and Electronic Principles – (Optional)

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


HNC units are assessed internally. You will be graded for each individual unit with a Pass, Merit or Distinction. You may be assessed in a number of different ways, such as presentations, written reports, logbooks 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 Bechalor 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 any additional course requirements and costs. Also, you may be required to purchase specialist boots and overalls to use in the workshop. 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: 23/06/2023

Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm

Days of week: TBA

Number of Weeks: 33

Weekly hours: 6.00

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