Engineering Systems HNC

UCAS code 356H

What is special about this course?

The HNC Engineering Systems will give you the required technical training to be a technician in design, research, development and service support activities in engineering, manufacturing and consultancy.

You may also be able to use the HNC as a spring-board into the second year of our engineering degrees, including: BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering; BEng (Hons) Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering; or BEng (Hons) Energy Engineering.

Special features

  • You will study both mechanical and electrical engineering
  • The course is designed to meet the needs of employers
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances: please see study mode tab for modes and locations of study offered


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above in Maths or Physics OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above in Maths or Physics OR
  • Alternatively, NC/NQ Engineering at level 6 or equivalent OR the completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship Engineering
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply, appropriate industry related experience will be taken into consideration
  • You may be required to attend an interview

Access routes

SVQ 3 Electrotechnical Services NC Engineering Systems NC Engineering

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Communication: practical skills
  • Engineering communication
  • Engineering measurement and system monitoring
  • Engineering systems: graded unit 1
  • Mathematics for engineering 1: mechanical and manufacturing
  • Principles of engineering systems

Option units may include:

  • Engineering: practical skills
  • Computer aided draughting for engineers
  • Materials selection
  • Mathematics for engineering 2
  • Thermofluids
  • Analogue electronics: an introduction
  • Electronic construction skills
  • Engineering principles
  • Analogue electronic principles
  • Applications of programmable logic controllers
  • Combinational logic
  • Renewable energy systems: overview of energy use
  • Dynamics
  • Electrical engineering principles 1
  • Pneumatics and hydraulics
  • Statics and strengths of materials

Option units available may vary depending on study location and mode of study: for more information contact your chosen campus

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • Evening (North Highland College UHI only)
  • You will study by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, and practical sessions
  • For those studying at Orkney College UHI, there are twilight video lectures and up to two-day visits to North Highland College in Thurso for practical work

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

Start date

  • September
  • January (only available in certain locations and for part-time study only)


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

*The Home-Scotland/EU fee rate is set by the Scottish Government and will be confirmed by March 2019.

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,720
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £448

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,855
Part-time (per HN credit)** £448 £457

*There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international students.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

This course prepares you for a variety of jobs in engineering, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Offshore engineering
  • the developing renewables sector
  • Engineering design

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to year two of the HND Engineering Systems. You may also be eligible to progress to the second year of: BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering; BEng (Hons) Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering; or BEng (Hons) Energy Engineering.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I would definitely like to continue on to the degree course, as the theory you learn can be applied to your job situation. If you’re willing to put in the work, it is really worth the effort and can lead to a successful career. Having support for my studies from my employer is also a great help.

Kirsty Robertson started on the HNC Engineering Systems and continued on to the HND at North College Highland UHI (Thurso) campus.

Apply for Engineering Systems HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2019 or Jan/Feb 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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