Mechanical Engineering Higher National Certificate HNC

Course Information

  • Course Code: ST2125C12
  • Fees: View fees and financial support information
  • UCAS Code: H303
  • Validated by: EDEXCEL
  • Study Mode: Full time, Part time and Part time
  • This course is recruiting in: 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19

This Mechanical Engineering (HNC) course is set at an introductory higher education level and is ideal for candidates who may not have a vast amount of Mechanical Engineering knowledge already but could have some experience. Higher National Certificates are a well-respected industry qualification for engineering students and employers value the practical as well as theoretical skills that you gain on the programme. Mechanical Engineering is concerned with design, development, installation, operation and maintenance of just about anything that has moveable parts. Mechanical engineers apply their creative imaginations and professional skills to combine both theory and practice in a variety of situations. For this, you will need an in-depth understanding of scientific principles and engineering processes. You'll also need to be able to develop solutions to real-life problems in the face of conflicting requirements. The HNC Mechanical Engineering is a well established national qualification that places academic theory within a practical context. The course is suitable if you are already employed in the engineering industry and wish to enhance your career prospects as well as if you are seeking a change of career. Two methods of study are available:

  • Part-time on a full or half day release, or evening only basis.
  • Flexible learning this comprises one-week intensive courses, accreditation of prior learning and distance learning.
What will I study?

The HNC Mechanical Engineering course comprises 8 units. There are three compulsory units:

  • Engineering Science (15 credits)
  • Analytical Methods for Engineers (15 credits)
  • Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation (20 credits)

A further five specialist units are studied chosen from the following:

  • Programmable Logic Controllers (15 credits)
  • Applications of Pneumatics & Hydraulics (15 credits)
  • Mechanical Principles (15 credits)
  • Advanced Computer Aided Design (15 credits)
  • Further Analytical Methods for Engineers (15 credits)
  • Fluid Mechanics (15 credits)
  • Quality Assurance & Management (15 credits)
  • Health, Safety & Risk Assessment in Engineering (15 credits)

Download the Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

You'll need 80 UCAS tariff points along with a grade C in GCSE Maths. All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you'll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English. Please check the International section of the website for details. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview.

Please note: For 2017 entry the UCAS Tariff is changing and the UCAS points required to enter this programme will be different from 2016. For those joining this programme in September 2017, you will need to have 32 UCAS Tariff points. All other entry criteria (as specified above) remain in place.

If you require more information on the UCAS tariff for 2017 entry please visit:

If you are an International Student from outside of the EU it is a requirement for you to have a Tier 4 Visa in order to study with us. In order for you to undertake this particular programme of study, you will also need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English and will require a UK VI Academic IELTS score of 6. Please note: the fees for International Students from outside of the EU, for this particular programme are £9,250 per year. Fees are subject to change in subsequent years.

How will I be assessed?

Units are assessed by written assignments and in-class tests. There are no formal examinations. Students are required to give a presentation on their Project.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

Upon completion of the HNC in Mechanical Engineering you can progress on to the HND in Mechanical Engineering or the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, subject to achievement of the appropriate results. You may also choose to seek junior supervisory or management roles in a range of Engineering areas. We will encourage you to progress with your qualification to HND/BEng level at University Centre at Blackburn College. 

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"The students felt that programme staff had a wealth of industrial knowledge and experience. Assessors used realistic practical examples to relate engineering theory to workplace practice. The students commented that staff were readily approachable and constructively helped them to improve their work."

External Examiners Report 2014/15
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