Mechanical Engineering Higher National Diploma HND

Course Information


This Mechanical Engineering (HND) course is set at an intermediate higher education level and is ideal for candidates who may have some knowledge of Mechanical Engineering already and wish to work in higher paid roles. Higher National Diplomas 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 specifically concerned with design, development, installation, operation and maintenance of just about anything that has moveable parts. As a result, there are job opportunities for mechanical engineers in practically every field of work, transport(including aerospace), health, defence, manufacturing, entertainment, finance, publishing, building, design and research, to name but a few.

This well established national qualification is set at an intermediate undergraduate level and places academic theory within a practical context. The range of modules is reflected by the diversity of careers entered by graduates. Industries entered include aerospace, defence and energy as well as the manufacturing of industrial and domestic products, drugs, furniture and foods. Graduates may work in areas of design, research and development, marketing, sales, production management and quality.

What will I study?

You'll study a set of modules that have been specifically chosen to equip you in your chosen field of work and also that are directly relevant to students who wish to secure employment or promotion in companies operating in the North West region of the UK. You will get the opportunity to take part in a range of trips. These have included industrial visits - these trips are chosen so you can see both operational elements of business but also see the range of technologies that industry uses including CAD technologies, for example. Other visits have included Manchester Museum of Science and Technology. You will also have the opportunity to take part in trips within Europe such as France and Holland. Typical industry cases and case studies are introduced as part of the programme to ensure that, although you may not be working in an Engineering capacity throughout the course, industrial knowledge is included within the programme. There are opportunities to get work experience with local companies as part of the course.

Four of the modules are compulsory, these are:

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

You will also study a further 12 option modules. Options for these modules include (subject to availability of staff and demand):

  • Health, Safety and Risk Assessment in Engineering (15 credits)
  • Business Management Techniques for Engineers (15 credits)
  • Engineering Design (15 credits)
  • Applications of Pneumatics and Hydraulics (15 credits)
  • Advanced Computer-aided Design Techniques (15 credits)
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (15 credits)
  • Quality Assurance and Management (15 credits)
  • Further Analytic Methods for Engineers (15 credits)
  • Mechancial Systems (15 credits)
  • Energy Management (15 credits)
  • Heat Transfer and Combustion (15 credits)
  • Engineering Thermodynamics (15 credits)
  • Research Project (20 credits)

Download the Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

You'll need 120 UCAS tariff points and at least a Grade C in GCSE in 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. 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 48 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 5.5. Please note: the fees for International Students from outside of the EU, for this particular programme are £8,850 per year. Fees are subject to change in subsequent years.

How will I be assessed?

During the course you'll be assessed by in-class tests, assignments/briefs, group projects (in the second year of a full-time course) and presentations including group presentations. You will also take part in practical assessments - these might include buidling systems and circuits and testing them, practical assessments involving programming or specific project work.

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 successful completion of the HND you can secure employment in many varied areas of the engineering industry. Typical roles that our Mechanical Engineering graduates have progressed into include: Design Engineers, Installation Engineers and Test/Development Engineers. You may choose to progress on to one of our BEng (Hons) Engineering programmes via an additional period of two years full-time study at University Centre at Blackburn College. It is also possible to progress onto the BEng (Hons) Engineering programmes should you achieve a merit average in your first year on the HND programme.

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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."

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