Mechanical Engineering Higher National Diploma (HND) Subject to validation

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: 003H
Code: ST2325C12
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: EDEXCEL
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Start Dates: september 2020
Term Dates: View term dates

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.

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.

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. 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. 

All students take a total of 120 credits.  There are a mixture of mandatory and optional modules.

Level 5 Mandatory Modules include:

  • Analytical Methods for Engineers
  • Engineering Science 
  • Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation 
  • Mechanical Principles 

Level 5 Optional Modules of which you can choose 4 include:

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

 Optional Modules

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.  If an optional module will not be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module

Entry Requirements

Successfully completed a HNC in Mechanical Engineering.

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.

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.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal 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. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could 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.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research 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.

Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification

Career Options

Mechanical Engineer

  • £
    + starting salary
  • 37 to 40 hours per week

Mechanical engineers develop and design components and machinery used in many industries like manufacturing, construction, water, power, health and transport. They also manage teams of technicians and craftspeople who carry out installation and maintenance work.

If you are technically minded, good at maths and science, and like solving problems, a professional career in engineering could be a great move for you.

To work as a mechanical engineer you will usually need a foundation degree, HNC/HND or degree in an engineering subject.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Mechanical Engineering Technician

  • £
    + starting salary
  • 37-40 hours per week

Mechanical engineering technicians design, install and repair plant machinery and parts. This includes using skills from CNC machining to welding.

If you are good at maths and science, like solving problems and want a practical and varied career, this job could be ideal for you.

You'll need to be able to understand engineering drawings and be a good teamworker.

You can get into this job by taking an engineering Apprenticeship or by studying at college to gain qualifications in engineering before looking for a trainee position.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Aerospace Engineer

  • £
    + starting salary
  • 37-40 hours per week

Aerospace engineers design, build and maintain aircraft and the parts and instruments that go into them. They also work at the forefront of technology on space vehicles and satellites.

If you are passionate about aircraft and spacecraft, and want to be involved in their development, this job could be perfect for you.

To become an engineer you will need excellent maths skills, the ability to solve problems and a methodical approach to work.

To do this job you will normally need a HND, degree or postgraduate award in a relevant engineering subject.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Aerospace Engineering Technician

  • £
    + starting salary
  • 37-40 hours per week

Aerospace engineering technicians design, build and test new aircraft. They also repair and service existing aircraft. They work on all types of civil and military aircraft, including helicopters, as well as weapons systems and satellites.

To get into this job you will need good practical skills. You'll need excellent maths, science and IT knowledge. You’ll also have to be good at managing a varied workload.

The best way to start would be by becoming a technician apprentice with an airline operator, airline manufacturer or service engineering company.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Automotive Engineer

  • £
    + starting salary
  • 35-40 hours per week

Automotive engineers design, develop, test and build domestic motor vehicles, racing cars and motorbikes. They also work on improving components like engines, electronics and aerodynamics.

If you are passionate about cars and want to put your practical skills to good use, this could be the perfect career for you.

You will need to have a strong interest in engineering and design. You will also need excellent maths and IT skills and the ability to work in a team.

Most employers will prefer you to have an engineering-related qualification. Previous experience in motor mechanics or engineering design could be an advantage when looking for work.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Manufacturing Systems Engineer

  • £
    + starting salary
  • 30-40 hours per week

Manufacturing systems engineers design and install new production line systems in factories and manufacturing plants. They also work on improvements to get the most out of existing systems.

If you're good at maths, science and IT, and like solving problems, this career could offer you a lot of opportunities.

You normally need a higher education qualification like a HND or degree in engineering to get into this type of job. You may also be able to work your way up after working as a qualified technician, by taking a Higher Apprenticeship in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire