Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Computing (Conversion HNC to HND)

This course allows those learners who have achieved the Higher National Certificate in Computing to progress to the HND and then on to university if desired. It provides a thorough grounding in the key concepts and practical skills required for success in careers in computing and systems development.

Introductory course information

Award: Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma Computing

UCAS Code: 100I

Location of study: Kingston Hall Road

Awarding body: Students who complete the course successfully will receive a higher national qualification from Pearson.

Course duration: 1 year (full-time)

Academic year dates: Full-time course: September 2018 - June 2019

Days of the week: Full-time course: TBC

Work placements: If you would like to undertake a work placement as part of the course, our Careers staff will work with you to try to identify a suitable opportunity and location for your work placement in the UK. Please note that you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from your work placement, and for any accommodation costs. Further details on the likelihood of securing a placement, its impact on your course duration, and whether or not it will be paid are available from the Careers Advisory Service.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available at enrolment. 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. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

Course leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Entry requirements

A Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC in Computing, plus GCSEs at grade A*-C/9-4 including English Language and Mathematics.

Course overview

The Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing offers students a non-specialist ‘Computing’ pathway, which allows students to complete a Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma without committing to a particular professional specialism. This offers additional flexibility to students and can provide progression to direct employment.

Module information

The course will comprise the following Level 5 units:-

  • Computing Research Project (30 credits): The aim of this unit is to offer students the opportunity to engage in sustained research in a specific field of study. The unit enables students to demonstrate the capacity and ability to identify a research theme, to develop research aims, objectives and outcomes, and to present the outcomes of such research in both written and verbal formats. The unit also encourages students to reflect on their engagement in the research process during which recommendations for future, personal development are key learning points.
  • Business Intelligence (15 credits): This unit introduces students to a range of tools, techniques and technologies for acquiring data and processing this into meaningful information that can be used to support business functions and processes.
  • Data Structures & Algorithms (15 credits): This unit introduces students to data structures and how they are used in algorithms, enabling them to design and implement data structures. The unit introduces the specification of abstract data types and explores their use in concrete data structures.
  • Advanced Programming (15 credits): Among the topics included in this unit are: object-orientated programming; polymorphism, encapsulation, class aggregation/association, constructors/destructors, inheritance, abstract classes, interfaces, containers, generics, introduction to design patterns and Unified Modelling Language (UML).
  • Systems Analysis & Design (15 credits): This unit explores the processes of systems analysis and design using two methodologies – the traditional systems development lifecycle methodology providing a comprehensive structured framework and the agile methodology with different framework models developed with the emphasis on variations of iterative incremental modelling.
  • Database Management Systems (15 credits): In this unit, students will examine the structure of data, and how an efficient data design follows through into an effectively developed database management system. Students will examine the merits of different DBMS platforms, and investigate system administration and management tools of the platform.
  • Games Development (15 credits): This unit introduces students to games development and is designed to simulate the roles and responsibilities of a games developer working in a suitable games development studio with access to a small team of colleagues. Students are expected to discuss and review a number of original game ideas before synthesising them into a single game concept. Once defined they will need to adopt and use appropriate methods and practices to analyse, breakdown and discuss the issues – then, decide, design, create and test a functional game.

Teaching and learning


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of students. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. You will use industry-standard software and have access to computer labs and library facilities throughout your course.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, the Undergraduate Centre, and our computer laboratories.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning, and assessment activity, with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours.

Academic support

Our Academic Support Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
  • academic writing (including how to reference)
  • research skills (in conjunction with the library)
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Our Student Support Services help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Visit their pages for more information.

Teaching staff

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 includes senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.

Course costs and financial support

Fees: For the academic year 2018-19 the tuition fees for this course are:

  • UK/EU students: Full-time £6,300
  • Overseas/International students: Full-time £9,000


Inflation linked tuition fee rises: The College may decide to increase tuition fees year on year at a reasonable rate in line with inflation. Any increases would not exceed the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast for RPI-­‐X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). This intention will be clearly advertised on the College’s promotional material.


The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • annual printing allowance

The following course-related costs are not included in the fees:

  • additional printing over and above the annual allowance
  • the cost of books, hardware or software that you might wish to purchase.


Accommodation and living costs are not included in the fees: This information can be obtained from our Accommodation page.


Sources of financial support: You may be eligible to apply for additional support. Details can be obtained from our Money to Study page.


Bursaries, scholarships and prizes: The College also provides a number of scholarships and prizes for undergraduate students, for which you may be eligible to apply. Some of these are available to students on any course, and some have specific conditions. You can check your eligibility for these types of financial support, along with their value and application deadlines, at our Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes page.

Careers and progression

On successful completion of the Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma at Level 5, students can develop their careers in the computing sector through:

  • Entering employment
  • Continuing existing employment
  • Linking with the appropriate vendor accredited certificates
  • Committing to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Progressing to university.

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant computing-related courses.

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