Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)

The BTEC Higher National qualifications in Engineering are aimed at students wanting to continue their education through applied learning. Higher Nationals provide a wide-ranging study of the engineering sector and are designed for students and apprentices who wish to pursue or progress their career in engineering.

Introductory course information

Award: Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)

UCAS Code: Not applicable

Location of study: Kingston Hall Road

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

Course duration: 2 years (part-time)

Academic year dates: Full-time course: N/A,
Part-time course: September 2018 - June 2020

Days of the week: TBC

Part-time study: Please note that part-time study does not necessarily mean that the modules you take in Year 1 will equate to 2.5 full days' attendance. As part-time study could mean attendance of some modules that are on the full-time timetable, it may mean that you will be required to attend modules timetabled over five days of the week. This has previously been on a Wednesday in Year 1 and a Tuesday in Year 2.

Work placements: Many of our students come from a range of companies with whom the College has well-established links. Suitable for both apprentices and general students, this course provides development to Level 4, which many companies require for their apprenticeship schemes and general staff training. Please note that you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from work and the College, and for any accommodation costs.

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

Successful completion of a full BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Engineering, Operations & Maintenance, with appropriate grades (a minimum of two merit grades, one of which must be Maths), or 48 UCAS points from two appropriate full A Levels, including Maths at a minimum of C grade. All suitable applicants will be required to have a formal interview and are given a diagnostic test to confirm background and to verify that the Maths base is genuinely solid enough to be developed to Level 4. The HNC at this level is quite heavily analytical and relies on a firm foundation.

Course overview

The Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering offers students a broad introduction to the subject area via a mandatory core of learning, while allowing for the acquisition of some sector-specific skills and experience through the specialist units in each pathway, with the opportunity to pursue a particular interest through the appropriate selection of optional units. This effectively builds underpinning core skills while preparing the student for more intense subject specialisation at Level 5. Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in research, self-study, directed study and workplace activities.

For the Mechanical Engineering pathway, students take the four mandatory core units, two specialist units and an additional two optional units.

Module information

The course will comprise the following Level 4 units:-

Year 1

  • Engineering Maths (Core, 15 credits): The mathematics that is delivered in this unit is that which is directly applicable to the engineering industry, and it will help to increase students’ knowledge of the broad underlying principles within this discipline.
  • Engineering Science (Core, 15 credits): This unit introduces students to the fundamental laws and applications of the physical sciences within engineering and how to apply this knowledge to find solutions to a variety of engineering problems.
  • Optional modules may include: Quality and Process Improvement, Materials, Properties and Testing, and Electrical and Electronic Principles.

Year 2

  • Engineering Maths (Core, 15 credits): Continued from the first year.
  • Engineering Design (Core, 15 credits): The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the methodical steps that engineers use in creating functional products and processes; from a design brief to the work, and the stages involved in identifying and justifying a solution to a given engineering need.
  • Managing a Professional Engineering Project (15 credits): This unit introduces students to the techniques and best practices required to successfully create and manage an engineering project designed to identify a solution to an engineering need. While carrying out this project students will consider the role and function of engineering in our society, the professional duties and responsibilities expected of engineers together with the behaviours that accompany their actions.
  • Optional modules may include: Mechanical Principles, Further Electrical, Electronic and Digital Principles, and Further PLCs.

Teaching and learning


You are taught through a combination of lectures and practicals. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. You will use industry-standard equipment and have access to 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. While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

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: £3,500
  • Overseas/International students: £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
  • BTEC registration fee (first year only)

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

  • additional printing over and above the annual allowance
  • the cost of books and equipment 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

Students who successfully complete this qualification may wish to progress to a Higher National Diploma in Engineering, an undergraduate degree or employment in Engineering, Maintenance-related roles.

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