Level Four BTEC Higher National Certificate in Engineering

This course offers a strong, sector-related emphasis on practical skills development, alongside the development of requisite knowledge and understanding. It provides a thorough grounding in the key concepts and practical skills required in the sector and  its national recognition by employers allows direct progression to employment.

This qualification is designed to meet the growing demand for engineers in industry at level four, to equip with them with modern skills sets, and to give them work-related and technical knowledge that encompass the general engineering functions of design, manufacture and maintenance.

During your studies, you will gain a specific understanding of engineering principles, including developing transferable communication and employability skills. You will be expected to interpret and critically analyse Information and use the information to solve real work-based engineering problems.

What will I study?

Mandatory units:

  • Engineering design
  • Engineering maths
  • Engineering science
  • Managing a professional engineering project

Optional units include:

  • Engineering Management
  • Maintenance Engineering
  • Mechanical Workshop Practices
  • Mechanical Principles

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, work-based assignments, work experience, practical assessment, portfolio development and presentations.

For more information about assessment, including guidance on marking, feedback and plagiarism, please refer the HE Assessment Policy and the programme spec for course-specific information.

How will the course be delivered?

The course will be delivered through a mixture of theory based lessons, practical investigation activities, on-going assessment of assignments, projects with a range of unit end tests.  The course is designed to fit around work commitments and is delivered one day per week, over 18 months.

All programmes are led and taught by experienced teaching staff who are vocational specialists.  They are qualified, and often have extensive experience within the industry or the sector being studied. All teaching staff meet or exceed the requirements set by the awarding institute or body.  

Staff profile:  Laura Shakespeare

Laura is studying for a Masters in Education and has a background in industry and teaching Computer Science.  Her research interests are PLCs, robotics and computer hardware.

Staff Profile: Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward has a BEng in Manufacturing Systems and a HNC in Mechanical and Production Engineering. He is apprentice trained with experience in number of sectors including Aerospace and Railway Industries. His main interests are in Lean Manufacturing, Mathematics, Computer Aided Design and Management. He has been teaching for eight years.

Entry requirements

  • A level three qualification in engineering or a related level three qualification
  • Industry experience


  • College interview

A typical offer for this course would ask for the entry requirements to be met, however, all offers take individual applicants’ experience and qualifications into account. 

What next?

Successful completion could help to progress your career in a technical or management role or onto a higher level course such as a relevant higher national diploma or a degree.

This course is a strong foundation for learners continuing to university to complete a degree. The level of independent
research and critical thinking as well as the assessment methodology helps to prepare learners for university.

Although the certificate is broadly equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree, the entry point for a higher
national certificate learner to a degree is at the discretion of the higher education institution.

Additional information

This course is validated by Pearson.