Level Four BTEC Higher National Certificate in Engineering (General Engineering)

This course is very highly regarded in engineering and manufacturing sectors and is suitable for people with a varied achievement profile such as those with significant work experience and those with level three qualifications related to the work sector. It will give you the skills needed for technical and managerial posts within your chosen engineering field, while providing you the opportunity to progress to your degree in the subject. 

You will be given real life scenarios, case studies, experiments and problem-solving activities all related to the industry and specialist subject you are studying, to continue to deepen your ecology of real working life in the industry.

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
  • Scientific experiments
  • Presentations
  • Group work
  • Posters

For more information about assessment, including guidance on marking, feedback and plagiarism, please refer to the HE Assessment Policy (section 5) and the programme spec for course-specific information.

How will the course be delivered?

Most of your skills will be taught through delivered theory sessions, with support sessions underpinning your academic skills.  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 Master's 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 a relevant subject or A Levels with some industrial 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. 

Accreditation of prior learning:

Applicants may be admitted with credit for prior certificated learning (APcL) or work/life experience or other uncertificated learning (APeL)

What next?

Completion of the course can lead to the Level Five BTEC Higher National Diploma in Mechanical or Electrical and Electronic Engineering, other higher education such as the BEng (Hons) in various engineering subjects, such as mechanical engineering, mechatronics and robotics.

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

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This course is validated by Pearson.