The Pearson BTEC 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. The course also provides 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.
The programme leader will review your profile of qualifications and/or experience held and consider whether this profile shows an ability to progress to a Level 4 qualification.
If you have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:
- A Level 3 Diploma in Engineering or Operations and Maintenance Engineering
- A relevant A Level programme
- Related work experience
If you are a mature learner you may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience (paid and/or unpaid) and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in your work sector.
You will be taught through a combination of:
- Classroom teaching and craft workshop activity
- Library/Learning Resource Centre work – drop-in
- Directed work with other students
- Directed private study
- Directed study in Learning Resource Centre
At level 4, you will have around 7 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:
- 3 hours of lectures
- 1 hour of seminars
- 2 hours of practical sessions
- 1 hour of one to one meetings
Subject to change in line with unit/learning outcome requirement.
Classes would generally contain a maximum of 16 students.
Independent Learning -
When not attending lectures, seminars and practical sessions or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research, preparing coursework assignment and presentations, and preparing for examinations.
Your independent learning is supported by a range of facilities including the Learning Resource Centre and the college VLE.
Overall Workload -
Your overall workload consist of 7 class contact hours and around 15 hours’ independent learning and assignment activity, with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours.
The following information gives you an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course:
Level 4 - 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity -
- Teaching, learning and assessment - 7 hours
- Independent learning - 15 hours
Our HE Academic Support Tutor provides help in the following areas:
- Study skills (including reading, writing, note-taking and presentation skills)
- Written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
- Academic writing (including how to reference)
- Research skills (in conjunction with the learning centres)
- Critical thinking and understanding arguments
- Revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management)
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 lecturers and professional practitioners with industry experience.
Our teaching is informed by the relevant practice within the sector and 100% of our lecturers have a teaching qualification.
The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor.
There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each unit outcome.
Assessment methods can include practical assessment, written exams or formal assessments/assignments. The grades from formal assessment count towards your overall unit grade.
Assessment methods could include written assignments, coursework, practical assessment or combination.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework:
The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows -
Year 1 -
- 80% coursework
- 5% written exams
- 15% practical exams
Year 2 -
- 80% coursework
- 5% written exams
- 15% practical exams
You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request form the module tutor. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.
We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in (practice assessments) and 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment.
4 or above in English & Math
12 hours per week, split over two days.
Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in research, self-study, directed study and workplace activities.
At Level 4, students develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the engineering sector through four core units for each pathway, including one unit assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. The core units are:
- Unit 1: Engineering Design
- Unit 2: Engineering Maths
- Unit 3: Engineering Science
- Unit 4: Managing a Professional Engineering Project*
*Unit 4: Managing a Professional Engineering Project is also the Pearson-set assignment unit.
For the General Engineering pathway, students take the four mandatory core units and an additional four optional units.
Graduates successfully completing the Higher National Certificate will be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the basic concepts of engineering. They will be able to communicate accurately and appropriately and they will have the qualities of personal responsibility needed for employment. They will have developed a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent working with growing fault finding and problem-solving strategies, and organisational awareness.
They will also be adaptable and flexible in their approach to work, showing resilience under pressure and the ability to meet challenging targets within a reasonable, pre-set timeframe. They will demonstrate a regard for the ethical responsibilities of the engineer, cost and for the importance of protecting and sustaining the environment.
Each module is worth a specified number of credits. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits of Level 4 units to complete of the course.
Our teaching is informed by current practice adhered to in a variety of engineering sectors. Some modules may change periodically to reflect developments in the sector and dependent upon group requirements.
The modules available on the course are as follows:
4 Core units (Mandatory) -
- Engineering Design (L4)
- Engineering Maths (L4)
- Engineering Science (L4)
- Managing a Professional Engineering Project (Pearson Set) (L4)
Optional Units -
- Computer Aided Design and Manufacture(L4)
- Renewable Energy (L4)
- Automation, Robotics and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC's) (L4)
- Engineering Management (L4)
Note: Optional units shown here may be changed to suit individual cohorts of students after discussion with the curriculum team and representative employers. The Edexcel BTEC Level 4 HNC programme must contain a minimum of 120 credits.
On completion of this course, you could progrerss onto a Level 5 HND course or go on to work in the engineering industry.
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