Ashford College - HNC in Engineering (General Engineering)
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Essential information
Qualification: HNC in Engineering (General Engineering)
Location: Ashford College
Fee: £3000 p.a. Part Time for UK students. EU students, please contact the department for further information.

HNC in Engineering (General Engineering)

There is a major skills shortage in the UK for qualified engineers who can undertake a variety of jobs in areas such as management, design, development, planning, business improvement techniques and control.

This programme provides study over a range of disciplines to help you develop skills for career progression or further study at degree level. The programme is aimed at students who wish to work as technicians or technician engineers in design, manufacture, maintenance, testing or fault finding. It has been developed in consultation with local industry, and combines theory and practical work with a focus on industrial applications.

The qualification has been designed to meet the growing demand for engineers equipped with a modern skills set and who have work-related and technical knowledge that encompasses the engineering functions of design, manufacture and maintenance.

You will be working toward the Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering (General Engineering) (RQF)

Description of teaching and assessment methods

Teaching is by a combination of lectures, which will provide you with a broad overview of topics, and workshops and will provide you with the opportunity to develop practical skills and discuss particular issues. Lectures will involve the use of a variety of materials, original documents, Internet research and practical demonstrations. All units will have specific assignments to complete to provide evidence of understanding, some of these will be ‘time constrained’ and take place under open book examination conditions or set by Pearson Edexcel. All units must be successfully completed to achieve a qualification.

Expected timetabled hours and time commitment outside timetabled hours

The programme typically involves an average of four timetabled lessons of 90 minutes over one day per week for the duration of each 30 week academic year. You will also be expected to dedicate at least eight hours per week to self-directed study to carry out research and assignment work outside of timetabled classes.

Skills and experience gained

You will develop transferrable skills, particularly in teamwork, problem solving and time management, and intellectual skills such as the ability to think logically, research, analyse and evaluate theories and models, and the ability to communicate your findings orally and in writing.

Progression routes / leaving destinations

Successful completion of the programme will enhance your employment prospects in the industry; the HNC is a highly regarded industry qualification and the blend of theory and practical skills gained by students is valued by employers. Starting salaries for graduate engineers can be as high as £29,000 p.a., increasing to £65,000+ p.a. when a senior level is reached (, 2015). Typical career paths include design engineer or management positions in service, installation, commissioning and manufacturing. You will be encouraged to pursue further study after completing your studies with the College. The HNC qualification can be converted to a Level 5 HND. The qualification may also be accepted for direct entry to the second year of a full degree (subject to the entrance criteria of the teaching university or college).

Equipment required

You will need a scientific calculator, A4 lever arch folders, a pen drive and access to the internet as programme materials, lecture slides and links to learning resources, including a wide range of electronic journals and databases, will be available to you via Moodle, the College’s virtual learning environment. You will be required to undertake significant reading and research and you may need to purchase some books. A reading list will be available before the start of the programme.

How to Apply/Entry Process

Following receipt of your application, you will be invited to an interview with the programme leader. At the interview you will be asked to a complete a maths assessment of 30 minutes duration which, combined with the interview, will help us to assess your suitability for the programme and this level of study. We will also consider your application and the entry requirements when making a decision. Please apply direct to the College using the College website.

Why should students study this programme?

The course is to be taught at the new campus in Elwick Road, Ashford and will have access to state of the art teaching resources and a fully equipped laboratory to enable theory to be put into practice. All lectures are supported by qualified lecturers with industry experience. As this is a part time course with attendance at college of one day each week over 2 years, students can combine studying for a higher education qualification with gaining real life work experience in employment in the industry. Students are supported outside of college via the college’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and a learning resource centre which provides access to eBooks and industry journals, all accessible 24/7.

Target audience

The programme is aimed at individuals who are employed in the engineering industry and wish to enhance their career prospects and/or make the first step into higher level study, as well as those seeking a change of career. Students should ideally be employed in an appropriate industrial organisation and hold a relevant Level 3 qualification, such as an (Extended) Diploma in Engineering or ONC equivalent, A levels in Maths and Science will also be considered. Enquiries from mature students with relevant work experience and alternative Level 3 qualifications are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis.

Modular structure

Year 1

  • Engineering Design (15 credits)
  • Engineering Maths (15 credits)
  • Engineering Science (15 credits)
  • Electronic Circuits and Devices (15 credits)

Year 2

  • Mechanical Principles (15 credits)
  • Electrical and Electronic Principles (15 credits)
  • Managing a Professional Project (15 credits)
  • Engineering Management (15 credits)

Entry requirements

You should ideally be employed in an appropriate industrial organisation and hold a relevant Level 3 qualification, such as any of the following:

  • Any Diploma in Engineering at MM (or above) or ONC equivalent
  • Extended Diploma in Engineering at MMM (or above) or OND equivalent
  • 2 A-Levels at Grades CC (including maths or science)

Enquiries from mature students with relevant work experience and alternative Level 3 qualifications are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis.

Entry Requirements

Please see our Group entry requirements

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you

Elwick Road
TN23 1NN

01233 743100