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HNC Computing

Course title: HNC ComputingHNC Computing Course level: Level 4
Qualification: Higher National Certificate (HNC) Awarding body: Pearson (Edexcel)
UCAS code: Not applicable Academic year: 2018 - 2019
Course delivery: Part Time: Day Release Course length: 2 Years
Venue: Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington. Lancashire


The HNC Computing will:

  • provide education and training for a range of careers in computing and systems development
  • provide opportunities for facilities managers to achieve a nationally recognised Level 4/5 vocationally specific qualification
  • provide opportunities to gain a nationally recognised, vocationally specific qualification to enter employment in computing and systems development or to progress to higher education vocational qualifications such as a full- or part-time degree in computing or a related area
  • develop your knowledge, understanding and skills of learners in the field of computing and systems development
  • provide opportunities for you to focus on the development of higher-level skills in a computing and systems development context
  • provide opportunities for you to develop a range of skills and techniques and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

Modules and units

All units are compulsory and are worth a specified number of credits.  These enable you to cover key subject knowledge whilst developing your own interests. You must take units worth a total of 120 credits.


The units available on the course are as follows:


  HNC Computing Unit Credit Level
Core Unit


1Programming 15 4
Core Unit


2Networking 15 4
Core Unit


3Professional Practice


15 4
Core Unit


4 Database Design & Development 15 4
Core Unit


5 Security 15 4
Core Unit


6 Managing a Successful Computing Project (Pearson-set) 15 4
Specialist Unit


10 Website Design & Development 15 4
Specialist Unit


9 Software Development Lifecycles 15 4

There is a wide range of optional units available and only the more popular ones are listed here.

Work placements

There is no need for a work placement on this course. However, many of our students study this HNC as part of their Higher Apprenticeship supported by their employers.


Timetables are normally issued at enrolment which takes place the week before the course starts.  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.

Teaching and learning

Teaching: The acquisition of knowledge and understanding is promoted through a variety of methods including lectures, group work, group tutorials, practical work, project work and independent self-directed study and research. In addition to scheduled learning you will have one hour tutorial per week.

Independent learning: Students are encouraged to undertake independent reading and research using both printed and electronic material to complement, widen, deepen and consolidate your knowledge and understanding.  Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including the library and the virtual learning environment (VLE).


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.  The following information gives an indication of howmuch time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course:


Mode of Study Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities Guided Independent Study Total
Part time (per year) 192 408 600


Teaching staff:You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the units on the course.  All lecturers have, or are working towards, a teaching qualification. 

Academic support:Our Learning Support team may be able to help higher education student with the following:

  • Applying for DSA funding to pay for specialist equipment and helpers
  • Arranging one-to-one support as specified by independent assessors
  • Screening for Dyslexia
  • Equipment loan
  • Liaison with academic and other departments about specific assistance you may require
  • Discussing any special arrangements you need for exams.

Entry requirements

  • 96 UCAS points (from September 2017)
  • At least 160 UCAS tariff points (60 points from AS alone; at least 100 points should be obtained from A2s, AVCE, GNVQ Advanced or Scottish Highers)
  • At least 12 A level points if taken before 2002
  • Advanced or Progression Diplomas (from 2010) where they demonstrate relevance to the HE programme
  • BTEC ND at merit or distinction
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – 60 credits, of which at least 45 must be achieved at level 3 (from 2010, with merit or distinction) and with an appropriate combination of modules
  • Open College level 3 qualifications (obtained in or before 2008) at 60% or above – with consideration of marks above 50%
  • NVQ level 3 in relevant vocational areas
  • GCSE Maths and English Grade C or equivalent
  • Relevant work experience/ professional qualifications


Applications for part-time courses should be made via the College website at

International applicants:The College does not accept international applicants.

Additional requirements: Prospective students without prior academic qualifications in relevant subject areas should contact us to discuss your options and aspirations.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment: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 unit normally contains a least one piece of assessment at the end of each unit for which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, group work, practical work and project work.  The grades from formal assessments count towards your unit mark.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework:

Coursework % Practical %
100 0

Feedback:You will receive feedback on all formal assessments undertaken. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your unit tutor.  We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand in deadlines.

Information regarding accessing the academic rules and regulations for the awarding body can be found at:

Progression and employment

Successful completion of the HNC will allow progression onto an honours degree programme at a university.

How much will the course cost me?

Fees: Part time tuition fees are £3083 pa for the academic year 2018-2019.

Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rise with inflation.


Tuition fees are payable at the start of the academic year for all students. Everyone will be charged the fee, but it does not need to be paid up front by you, as it can normally be paid by the Student Loans Company in the form of a tuition fee loan.


The total debt to the Student Loans Company is to be repaid when you have graduated.


For further information on tuition fee loans see


Course related costs: The purchase of books, stationery and computer consumables is an additional cost and so we suggest a minimum budget of £80 per term to cover these purposes.


Accommodation and living costs: These are not included in the fees.

The College’s higher education team are here to support you to find suitable accommodation while you study with us. Accrington and the surrounding area have many flats and houses available to rent at low cost prices.  Whilst the higher education team can support you to find accommodation, it is your decision as to what meets your requirements and your responsibility to work with a landlord and negotiate your contract. We can give you details of local estate agents and landlords, however you need to take full responsibility for the process.


We are also operating a ‘buddy up’ scheme. This is where we will attempt to match students together if you prefer to share a property. If you are interested in this scheme, please contact the Higher Education Team and we will discuss this option with you.

To support you with finding accommodation and ensuring you have considered all legal and comfort requirements, we have put an information sheet together.  This, however, is by no means a complete guide and it may be that you have additional questions to ask a prospective landlord.  If you have any questions about looking for a property, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01254 354 047 or 01254 354 117.

Further information is available at:  The information contained on this page is just a guide and it is your responsibility to check the accommodation and the associated contracts that go with it.

Sources of financial support: The College has an Access to Learning Fund for higher education students which you may be eligible to apply for.  This is a means tested support fund and further information and an application form is available from the Higher Education Office.

How do I apply?

Applications for part-time courses should be made via the College website at


Additional and key information

Prospective students without prior academic qualifications in relevant subject areas should contact us to discuss your options and aspirations.

Upcoming Events
Apprenticeship January Drop-In & Advice Session

January 15, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm