Civil Engineering HNC

Course code 102H

What is special about this course?

Civil Engineers are responsible for the design and implementation of a wide range of infrastructure, energy and construction projects. The focus in these varies, from consultation, design and advisory, to site-based work. The HNC Civil Engineering provides the relevant qualification for a Civil Engineering Technician.

You will benefit from strong industry links and professional practice, giving you the skills required to improve your employment opportunities in this key industry sector. The programme has the support of local employers such as Pat Munro, Mott MacDonald and The Highland Council. It is currently delivered for students employed in the sector as trainee Civil Engineering Technicians.

You willl enjoy regular site visits, guest presenters and work-based learning designed to enhance your experience. Work-based learning builds on your experiences as a Civil Engineering trainee/technician and uses your experience in the learning and teaching, but also as workplace evidence to achieve vocational qualifications.

You will be taught by a team of enthusiastic lecturers with extensive experience and varied qualifications. We utilise expanding lab facilities and current technology in the delivery of our course and you will be introduced to themes of clean construction and digital innovation throughout the programme.

Please click on the following links for information on Technology guidance and System requirements to study this course.

You can also study HNC Civil Engineering via a Modern Apprenticeship route - please click the link for further details.

Special features

  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal and professional circumstances
  • The course is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) on behalf of the Engineering Council, for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech). The JBM consists of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE); the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE); the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT); and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)
  • Excellent lab equipment including structural analysis, geotechnical labs and materials testing
  • 3D surveying and modelling technology
  • For free student membership of ICE, you can find out more here:


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above in Maths OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above in Maths
  • Alternatively, NC Civil Engineering or the completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship Civil Engineering

Prospective students without the standard entry requirements, as listed above, are encouraged to apply; appropriate, construction-related experience will be taken into consideration

Access routes

  • NC Civil Engineering

Year 1 - HNC

Modules may include:

Semester 1

  • CAD 2D1
  • Civil engineering: contract and project management a
  • Mathematics for construction
  • Structural mechanics
  • Civil engineering specialisms
  • Civil engineering technology
  • Construction technical communication skills
  • Construction technology: substructure

Semester 2

  • CAD for civil engineers
  • Civil engineering: graded unit 1
  • Civil engineering: materials and testing
  • Construction site surveying a
  • Construction site surveying b
  • Geotechnics A
  • Maths for civil engineering

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time, block-release (for those employed as trainee technicians)
  • Full-time students will study by way of traditional classroom-based lectures and tutorials at UHI Inverness
  • Part-time, block-release students will study via work-based learning with block-release sessions to complete workshops, lectures, tutorials and project work

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time, block-release: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your HNC Civil Engineering course you will be qualified to take up roles as a civil engineer at technician level.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of the HNC Civil Engineering you may progress to year 2 of:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Civil Engineering HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.