Computing HNC

UCAS code 304G

What is special about this course?

The HNC Computing will provide you with useful foundations for a successful career in computing and technology.

It is a broad-based course which will introduce you to, and develop your knowledge of, aspects of software development, technical support, networking and web development.

Special features

  • You will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to follow a career in technical support, software development and as an IT technician
  • Successful completion of the HNC Computing may allow progression to the second year of the HND Computer Science
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances

Accommodation

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

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above and 3 National 5 passes in appropriate subjects, such as: Computing Science; Mathematics; English; Engineering; Physics; Chemistry; Music; Business Management; or Design and Manufacture OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above and 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) in appropriate subjects, such as: Computing Science; Mathematics; English; Engineering; Physics; Music; Business Management; Design and Technology; or Environmental Science OR 
  • Any one of the following: NC Digital Media Computing at SCQF level 5 or 6 or a combination of both; NQ Multimedia Computing at SCQF level 5 or 6 or a combination of both; NQ Computer Technologies at SCQF level 5 or 6 or a combination of both; Intermediate 2 Pass in Business, Administration and Computing Studies; SVQ Information Technology at SCQF level 2 or 3 OR
  • a Relevant National Progression Award, such as: Computer Games Design; Cyber Security; Digital Media Production; Mobile Technology; or Software Development; or National Units at SCQF level 5 or 6 combined with any of the above
  • Foundation Apprenticeship ICT: Software Development or Foundation Apprenticeship ICT: Hardware/System Support
  • You may be required to attend an interview
  • Applicants without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis

Access routes

  • NC Multimedia Computing
  • PDA in Database Programming
  • CISCO Certified Networking Associate
  • Other courses equivalent to SCQF level 5 or 6 may also be accepted

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Professionalism and ethics in computing
  • Computer systems fundamentals
  • Developing software: introduction
  • Graded unit 1 (examination)
  • Team working in computing
  • Troubleshooting computing problems

Optional units may include:

  • Cloud computing
  • Ethical hacking
  • Digital forensics
  • Client operating systems
  • E-commerce: publishing web sites
  • SQL: introduction
  • Systems development: introduction
  • Database design fundamentals
  • Multi-user operating systems
  • Software development testing
  • Software development: programming foundations
  • Software development: applications development
  • Technical support: supporting users - software
  • Technical support: supporting users - hardware

Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We continue to review government guidance and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will mainly be delivered online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and opportunities for campus attendance will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • Evening (subject to demand)
  • You will study by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom

How long will my course last?


  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI - September and January available
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September
  • January - North Hghland College only

Fees

For students normally domiciled in Scotland, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Note: The Scottish Government set this fee which has not yet been confirmed for 2021-22 so may be subject to change.

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)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,915
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £461

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:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £7,020 £7,230
Part-time (per HN credit) £468 £482

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

Funding

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you might like to consider a career as a trainee programmer, systems analyst, or database administrator.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of the HNC Computing, it may be possible to progress to the second year of the HND Computer Science, and then to the third year of the BSc (Hons) Computing degree.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I’d previously studied with the university and enjoyed the environment. I found the lecturers more than helpful but also, on a more subject-related topic, loved the highly practical aspect that the course offers. There are only 2 exams (one per semester) and the rest is more development or research. Since development is what I wish to go into, it made so much sense to do a course that heavily focused on the practical aspects and not memory-based exams which are questionable in a world where Google exists.

My favourite aspect of the course is the practicality of developing software, websites or scripts. It’s cool being able to have an idea and go ahead and make it an actual product. The versatility of what we learn (mobile development, web development, application development) also comes into play as you’re not just stuck with one platform.

Jamie Simpson studied on the BSc (Hons) Computing at Moray College UHI campus.

Thinking about computing? Do it! This is the future, this is where job opportunities are going to be. Together, humanity and technology are helping us to advance more rapidly than we can imagine.

There is an emphasis on practical learning combined with the latest innovations in the field to ensure that students are ready to excel in a competitive industry when they graduate.

Dr Ian Barnes,BSc (Hons) Computing Programme Leader.

After completing the NC Computing and Digital Media, I returned to do the HNC Computing. I realised that I was more interested in pure computing. We go into things in a lot more depth. We cover a lot of ground and that makes it more engaging. It’s been challenging for me but I like that and I have enjoyed this year enough to make me want to continue. I have applied to study more advanced computing either at Abertay or Inverness College UHI.

Connor Murphy completed the HNC Computing at West Highland College UHI.

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Due to an on-going cyber security incident our systems are currently down. Applications for full-time degree courses can still be made via UCAS but we are unable to take any direct applications. We are doing everything possible to minimise disruption, but this could take some time. Please check back at regular intervals for updates or, if you have a specific query, contact us.