Forestry HNC

UCAS code 105D

What is special about this course?

The HNC Forestry will give you the skills, knowledge and experience required to succeed as a supervisor or self-employed contractor in the forestry industry.

Subjects include: forest science; establishment of woodlands; forest harvesting; forest mensuration and thinning control; timber sales and transportation; and woodland nursery production.


Special features

  • You will study at the Scottish School of Forestry, part of Inverness College UHI
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances
  • You will learn the technical, supervisory and managerial skills necessary for employment in forestry and woodland


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

Entry requirements

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade B, plus 4 National 5s at grade B or above OR
  • 2 A level at grade D or above
  • Minimum of 1 year's pre-course experience in woodland environment is required or attainment of the Certificate in Forestry or equivalent. This requirement may be waived for applicants with 3 or more Highers, or equivalent, at grade B or above
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply. Relevant life or work experience will be taken into consideration on an individual basis

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Forestry: forest science
  • Forestry: timber sales and transportation
  • Forestry: graded unit 1
  • Employment and health and safety legislation for the land-based industries
  • Establishment of woodland
  • Forest harvesting
  • Forest mensuration and thinning control

Option units may include:

  • Forestry: land measurement
  • Woodland nursery production
  • Forestry: woody plant biology
  • Forestry: silvicultural systems
  • Communication: practical skills
  • Forestry operations: work programming
  • Leadership of countryside activities 

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 will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months 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 practical sessions will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, with practical elements most likely in semester two (from January 2021).
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will study by way of traditional classroom-based lectures and tutorials and practical workshops at the Scottish School of Forestry, part of Inverness College UHI

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: up to 3 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI - Scottish School of Forestry

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
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 studying this course, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,720
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £448

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

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU 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 or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,855 £7,020
Part-time (per HN credit) £457 £468

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


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact Inverness College UHI for more information.

Additional Costs

You will need to purchase your own high vis vest, hard hat and safety boots, at an approximate cost of £40 in total.

There are additional costs associated with the Scottish Borders and South of England field trips, however students via the Forestry and Arboriculture Society normally fundraise and seek sponsorship to cover these costs.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you may be interested in pursuing a career as a forest supervisor/foreman or contractor.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion, you can progress to the HND Forestry, then on to the BSc Sustainable Forest Management.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Forestry HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

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.