Course Type / Attendance

Part Time

Subject Area


Start Date


Course Length

2 years




Adult, Higher Education



Course Level


Award to be received

Higher National Certificate in Computing

Regulatory Body


Home / Course / HNC Computing

Who is this course for?

This course is for people who wish to build a career in computing or a related role.

You will develop your computing skills across a wide variety of areas. If you’re looking for a career change, this is a popular method to gain the necessary qualifications.

The course is delivered over 3 terms – September to December, January to April and April to June.

The classes are delivered two evenings per week, 18:00 – 21:00.

What do you need to apply for the course?

You must have a level 2 qualification in English and be comfortable using MS Office although no formal Computing qualification is required. You will however need to be able to show your interest in the subject and have the determination to succeed through an interview with department staff.

International Applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 5.5, with a minimum score of 5.5  in each component (Reading, Writing Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification

Non-academic criteria

  • An interview is required before an offer is made

Accreditation of prior learning

If you have achieved a qualification such as a HNC, or have gained credit at another higher education provider, you may be able to enter the course at level 5. For further information please contact the College’s admissions team on

What are the key things you'll learn?

This course covers a range of topics over 8 units:




Professional Practice

Database Design & Development


Managing a Successful Computing Project

Software Development Lifecycles

Website Design

Each module is worth a specified number of credits. You will take modules worth a total of 120 credits by the end of the course allowing you to progress to the Level 5 HND qualification if you wish to do so.

Our teaching is informed by current practice and modules may change periodically to reflect developments in the sector.


Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.


How you will learn


You will be taught through a combination of group and individual practical work, classroom teaching and directed private study. In addition, you will have access to 1:1 meetings with your tutor.

At level 4 you will typically have around 6 contact hours per week, typically consisting of :

  • 2 hours of lectures
  • 4 hours of practical sessions
  • one to one meetings as necessary

Classes usually consist of between 12-24 students

Independent learning

When not attending lectures and practical sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research and preparing coursework assignment and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of facilities including the learning centre and our VLR (Virtual Learning Environment) Moodle.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of 6 class contact hours, around 6 hours’ independent learning and assignment activity, with each unit taken equating to a total study time of around 12 hours per week. The following information gives you an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course:

Level 4: 50% per cent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and  learning activity

Teaching, learning and assessment:             6 hours

Independent learning:                                     6 hours

Academic Support

Our HE Academic Support Tutor provides help in the following areas:

  • Study skills (including reading, writing, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills (in conjunction with the learning centres)
  • Critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • Revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management)

Teaching Staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Our teaching is informed by the relevant practice within the sector and all of our lecturers have a teaching qualification.


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 modules normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor.

There are a number of formal or ‘summative’ assessment for each module. Assessment methods can include essays, reports, presentations and practical work. The grades from formal assessment count towards your module mark.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:


The percentage of the course assessed by coursework is 100%.



You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on assessment performance is available upon request from the module tutor. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in (practice assessments) and 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).

Where could this course take you?

The HNC in Computing is a recognised qualification which can lead to job opportunities in many organisations.

The HNC is also a regular route to an HND in Computing (Top up) which in turn can lead to a full degree.

What costs will you incur?

Fees for September 2020: £2,300

It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years but the maximum increase each year will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • Annual £30 printing allowance
  • Office 365 including cloud storage

The following course-related costs are not included in the fees:

  • Your own computing equipment over two years; access to a PC, internet and/or UBS storage

Financial support

For more information on Student Finance please go to our HE Finance page

If a copy of programme specification is required please email