Back to Top

Electrical/Electronic Engineering: BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Print Page

Key information

Course code



Kings Road,
Reading, RG1 4HJ

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

This certificate is awarded by Pearson. Build up your engineering skills and work towards becoming a professional engineer.

This course has been designed to meet the requirement of the engineering industry, developing skills in design, automation and circuit principles. It is ideal for a day release from an employer and for mature students looking to refocus their careers.  

On successful completion, you will be awarded a Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) from EdExcel.

The course provides a specialist vocational programme with strong work related emphasis.  You will build both academic and practical skills, with a range of practical building projects throughout the two years including: ladder logic systems and monitoring systems using mobile phones.

This course will help you develop skills and knowledge so you can bring together engineering elements in project-based assignments, related to the needs of the engineering sector.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Silver Award

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that Activate Learning delivers high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

What I'll learn

The college has specialisms in both electrical power and electronics engineering, so students can develop in both or the individual routes.  

Year 1 units:

  • Engineering Design
  • Engineering Maths
  • Engineering Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Principles

Year 2 units:

  • Managing a Professional Engineering Project Automation
  • Robotics and PLC’s Digital Principles
  • Electronic Circuits and Devices  


How I'll learn

You will eperience a specialist vocational programme, linked to professional body requirements with a strong, sector-related emphasis on practical skills alongside the development of knowledge and understanding.

HNCs are recognised by employers and allow direct progression into employment. You will study with a teaching team of dedicated, experienced individuals, who have expertise in engineering and professional development. This will help you develop a range of skills, techniques and attributes essential for successful performance in working life and be able to make an immediate contribution to employment.

The units are delivered through a variety of techniques to suit different learning styles. You will be supported by a dedicated team to achieve through groupwork, pair activities, action research, discussions, presentations and build projects

The engineering department focuses on using e-learning tools to support teaching and learning.

You will also be provided with a suitably equipped place to work when attending college, which will include access to specialist staff, IT facilities and other learning resources which will be appropriate for the nature of work you will be required to undertake.

The college offers a wide range of other resources and facilities including additional learning support, which will be available to you, further details of which can found in the higher education student handbook.

If you do not have a recognised disability or specific learning difficulty, but you require additional support with your studies, you may be eligible to access some discrete sessions in one of the following areas:

  • assistive software training
  • IT upskilling
  • essay planning and structure
  • proofreading and editing written work
  • bibliographies and referencing
  • time management and personal organisation
  • revision and exam tips
  • presentation techniques

N.B. Your eligibility for any of the above support will be reviewed with your course tutors and a member of the study support team on your campus.


How I'll be assessed

The assessments you undergo will be both formative and summative:

  • Formative - Designed to provide you with feedback on your progress and inform you of your on-going development. Formative assessments, such as class exercises, tests, activities, do not form part of your grade.
  • Summative - Designed to provide a measure of your achievement and performance against learning outcomes, using end of unit assignments to determine your grades.

At each level of study, you will be asked to participate in formative and summative assessment procedures, which require you to consider and grade your own work against the agreed assessment criteria. This allows you to reflect upon your own practice with tutors, and to take responsibility for acknowledging areas of strength and weakness in your work.


Entry Requirements

A typical offer is 64 UCAS points. This may be from:

  • Two A-levels at grade A-C with Maths and Science related subjects
  • Level 3 National Diploma grade MM
  • Level 3 Extended National Diploma grade MPP, with Maths at a Merit
  • Access to HE Diploma; MPP

In addition, applicants should possess GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade C (4) or above (or equivalent). We also welcome students returning to education who possess strong industry related experience. We support widening participation and encourage applicants with non-standard qualifications.   

Applicants with prior certificated or experiential learning may be admitted with credit for up to a maximum of 120 credits at Level 4.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable, by achieving a score in a recognised test such as:

  • British Council IELTS: normally minimum level 5.5 overall.


How to Apply

Applicants should apply directly to college. Call 01865 550 550 for more information.  


Home/EU Fee for 2019 entrance: £3,200 per year  

Additional costs: Optional trips, additional printing over and above the £5 allowance provided by the college, cost of books that you might wish to purchase, estimated costs of your project materials (around £50-£100). It is highly recommended that you purchase a laptop for this course.  

For more information, including International fees if applicable to this course, please contact the HE Admissions Co-ordinator, Sue Taylor on