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Mechanical Engineering Higher National Certificate (HNC)

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Key information

Course code


Subject Area



Kings Road,
Reading, RG1 4HJ

Start date





10 Sep 2021
2 years

- Fees subject to change
- For international fees, discounts and payment options go to Fees Information section

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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 with this course.

Reading College has specialisms in mechanical control and design engineering so a student can develop in both or individual routes.  

The course will develop skills and knowledge that will allow you to 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

You will experience 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. You will 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.

Reading College has specialisms in mechanical control and design engineering so students can develop in both or the individual routes.

Year 1 Units:

  • Engineering Design
  • Engineering Maths
  • Engineering Science
  • CAD for Maintenance Engineers

 Year 2 Units:

  • Managing a Professional Engineering Project
  • Mechanical Principles
  • Fundamentals of Thermodynamics and Heat Engines
  • Quality and Process Improvement  

The HNC is an internationally recognised qualification for engineering technicians and will enhance your career prospects. For those wanting to upgrade to an HND, this should be discussed with their personal tutor at the end of a successful year one. 


How I'll learn

The units are delivered through a variety of techniques to suit all different learning styles. The class work includes: groupwork, pair activities, investigations, discussions, experiments and note taking.

At Reading College you will have access to advanced engineering systems including PLC/microprocessor programming devices, modern CAD and 3D printer equipment and access to high standard electronic laboratory and mechanical workshop areas.

You will 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.

Additionally, 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.

Study support

If you do not have a recognised disability or specific learning difficulty, but feel that 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 assessment you undergo could be formative or summative:

  • Formative - Designed to provide you with feedback on your progress and inform you of your on-going development. Formative assessments, such as in class exercises, tests, activities, do not form part of your grade.
  • Summative - Designed to provide a measure of your achievement in respect of your performance in relation to the intended learning outcomes of your programme of study. In other words, the end of unit assignments will determine your grades.

At each level of study you will be asked to participate in formative and summative assessment procedures which may 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 would be a BTEC Level 3 Diploma at Merit or Distinction, with GCSE Maths and English C (4) grade or above/ Functional Skills at Level 2. A-levels in Maths, Science or IT.

Other entry routes

We will consider a range of alternative qualifications or experience equivalent to the typical offer. Contact us for details.

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 with a minimum of 5.5 in the reading and writing components


How to Apply

For further information, please contact the HE Admissions Coordinator at Activate Learning either by email: or phone: +44 (0)1865 550550  

Applicants should apply directly to college via our website. 

Fees information

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


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