HNC Automotive Engineering candidate information

HNC Automotive Engineering

The Higher National Certificate will provide you with skills that are relevant to the modern automotive engineering industry. This includes skills in automotive engineering principles and technologies; an in-depth knowledge of the vehicular systems; and understanding of components and integration of the associated systems. You will develop specialist competences in one of the automotive engineering sectors: Light Motor Vehicle; Heavy Goods Vehicle; or Plant and Electrical/Electronic.

On completing the HNC, you should be able to analyse automotive engineering problems, and apply a logical and systematic approach to diagnosis of components and inter-disciplinary vehicular systems.

Employment and progression opportunities

There are employment opportunities in a variety of contexts drawing on the different options in the HNC. Employers want to recruit multi-skilled employees who demonstrate good practical skills, possess diagnostic skills and have a good knowledge of current vehicle systems. The ability to solve problems and demonstrate good communication skills are also in demand.

With suitable experience you may gain employment as a: Service Technician; Master Technician; Service Receptionist Engineer; Workshop Controller.

The University of the West of Scotland will consider holders of the HNC Automotive Engineering for entry to Year 1 of its Honours Degrees in Motorsport Design Engineering; Product Design and Development; and Engineering Management.

Both the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) will consider the HNC as an entry qualification for membership.

In all cases, your application for entry to Higher Education or for professional recognition would be assessed on an individual basis.


As with all SQA qualifications, access to the HNC will be at the discretion of centres. Examples of formal and recommended entry requirements include: