HNC Chemical Engineering candidate information

HNC Chemical Engineering The HNC Chemical Engineering builds on your existing knowledge, and your exposure to the systems and processes used in the chemical industry, to develop your knowledge and skills in chemical engineering. It will develop your skills and enhance your employment prospects by providing a wide range of theoretical and practical knowledge. It also develops ‘soft’ skills such as working in a team environment, producing reports, and communication.

You will also gain knowledge in the subject areas related to chemical engineering, including: mass and energy balance; heat transfer; fluid mechanics; process operations. You may also develop your study and research skills, and planning, development and evaluation skills.

Employment and progression opportunities

HNC is a recognised part of modern apprenticeship. This programme has been developed in consultation with industry to ensure an appropriate programme to meet the needs of the sector. You will develop competence to work as process operators or technicians.

Completing the HNC may allow you to progress to a degree course. You should check entry requirements with the relevant institution before you begin your HNC studies.


Access to the award is at the discretion of the centre. It is recommended that you also have one of the following academic entry qualifications:

  • a minimum of two Highers from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics at grade C or above, with appropriate supporting passes at National 5 level (or equivalent SCQF level 5) in appropriate science subjects and Mathematics.
  • NC Applied Sciences (which includes Physics units)
  • qualifications in appropriate science, chemical engineering and mathematics programmes, such as access programmes — learners should have gained some units at higher level in appropriate science, chemical engineering and mathematics programmes
  • suitable work experience gained in a chemical engineering/process setting

If you have relevant work experience but lack the required academic qualifications, access may be possible. Relevant work experience may be evidenced, eg by an SVQ level 3 in an appropriate area.