HNC Engineering Systems candidate information

HNC/D Engineering Systems

The HNC Engineering Systems is a flexible single or multi-disciplinary engineering award. In the mandatory core you will study units that place a strong focus on a systems approach to engineering with equal treatment being given to mechanical and electrical engineering. The HNC also has an optional section where you can study units in one or more areas of engineering.

The centre where you study the award may adapt its content to reflect different types of engineering systems. For example, while one centre may use the award as the basis for studying advanced manufacturing systems, another centre may use it to examine electromechanical plant systems.

As you work towards your HNC, you will also develop improved technical communication skills and enhanced mathematical knowledge and skills. You will be able to apply analysis and synthesis skills when solving engineering problems.  You will also learn evaluative and planning and organisational skills.

Employment and progression opportunities

The award will equip you with the underpinning knowledge and skills necessary to work as an Engineering Technician in a wide range of industrial, service and public sector organisations.

If you are already in employment, you could study the HNC on a part-time basis as a way of enhancing your professional and career development.  Alternatively, your centre may allow you to study individual units in the award with a view to providing you with certificated, professional development opportunities (eg in such subject areas as Computer Aided Draughting, Programmable Logic Controllers, Renewable Energy Systems, Robotic Systems etc.)

Holding the HNC will allow you to progress to HND Engineering Systems. Alternatively, you may be able to progress to more advanced stages of engineering degree programmes. Ask your Lecturer about progression arrangements between your centre and universities.

The HNC partially satisfies the academic requirements to become an incorporated engineer (a degree is now required for registration).


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

HNC Engineering Systems Case Study

“I would definitely recommend the HNC Engineering Systems to others. In fact, I've been actively encouraging my younger brother to enrol, as it has been so beneficial for me and I believe it will do the same for him. It is really challenging but if you put the hard work in it definitely pays off.” Thomas Miller