Business HNC

Course code 001N

What is special about this course?

The HNC Business will give you an excellent introduction to a wide range of business and management skills.

You will gain a range of knowledge and understanding that is highly sought-after by employers, including: business fundamentals; marketing; economics; emerging technologies; IT; communication; accounting and management.

The diverse nature of the course will ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge to start your own business, undertake a variety of business-related job roles or progress onto further studies.

Special features

  • You can study full-time, part-time or flexibly to suit your personal and professional circumstances*
  • The course is available to study at a number of UHI campuses
  • You can progress to further study on a range of degree courses

*the modes of study available vary depending on which UHI Campus you are applying to study with.


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A Level at grade D or above
  • Alternatively, an NC/NQ Business, Administration or Accounting at SCQF Level 5 or above OR
  • Completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship in: Accountancy; Financial Services; or Business Skills
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above may still be eligible for a place dependent upon their previous studies/work experience

Access routes

  • Access to HN Business - available to study at several UHI campuses

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Accounting for business: an introduction
  • Business fundamentals and emerging technologies
  • Business: graded unit 1
  • Communication: business communication
  • Economic issues: an introduction
  • Managing people and organisations
  • Marketing: an introduction

Optional units may include:

  • Business law: an introduction
  • Developing entrepreneurial skills
  • Digital marketing communications: an introduction
  • Human resource management: an introduction
  • Human resource management: core activities
  • IT in business: databases
  • IT in business: spreadsheets
  • IT in business: word processing and presentation applications 
  • Management: leadership at work
  • Office administration 
  • Preparing a formal business plan (double unit)
  • Preparing to start a business
  • Recording financial information 
  • Research skills
  • Sustainable development
  • Using financial accounting software
  • Work placement

At UHI Inverness you will study one 1st year degree module:

  • Introduction to people management and organisational behaviour.

This is in place of two optional SQA credits - for more information, please contact UHI Inverness

Additional units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time attendance (structured/unstructured)
  • Day release - 1 day per week x 2 years (available at UHI Inverness)*
  • Distance/online (available via UHI Perth)

*If you wish to apply for the day release learning option at UHI Inverness, please choose the part-time apply option and mention this in your personal statement when completing our online application form

  • If you are studying full-time or part-time on campus, you will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • If you are studying fully via distance/online learning, you will access all of your materials via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will be assessed by way of continuous assessment and one graded assessment at the end of the year

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time (structured) distance/online learning or day release: 2 years
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides - Online
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September (full-time and day release)
  • January (part-time study at UHI North, West and Hebrides and UHI Shetland)
  • Distance/online learning in September: please contact UHI Perth for more details on how to apply



For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you will be qualified to take up a variety of posts in administration, business and management, or self-employment.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of HNC Business with all 15 credits, you may be able to progress onto year two of HND Business or year two of the BA (Hons) Business and Management.

Is there more information available online?

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I am very grateful to be a student at UHI Inverness. All the supervisors are doing a great job. I like meeting new people and the resources at UHI Inverness are amazing, such as a laptop if you don’t have one, the services of the library and all the computers around the campus. I also like the platform of Brightspace, everything is very intuitive and if you have any trouble the IT team will be there to help you! The building is just perfect for students.

Sandra studied the HNC Business at UHI Inverness, and is now studying the BA (Hons) Business and Management.

Apply for Business HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.