Computing HNC

Course code 304G

What is special about this course?

This HNC Computing* will provide you with useful foundations for a successful career in computing and technology.

It is a broad-based course which will introduce you to, and develop your knowledge of, aspects of software development, technical support, networking and web development.

*subject to approval

Special features

  • You will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to follow a career in technical support, software development and as an IT technician
  • Successful completion of the HNC Computing may allow progression to the second year of the HND Computer Science
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances


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

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above and 3 National 5 passes in appropriate subjects, such as: Computing Science; Mathematics; English; Engineering; Physics; Chemistry; Music; Business Management; or Design and Manufacture OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above and 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) in appropriate subjects, such as: Computing Science; Mathematics; English; Engineering; Physics; Music; Business Management; Design and Technology; or Environmental Science OR 
  • Any one of the following: NC Digital Media Computing at SCQF level 5 or 6 or a combination of both; NQ Multimedia Computing at SCQF level 5 or 6 or a combination of both; NQ Computer Technologies at SCQF level 5 or 6 or a combination of both; Intermediate 2 Pass in Business, Administration and Computing Studies; SVQ Information Technology at SCQF level 2 or 3 OR
  • a Relevant National Progression Award, such as: Computer Games Design; Cyber Security; Digital Media Production; Mobile Technology; or Software Development; or National Units at SCQF level 5 or 6 combined with any of the above
  • Foundation Apprenticeship ICT: Software Development or Foundation Apprenticeship ICT: Hardware/System Support
  • You may be required to attend an interview
  • Applicants without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis

Access routes

  • NC Multimedia Computing
  • PDA in Database Programming
  • CISCO Certified Networking Associate
  • Other courses equivalent to SCQF level 5 or 6 may also be accepted

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units may include:

  • Computer systems and network fundamentals
  • Developing client and server sided websites
  • Developing mobile applications
  • Professionalism and ethics in computing
  • Programming languages and programming paradigms
  • Team working in computing
  • Troubleshooting computing problems

Optional units may include:

  • Cloud computing
  • Database design
  • Ethical hacking and digital forensics
  • Operating systems
  • Relational databases and SQL
  • Software development testing
  • Software development: applications development
  • Systems development: introduction
  • Web development and publishing web sites

Option 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 (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • Evening (subject to demand)
  • You will study by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


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 might like to consider a career as a trainee programmer, systems analyst, or database administrator.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of the HNC Computing, it may be possible to progress to the second year of the HND Computer Science, and then to the third year of the BSc (Hons) Computing degree.

Is there more information available online?

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I chose UHI after speaking with Skills Development Scotland at my school. I knew I wanted to study something around computing but that it had to be local to me. They suggested UHI as they offer a range computing courses right on my doorstep.

Continuing on with my studies will allow me to develop my skills and experience with a variety of technologies. Having this versatility and knowledge will undoubtedly be useful for my future career.

Casey Smith, is studied on the HNC Computing at UHI Shetland.

I did not consider any other universities, as I lived nearby. I found the style of teaching helpful, and I believe what I have learned in my studies will help me as I pursue a career in games development.

Jordan Mackay studied on the HNC Computing at UHI Outer Hebrides. 

After completing the NC Computing and Digital Media, I returned to do the HNC Computing. I realised that I was more interested in pure computing. We go into things in a lot more depth. We cover a lot of ground and that makes it more engaging. It’s been challenging for me but I like that and I have enjoyed this year enough to make me want to continue. I have applied to study more advanced computing either at Abertay or UHI Inverness.

Connor Murphy studied on the HNC Computing at UHI West Highland.

Apply for Computing HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023

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.