Engineering Systems HNC

Course code 356H

What is special about this course?

The HNC Engineering Systems will give you the required technical training to be a technician in design, research, development and service support activities in engineering, manufacturing and consultancy.

You may also be able to use the HNC as a spring-board into the second year of our engineering degrees, including: BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering; BEng (Hons) Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering; or BEng (Hons) Energy Engineering.

Special features

  • You will study both mechanical and electrical engineering
  • The course is designed to meet the needs of employers
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances: please see study mode tab for modes and locations of study offered


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

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above in Maths or Physics OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above in Maths or Physics OR
  • Alternatively, NC/NQ Engineering at SCQF level 6 or equivalent OR the completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship Engineering
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply, appropriate industry related experience will be taken into consideration
  • You may be required to attend an interview

Access routes

  • SVQ 3 Electrotechnical Services
  • NC Engineering Systems
  • NC Engineering

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Communication: practical skills
  • Engineering communication
  • Engineering measurement and system monitoring
  • Engineering systems: graded unit 1
  • Mathematics for engineering 1: mechanical and manufacturing
  • Principles of engineering systems

Option units may include:

  • Engineering: practical skills
  • Computer aided draughting for engineers
  • Materials selection
  • Mathematics for engineering 2
  • Thermofluids
  • Digital electronics
  • Electronic construction skills
  • Engineering principles
  • Analogue electronic principles
  • Applications of programmable logic controllers
  • Combinational logic
  • Renewable energy systems: overview of energy use
  • Dynamics
  • Electrical engineering principles 1
  • Pneumatics and hydraulics
  • Statics and strengths of materials
  • High level software
  • DC and AC principles

Option units available may vary depending on study location and mode of study: for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • Evening (UHI North, West and Hebrides only)
  • You will study by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, and practical sessions
  • For those studying at UHI Orkney, there are twilight video lectures and up to two-day visits to UHI North, West and Hebrides in Thurso for practical work

How long will my course last?

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

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll - September and January part-time evening only
  • Inverness - part-time starts only
  • Moray - September starts only
  • North, West and Hebrides - September and January starts (Stornoway; Thurso)
  • Orkney College UHI - September and January part-time only
  • Perth - September start only

Start date

  • September
  • January (only available in certain locations and for part-time study only)


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.

Additional costs

  • For those studying at UHI Orkney, there are twilight video lectures and up to two-day visits to UHI North, West and Hebrides in Thurso for practical work

What can I do on completion of my course?

This course prepares you for a variety of jobs in engineering, including:

  • engineering design
  • manufacturing
  • offshore engineering
  • the developing renewables sector

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to year two of the HND Engineering Systems. You may also be eligible to progress to the second year of:

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

I would definitely like to continue on to the degree course, as the theory you learn can be applied to your job situation. If you’re willing to put in the work, it is really worth the effort and can lead to a successful career. Having support for my studies from my employer is also a great help.

Kirsty Robertson started on the HNC Engineering Systems and continued on to the HND at North Highland UHI (Thurso) campus.

Apply for Engineering Systems HNC

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2024

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.