Computing HNC

UCAS Code: 005G

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About this course

The Higher National Certificate in Computing (RQF) is designed to develop the student's knowledge, understanding and skills required for successful employment or progression to an undergraduate degree. Learners receive initial guidance on how to identify, locate and use material available in the Library and Resource Based Learning centre. Reading lists are provided to students during the introduction of each module of the course.

The qualification has been designed to meet the major functions in Computing. The course is designed to meet the following aims:
• To provide opportunities for students to achieve a nationally recognised professional qualification.
• To provide education and training for a range of careers in computing, including network engineering, software engineering, data analytics, security, intelligent systems, and applications development.
• To provide opportunities for students to enter or progress in employment in computing, or progress to higher education qualifications such as an Honours degree in computing or a related area.
• To provide opportunities for students to develop the skills, techniques and personal attributes essential for successful working lives.
• To provide opportunities for students with a global outlook to aspire to international career pathways.
• To equip students with computing skills, knowledge and the understanding necessary to achieve high performance in the global computing environment.
• To offer a balance between employability skills and the knowledge essential for students with entrepreneurial, employment or academic aspirations.

This qualifications has also been approved by the following professional bodies as suitable qualifications for students wanting to gain membership.
• The British Computing Society
• The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Classes are a combination of formal lectures, discussion, group work, tutorials and practical workshops. Throughout the student is encouraged to undertake independent reading/research to supplement and consolidate what has been taught/learned and to broaden their understanding of the subject.

Students will develop a knowledge and understanding in the following areas:
• Programming
• Networking
• Professional Practise
• Database design and development
• Security
• Managing a successful computing project
• Website design
• Maths for Computing

A variety of teaching methods, are included, aimed at developing the student's cognitive skills, particularly discussions and group work. Many group exercises involve problem solving techniques and the application of theoretical work covered in formal lectures.

Teaching on my course is good

What are the entry requirements?

You should have GCSE in English and Mathematics Grade C or higher together with ONE of the following qualifications:-
• 3 GCE A-Level in related subjects plus at least 4 other GCSE grade
• BTEC National Extended Diploma in IT, Computing or related subject
• City & Guilds Diploma in IT or Computer Studies at Level 3 or equivalent
• Access to HE - a Pass with at least 8 Level 3 Credits in Computing or related subject area

Overseas students need to provide an IELTS score of 5.5 minimum including reading and writing at 5.5, together with Maths grade C or equivalent plus a UK-equivalent level 3 qualification.

Prior to enrolment on this course, you will need to have an Initial Assessment in Literacy and/or Numeracy. This will ensure that you are enrolled on the right level of course to succeed and help us to identify and provide any support that you might need. An interview with the course tutor is mandatory.

Course assessment

Testing the student's knowledge together with the application of that knowledge is through a combination of assessment methods, including essays and reports, presentations, tutorial exercises and group work. Some practical is included as specified in some units and help the student develop kinaesthetic skills.

Students are encouraged to develop a range of transferable skills including:
• Self-Management and development
• Manage group dynamics and team work
• Communicate and present to different audiences
• Manage tasks and solve problems
• Numeracy and literacy skills
• Apply Design and Creativity

The variety of assessment methods used are designed to place emphasis on the student's ability to demonstrate the following cognitive skills:
• Reason critically
• Identify and solve problems
• Analyse and interpret
• Application of theoretical concepts

The student is required to demonstrate these skills a number of times throughout the programme either individually or collectively. Students need to be aware that the development of these skills will be beneficial in terms of achieving Merit and Distinction grades in other modules studied.

I understand my assignment schedule

What's next?

On successful completion of the Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate at Level 4, students can develop their careers in the computing sector through:
• Entering/continuing employment
• Progressing to HND in Computing (RQF) at Dudley College or other providers
• Progressing to suitable university degree program

The Level 4 Higher National Certificate is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant computing-related courses.

Where Can I Learn More?

For more information on gaining this qualification at Dudley College of Technology please contact the learner services team at or phone 01384 363 363.

Please Note

All courses are run subject to numbers, although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information shown above, Dudley College reserves the right to amend the content/arrangements therein as deemed necessary.

All fees quoted are normally per year, are the “standard” prices only and may be subject to change without notice. This applies to those who have been resident in the UK/EU/EEA for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course, for a purpose other than full-time education. Unless directly specified, there are no additional costs associated with materials to be purchased or trips for this course.

Exceptions to the ”standard” prices may apply - see below for details and how to find out more:

  • Students under 16 years of age - contact the 14-16 Centre Manager on 01384 363 208.
  • Students aged 16-18 are not usually required to pay course fees on full or part-time courses. Contact the admissions team on 01384 363 333 for further details.
  • Non-standard UK/EU/EEA residents and international students - contact the international office on 01384 363 356 or email:


Initial Assessment

Please note that you may be asked to complete an initial assessment for any course that Dudley College offers.

* Statistics from undergraduate induction survey 2013-14.