Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Computing and Systems Development

Level: 4
Duration: 1 year, full-time
Award: Pearson
2017-18 Fees: £6500 per year (pro rata for part-time)

About this course

The IT industry has consistently driven change in business and in the everyday lives of individuals. This course provides an exciting opportunity to acquire the key skills that are sought after by employers. The course is divided into a number of core units that are designed to give you a broad overview of the subject area together with a number of professional tracks which will provide you with the opportunity to specialise in one or more subject areas. This programme is currently available to UK and EU applicants only.

Why study this course?

This full-time programme is run over one year with students attending daytime sessions. The HNC in Computing and Systems Development is designed to help learners gain vocational as well as academic skills. You will learn a wide range of practical, in-demand vocational skills in web development, programming and networking. You will also gain a sound knowledge and understanding of the IT sector whilst developing research, critical thinking and problem solving skills which are essential employability skills for work within this field. The qualification combines work-related practice with the academic skills that you will need to operate at a higher level to further your chosen career in IT or to progress onto an HND/Top Up Degree.

What will I study?

Building on previous knowledge and skills in Computing, the course is structured to provide opportunities across a broad academic and vocational base, progressively deepening learners’ knowledge.

Students undertake the following units to complete the HNC. These are currently:*

  • Business Skills for e-Commerce (core)
  • Employability and Professional Development (core)
  • Computer Systems (core)
  • Digital Media in Art and Design
  • Web Design
  • 2D, 3D and Time-based Digital Applications
  • Object Orientated Programming (Server side Web Programming)
  • Event Driven Programming (Client side Web Programming)

There may also be an opportunity for you to research and experience emerging technologies such as:

  • Lego Mindstorm EV3
  • 3D printing
  • Phantom 3 Drone technologies
  • Robotics
  • Virtual Reality with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
  • Unity Games Development

*Please note that these are likely to change in 2017-18 due to curriculum updating by the awarding body Pearson. Units may be subject to change from year to year, due to curriculum updating/sector changes/changes in delivery staff specialisms or awarding body requirements.  See Course Terms and Conditions for more information.

Assessments for the course may take a variety of forms, from the creation of products like web-sites, applications and networks, group work and presentations, to formal written assignments and reports.  

We work closely with local employers to ensure that the skills attained during the course are relevant and transferable to work-based practice. Academic and practical skills developed through the course focus on workplace and transferable skills to equip students for progression into employment, developed alongside academic skills such as research, problem analysis and critical thinking to support progression to higher level study. You will develop the ability to work independently and on your own initiative. You will develop career-ready employment skills which will include practical skills in developing static and dynamic websites and MVC applications using HTML5, CSS3, PHP, JavaScript and ASP.NET. You will also develop hardware and networking skills to allow you to create and plan secure network infrastructures as well as create and manage web servers to host web sites. You will also learn a wide range of relevant transferable skills including project management, team working skills, presentation and report writing.

What can I do after the course?

The programme leads to HNC in Computing and Systems Development. On successful completion of the HNC, you will have the opportunity to progress onto the HND in Computing and Systems Development at Selby College. Some students may then undertake further study to complete a Top Up degree at university, to gain a full degree in Computing or one of the specialist areas covered by the qualification. Other students may progress to employment or set up their own enterprise. The course aims to equip students with the skills required for a variety of employment opportunities, for example, junior web development / software development role or positions at technician level (technical support position). Students may progress to studying for membership of professional bodies such as the British Computer Society and the Chartered Institute for IT.

Who is this course aimed at?

This is a nationally recognised qualification offering career and professional development for those entering, or already established, in the IT field, as well as opening up progression opportunities for successful students to further their academic study to HND and degree level. The course is aimed at those who have completed a Level 3 course or equivalent in Computing or IT or who have relevant industry experience and are looking to progress to a practical Higher Education qualification. This programme will appeal to those who wish to complete their studies in an inclusive setting which is accessible and can provide a highly supportive teaching and learning environment.

Entry requirements

96 UCAS tariff points (NEW UCAS TARIFF) from either:

  • A Levels (including Computing or Applied ICT or another relevant subject)
  • A BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) in IT

The following are also required:

  • Grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths

Applications from mature students with relevant professional/life experience are welcome. You might be required to provide further evidence to decide on your suitability for the course and an admissions test may be used in certain circumstances.

Other information

For full-time courses, you can apply through UCAS (Course Code W01M).

Tuition Fee loans are available from the Student Loan Company for most students - see www.slc.co.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/student-finance for more details.

For more information about the course, Higher Education fees/funding and the application process, please contact Selby College Higher Education Office on 01757 211114 or email highereducation@selby.ac.uk.





Level: 4
Duration: 1 year, full-time
Award: Pearson
2017-18 Fees: £6500 per year (pro rata for part-time)

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