HNC in Electronic Systems Engineering (HTQ)

The Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC Electronic Systems Engineering online distance learning course provides you with a specialist work-related programme of learning that covers all the key knowledge, understanding, and practical skills required to work and progress in roles with an electronic engineering bias.

If you are interested in a career in electronic engineering, are looking to progress further in your engineering career, and/or want to progress onto an HND or full Honours degree, this is the ideal course for you.

Earn your BTEC Level 4 HNC from home with our flexible distance learning course. Fit learning around your work and personal commitments, and access everything you need at any time of day. You can learn at your own pace and simply submit your assignments when you are ready. You are in control of your course duration, therefore you can speed it up and slow it down to suit your needs.

Once completed, you will be awarded a Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Electronic Systems Engineering.

Please note the progression route from this HNC is the HND Electronic & Electrical Systems Engineering

Basic Information

Awarding Body - Pearson

Course Duration a minimum of three months, and a maximum of three years

Average Course Duration – 10 hours studying per week = 9-12 months*
*Please note that this is a rough estimate, and the course duration will depend on many factors, such as your prior knowledge, level of commitment, and which units you choose

Assessment Type - 100% assignment based

Enrolment Dates - Apply any day. Enrolments take place on first working day of each month

Course Duration

You can select your HNC course length from 1-3 years to best suit your circumstances.

Which course length is best for me?

We advise all learners to consider how many hours they can commit to their course each week before selecting their course length.

Here are the recommended course lengths based on how many learning hours per week on average you can realistically dedicate to the course*:

8-10 hours of learning per week = 1 year course length
5-7 hours of learning per week = 2 year course length
2-4 hours of learning per week = 3 year course length

You do not need to specify your desired course length until you submit your enrolment form, after your application has been approved.

You could save up to £1,105 by opting for the 1 Year Programme


We are transitioning over to a new and improved framework on 1st September 2024, with the qualifications having been refreshed to better reflect the needs of employers and modern engineering challenges and solutions. As registrations have now closed for the old framework, which was created in 2017, everyone who enrols from now will be placed on a free mandatory introductory course over summer, covering IT Skills, Report Writing, Harvard Referencing and Maths. Then, your HNC units will be released and available from 1st September.

If you wish to enrol soon, we strongly recommend enrolling ASAP to give yourself the summer to ensure you build your knowledge and confidence up on the four crucial introductory units, areas which we have identified as being major pain points for many of our learners over the past 10 years, impacting the ability of some to achieve the grades they want.

The summer months will be given as additional time for you to go through the introductory course and settle into your online learning environment, as opposed to eating into your chosen course length

You will receive a welcome email which contains your login credentials to gain access to your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Moodle, as well as information on how to use Moodle, where to begin, and general rules and guidance. You have the option to request an induction call where a member of our team will run through all of this with you.

Once you have completed the introductory course, you will then move onto the HNC units from 1st September. You will be required to complete your HNC course within your chosen timeframe.

Learning Resources

All resources can be accessed at any time online through our online learning portal, allowing you to go through your modules as and when you like. You will benefit from comprehensive workbooks and detailed pre-recorded videos that you can access and replay whenever.


To view our course fees please click on the 'Finance and Fees' tab. If you are on a mobile, click on 'Overview' and change the page view to 'Finance and Fees on the dropdown menu.

Professional Collaboration

This course is newly ‘quality marked’ as a Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ) by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). In addition, The HNC is a nationally recognised work-related qualification – developed in collaboration with some of the top engineering employers across the UK, such as ALSTOM, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Siemens, Railtrack, and The Engineering Council - for learners who are taking their first steps into employment or those already in employment and seeking career development.

In developing this course, Pearson has also liaised with:

● The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
● Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
● Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

By aligning to professional body competency standards, content and assessment supports learners to develop as professional practitioners for the future. This adds value for learners by offering them access to continuing professional development.

Tutor support during your HNC

You will benefit from extensive tutor support throughout your time with UniCourse. You will be given the contact details of your tutor(s), and you may email them whenever you want, or you may request a telephone/video call.


There are no exams, all assessments will be based on coursework assignments that you submit to us, in your own time, within your chosen course duration.

Enhanced Learning Credits

If you have served or currently serve in the British Armed Forces, you may be eligible to use Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) to fund your studies. To read more about eligibility and how to kick-start the process, please click here.

Colleges/Learning Providers

Are you looking to purchase any of the high quality teaching resources our expert team has produced? Click here to find out more.

Module Details - How Will It Work?

To achieve the HNC in Electronic Systems Engineering you need to complete eight units in total. This includes five mandatory core units and three mandatory specialist units. This offers learners a broad introduction to the subject area. As you conduct further research into the HNC, it is strongly recommended that you take a look below at the units you will need to study. By clicking on the unit title, you will be redirected to the official Pearson BTEC unit specification, and below many of the units you will see samples from directly taken from our course workbooks.

U4002 Engineering Maths

The mathematics that is delivered in this unit is directly applicable to the engineering and manufacturing industry, and it will help to increase learners’ knowledge of the broad underlying principles within this discipline.

The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ skills in the mathematical principles and theories that underpin the engineering curriculum. Students will be introduced to mathematical methods and statistical techniques in order to analyse and solve problems within an engineering and manufacturing context.

On successful completion of this unit, learners will be able to employ mathematical methods within a variety of contextualised examples, interpret data using statistical techniques, and use analytical and computational methods to evaluate and solve engineering and manufacturing sector problems.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

U4003 Engineering Science

Engineering is a discipline that uses scientific theory to design, develop, or maintain structures, machines, systems, and processes. Engineers are therefore required to have a broad knowledge of the science that is applicable to the industry around them.

This unit introduces learners to the fundamental laws and applications of the physical sciences within engineering and how to apply this knowledge to find solutions to a variety of engineering problems. Among the topics included in this unit are: international system of units, interpreting
data, static and dynamic fundamentals, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, material properties and failure, A.C./D.C. circuit theories, and electromagnetic principles and properties.

On successful completion of this unit, learners will be able to interpret and present qualitative and quantitative data using computer software, calculate unknown parameters within mechanical and electrical systems, explain a variety of material properties, and use electromagnetic theory in an applied context.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

U4061 Programming for Engineers

With the increasing programmability of devices, it is essential that engineers can define and develop software artefacts. Engineers are often involved in developing programs for a wide variety of projects, such as creating firmware, automating robots and machines, modelling conceptual designs, processing data, and developing machine-learning models. By acquiring programming competencies, engineers can meet these challenges, reap the benefits of customised designs, and develop solutions to solve future engineering problems, thus enhancing their career prospects.

This unit provides engineering learners with a comprehensive introduction to programming. Students will be able to investigate different software development platforms, programming paradigms, programming languages (e.g. Python, C or C++), and their engineering applications. They will gain the experience of going through a standard development process; from setting requirements through to design, implementation, testing and maintenance. The unit also covers program design, structure, and syntax through project activities. Students will be assessed on
creating programs that are efficient, functional, reliable, and maintainable.

On completion of this unit, learners will have acquired essential knowledge and skills in programming using a popular language that can be utilised in Level 5 units such as Machine Learning and Embedded Systems.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

U4062 Professional Engineering Practice

The work of the engineer is key to the development and progress of our society. The decisions they make in the course of their everyday work can be life-changing in positive ways or, if poorly made, can be life-threatening. Accordingly, the engineer must work to strict codes of professionalism in all aspects of their work.

This unit outlines the background to the legislation, professional codes of practice and operational competencies that underpin the development of the professional engineer. It also considers the roles of problem-solving, communication, team working and professional responsibility.

Elements of personal and professional development, reflective thinking, career planning and leadership are considered as well. The increasing necessity for a holistic approach to sustainability in design, manufacture, and reuse and recycling are emphasised.

On successful completion of this unit, the student will be well prepared for further study at levels 5 and 6, working towards membership of an appropriate professional institution at Incorporated Engineer level.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

U4063 Engineering Mechanics & Materials

Every aspect of engineering depends upon the use and manipulation of materials. Whether naturally occurring or man-made, it is the properties of these materials that are fundamental to their creation, processing and application.

This unit explores the fundamental structure of common engineering materials, their principal mechanical, chemical and electrical properties, and how these properties affect manufacture, application, service life and end-of-life management and recycling. Systems for categorising and ranking materials are also covered.

Finally, the service life performance of these materials is studied through calculations that measure their performance in static and dynamic applications, building on the work started in the associated level 4 unit, Engineering Science.

On successful completion of this unit, learners will be able to identify the underlying structural properties of engineering materials and how these properties relate to their application and performance. They will also be confident in completing calculations relating to the static performance of these materials when in service.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

U4022 Electronic Circuits and Devices

Electronics is pervasive and impacts various aspects of modern day living and the society as a whole. Many industries rely upon the use of electronics, thereby creating opportunities in industrial applications and research.

This unit introduces learners the operational characteristics of amplifier circuits, the types, and effects of feedback on a circuit performance, and the operation, application of oscillators. They will also be introduced to semiconductor devices and circuits, the use of electronics manufacturers’ data to analyse the performance of circuits and devices, the application of testing procedures, and use the findings of the tests to
evaluate their operation.

Among the topics included in this unit are: power amplifiers, class A, B and AB; operational amplifiers, inverting, non-inverting, differential, summing, integrator, differentiator; types such as open, closed, positive and negative feedback; frequency, stability, frequency drift, distortion, amplitude, wave shapes and testing procedures.

On successful completion of this unit learners will be able to learn about the operational characteristics of amplifier circuits, the types and effects of feedback on an amplifier’s performance, the operation and application of oscillators and application of testing procedures to electronic devices and circuits.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

U4033 Programmable Logic Controllers

The programmable logic controller (PLC) has revolutionised the automation industry. Since Richard Morley’s Modicon invention at General Motors in the 1970s, the PLC has been the standard solution for industrial automation. Today PLCs can be found in everything from manufacturing equipment to vending machines, and PLC system development for automated systems is a highly specialised and demanding area of

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand the rationale behind the use of programmable logic controllers and their applications in industry. The unit combines practical skills and knowledge in developing PLC applications from real scenarios with theoretical principles, such as communication and networking protocols.

On successful completion of this unit learners will have developed an understanding of the evolution, types and applications of PLCs. They will know how to select and develop a PLC system, integrate features of functional safety based on their understanding of risk management, and evaluate the wide range of communication technologies available on modern PLCs.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

U4067 Digital Devices and Systems

Most of the world is now dependent on infrastructure that uses digital technology. Digital electronics are used extensively in computing, data storage, communications, transport, navigation, financial systems, entertainment, and so on. It therefore follows that many industries, from gaming and complex graphics systems to Formula 1 racing, rely heavily on complex digital technology, usually in either hardware or software programmable form. As systems and infrastructure become more complex, it is vital that computer technicians and engineers have knowledge and skills in digital hardware as well as in software.

This unit introduces the fundamental principles of digital systems by way of simple functional building blocks using combinational and sequential logic. Using these blocks, it then looks at design techniques for building more complex functions. Most modern digital designs are now implemented with programmable technologies such as microcontrollers and/or programmable logic (e.g. field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), etc.) rather than using small-scale integrated circuits (SSIs) and medium-scale integrated circuits (MSIs). This unit focuses on the design of digital circuits in a hardware description language (HDL) environment, and physical implementation using a FPGA development board.

Prior to studying this unit, learners are expected to have knowledge of the binary number system.

On successful completion of this unit, learners will understand the concepts of digital systems and be able to identify the most common combinational and sequential digital building blocks. They will be able to use these blocks and traditional design techniques to build more complex digital functions. Students will be able to use an HDL and programmable logic to design and implement combinational and sequential
circuits on a FPGA. This will provide learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills to progress to further study in the use of this technology; to design and implement complex digital systems or to fulfil a technician role in industry.

If you only want to study this unit or up to four units for Continuous Professional Development purposes, you can do this with Pearson's accredited programme HN Flex.

Click here to find out more

Entry Requirements - How Do I Apply?

A pre-requisite to gaining entry onto the HNC is to have a relevant level 3 qualification in engineering OR relevant work experience in the engineering. Our admissions team may decide to send you entry quizzes to help determine suitability if they feel that you may struggle at level 4. For those who have not studied up to level 3 in Maths, it is strongly recommended that you consider adding on the Bridging Maths course, before commencing the first HNC unit - Engineering Maths. Please contact our admissions team, who will be able to tell you if you meet the entry requirements and provide advice on what you will need to enrol on this course.

We may contact you to request further information before we can advise whether your application is successful. This is to ensure that you meet the entry requirements for the course. Where appropriate, learners may be required to complete a bridging course(s) before gaining entry onto an HNC/D.

Can I be accepted with experience?

Yes. If you do not possess the relevant qualifications but have experience in the engineering sector, you can also be accepted onto the course. We consider each application on an individual basis.

Relevant experience includes:

1. Those who already work in the engineering sector and have obtained relevant skills.

2. Those who have obtained relevant skills through voluntary work.

Can I be accepted from overseas?

Unfortunately, no. Pearson BTEC courses are available to UK residents only.

English isn't my native language, do I need to complete an English exam?

As a student, you must be able to demonstrate your capability in English at the required standard, so that you can make best use of study materials, understand each unit in detail and communicate effectively with your tutor. If English is not your native language, you must complete an English proficiency exam before enrolling.

Accepted tests include:

1. Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B2

2. IELTS 5.5 (including 5.5 for reading and writing)

3. PTE Academic 51 or equivalent (e.g. centre-devised test)

Level Of Education

All learners must have Maths and English at GCSE grade C/4, or a Level 2 equivalent

A-Levels in Maths and another relevant subject such as Science or Engineering, at a minimum grade of C, or an equivalent Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject.

If you do not possess any formal academic qualifications at level 3, appropriate experience of working in the engineering industry will be accepted in lieu. However, you should be able to demonstrate appropriate knowledge and competence at level 3 in mathematics and science.

For applicants without such qualifications, or where refresher courses would be beneficial, we offer level 3 bridging courses to fill those knowledge gaps. We can provide guidance on your individual needs during the application process.

For individual guidance on how your work experience will impact your course application, email us at

Payment Plans

As well as the plans you can see below, we offer you the opportunity to make (minumum of) a 30% downpayment, followed by monthly instalments to pay off the remaining balance, interest free. For 1 year programmes, the remaining balance can be paid off over a maximum of 10 monthly payments, and for 2 or 3 year programmes it extends to 15 months.

Please note: you are required to enrol before purchasing your course.

Step 1: Submit your application form. You will receive an email with our decision within one working day.

Step 2: Once your application is approved (subject to eligibility) you will receive confirmation of this via email, along with instruction to submit an enrolment form.

Step 3: Once you have completed both forms, you can then purchase your course.

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Progression - What Can I Do After My Course?

This course provides learners with a straight path to employment or progression onto an HND or a university degree course. Once you’ve achieved this Level 4 HNC Electronic Systems Engineering you can progress onto our level 5 Top up HND Electronic & Electrical Systems Engineering, and then go onto a top up degree programme onto the final year, or you can skip the HND and go onto the second year of a BSc (Hons) full university degree. Many campus-based universities will accept this qualification as an entry requirement to year two of their degree programmes.

This qualification is approved by the Engineering Council as contributing to the requirements for professional registration as an Engineering Technician. Completing this course can help you on your way to achieving your career goals. For those already in employment, it is a nationally recognised qualification, led and shaped by top employers within the industry.



Careers Hub

UniCourse now offer a comprehensive Careers Hub service for all our learners, which comes included in the package.

You can have one of our specialists take a look at your CV, cover letter, or personal statement, and provide you with extensive feedback on how to make improvements, to make the best impression possible.

Also, you will be offered the chance to talk through your options once you are finished or about to finish your course with one of our specialist careers advisors, who will recommend certain actions and point you in the direction of possible ways to keep you progressing in the direction you wish to go.

Opportunities After Unicourse

What can I do after my course?

This course builds up core skills whilst preparing you for further subject specialisation if learners wish to progress onto a level 5 HND or onto the second year of a full Honours degree course. It prepares and equips those taking their first steps into employment in the engineering sector, with the relevant knowledge needed to succeed. It can also help those already employed in the engineering sector to further their skills to progress in their careers, specialise in certain areas, and gain promotions.

1. Prepares you for first or next steps in engineering-related employment

2. Improve current skills

3. Gain promotion opportunities

More workplace opportunities

The skills you learn as part of the HNC Electronic Systems Engineering can provide you with the opportunity to take positive forward steps into employment in the engineering sector or can help those already in employment to progress further in their careers and gain promotions.

1. Technician Electronic Engineering

2. Assistant Project Manager

Further education opportunities

The Level 4 BTEC HNC Electronic Systems Engineering is recognised by many Higher Education providers - such as the Open University - as meeting admission requirements for progression onto many relevant workplace-related courses, including:

1. A Level 5 HND in Electronic & Electrical Systems Engineering

2. Year two of a BSc Honours degree programme

Will my chosen University accept this qualification?

The HNC in Electronic Systems Engineering will allow you to apply for year 2 of a BSc (Hons) degree with the Open University. Many campus-based universities will also accept this qualification as an entry requirement to year two of their degree programmes.

Pearson's Degree Finder Tool

Pearson's Degree Finder tool has been created for learners studying a Pearson BTEC Higher National qualification who are looking for progression options to university.

You can use this tool before, during or after completing your Pearson course to help you plan your next steps

The Degree Finder also features Pearson's Recognition Map where you can browse the institutions who have formally recognised that they will consider applications from Higher National learners.

Visit Pearson's Degree Finder


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