The Edexcel BTEC Level 4 HNC in General Engineering online distance learning course provides you with a specialist work-related programme of study that covers all the key knowledge, understanding and practical skills required to work and progress in the engineering sector. It also offers a choice of specialist modules, which allow you the opportunity to choose what you would like to specialise in and learn more about. The General pathway is ideal for those looking for more flexibility with which units they study. For example, someone who is looking to study a blend of electrical and mechanical units would benefit from taking this pathway.
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 students who are taking their first steps into employment or those already in employment and seeking career development. If you are interested in a career in engineering, are looking to progress or further your engineering career 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. Learn at your own pace, this course has no exams or tight deadlines, simply submit your assignments when you are ready. You are in control of how long the course takes, as you can speed it up and slow it down to suit your needs. The only deadline you have is to complete the course within 5 years from the date you are sent your welcome email. Once completed you will be awarded a BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering.
Awarding Body - Pearson Edexcel
Course Duration - a minimum of three months, and a maximum of five years (Please note that you have a maximum of five years to complete the HNC and the HND if you wish to progress. In any college, you would be given two years for HNC and one for HND.
Average Course Duration – 10 hours studying per week = 9-12 months*
Assessment Type - 100% assignment based without deadlines
Enrolment Dates - All year round
*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
To view course fees please click on the 'Finance and Fees' tab above.
How it works
Once you have signed up, you will receive a welcome email which contains your login credentials to gain access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Moodle, as well as the details of your course tutor, how to use Moodle, where to begin, and general rules and guidance on the course.
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.
You will have access to your course tutors 7-day per week. 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 call. We also provide weekly live video sessions, which will have a different focus each week.
There are no exams, all assessments will be based on coursework assignments that you submit to us, in your own time.
UniCourse is pleased to announce that it is now an ELCAS approved learning provider. We can now be found on the ELCAS portal here, with a list of all the available courses – here
Are you a college or learning provider looking to purchase any of the units we have on offer?
Request an information pack or submit an application form, with the option to have one of our course advisors telephone you to discuss your interest or application further
Once you have applied, you will receive an email with our decision within one working day, and we will telephone you to discuss your application if requested
Once you have submitted your enrolment form, necessary documentation, and payment, you will receive your login credentials and welcome email
"You are provided with all the resources you need and the support is fantastic. I would recommend Unicourse to anyone looking for distance learning at their own pace."
"I have enjoyed my course so far with Unicourse, I have found it a lot more flexible and can fit it around my hectic lifestyle a lot easier than attending college with assignment deadlines. Any problem I have had with the course have been answered very quickly. I would recommend Unicourse to others who are busy but want to carry on with education."
"From the start of the enrolment phase, UniCourse admin team made everything simple and clear how the course would be laid out with the program ‘Moodle’ I would be using. The course is a very convenient way to study even if you are already fully employed like myself and lecturers were easily contactable and friendly. Overall I had pleasant experience with unicourse and would recommend them to anyone looking to improve on their education"
"My dream of finishing my studies has been possible only because of Unicourse, they have given me the opportunity to be flexible with my studies and hold a full time job all at the same time. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking to study and work at the same time. I have found them to be very helpful with all my queries and they are quick to help me solve my problems. This is so convenient for me I can study in my own time and in my own home no need to travel to college at a certain time. After finishing my current HNC course I hope to start HND with Unicourse they are fantastic i am very pleased with them."
"With a full time Job and 2 very young kids a normal 9-5 course was not an option. It was becoming increasingly difficult to better my career options. Finding Unicourse on the internet has really opened up my learning potential. Their professionalism, knowledge and flexibility are really first class. To sum them up in one word.... Awesome!"
"I have found Unicourse to not only be a very convenient way to study as I am a self employed full time electrician, but also the course tutor to be very helpful. Whether I require help by phone, email or a live web session he is always available. The tutor also returns marked work very quickly allowing me plenty of time to make any adjustments. I have found Unicourse to afford me the best opportunity to progress my career whilst also continuing to work full time. "
"I have really enjoyed my experience so far with Unicourse.org even obtaining a Distinction on my first module. The staff and lecturers are quick and helpful with their responses to any and all enquiries and the video conferencing platform is very helpful when discussing intricate subject matter. I would highly recommend the course to anyone wishing to broaden their horizons whilst holding down a full time job."
"Great tutors, easy to follow workbooks, great support, would highly recommend."
"Time and place were severe obstacles to me achieving a HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Thankfully, the flexible options offered by Unicourse have allowed me to undertake my HND from home with them while working full-time. They have personalised my HND, allowing me to choose from many optional units. The traditional colleges I looked up did not offer option choices at all. I have also managed to complete my HND with Unicourse in a fraction of the time that would have been necessary at other colleges. I am really pleased that I made the right choice. The support I got was fantastic."
"The flexibility of the courses and the professionalism of the staff make UniCourse a great way to improve your personal skills with a chance of a future career."
"If you want to succeed I personally suggest you apply to UniCourse. Why? After many years away from study I did my HNC. It was hard work but with superb help and guidance I obtained 8 Distinctions. This year I am doing my HND in Electrical & Electronic Engineering with UniCourse. Again, UniCourse are pulling out all the stops with high quality assignments, a one-to-one videoconferencing platform, incredible feedback and comprehensive support when needed."
To achieve the HNC in General Engineering you need to complete eight units in total. This includes four core units, and then you select four optional units. This offers students a broad introduction to the subject area, whilst also allowing students to gain skills and experience in areas that interest them, through the selection of optional units which can help prepare you for subject specialisation at Level 5. 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 or decide to study. By clicking on the unit title, you will be redirected to the official Pearson Edexcel unit specification, and below many of the units you will see samples from our course workbooks.
The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the methodical steps that engineers use in creating functional products and processes; from a design brief to the work, and the stages involved in identifying and justifying a solution to a given engineering need.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to prepare an engineering design specification that satisfies stakeholders’ requirements, implement best practice when analysing and evaluating possible design solutions, prepare a written technical design report, and present their finalised design to a customer or audience.
The aim of this unit is to develop students’ 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 context.
On successful completion of this unit, students 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 problems.
This unit introduces students 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.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to interpret and present qualitative and quantitative data using computer software, calculate unknown parameters within mechanical systems, explain a variety of material properties and use electromagnetic theory in an applied context.
This unit introduces students to the techniques and best practices required to successfully create and manage an engineering project designed to identify a solution to an engineering need.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to formulate and plan a project as well as conduct planned project activities that will provide a solution to an identified engineering problem, produce a project report analysing the outcomes of the project processes and stages and present this report and draw conclusions on the outcomes of the project.
The aim of this unit is to introduce students to renewable energy resources and technologies, including current storage and generation technologies, and explore their advantages and limitations.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to determine the optimum combination of renewable energy technologies and evaluate their efficiencies, describe how to conduct a cost–benefit analysis to determine the most viable option between renewable and conventional energy sources, and consider the relevant political, socio-economic and legal factors that influence the selection of appropriate energy technologies.
Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer/controlled engineering working together in automated systems and ‘smart’ product design.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the basic mechatronic system components and functions, design a simple mechatronic system specification for a given application, use appropriate simulation and modelling software to examine its operation and function, and solve faults on mechatronic systems using a range of techniques and methods.
The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the essential mechanical principles associated with engineering applications.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the underlying principles, requirements and limitations of mechanical systems.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the relationship between the atomic structure and the physical properties of materials, determine the suitability of engineering materials for use in a specified role, explore the testing techniques to determine the physical properties of an engineering material and identify the causes of in-service material failure.
This unit introduces students to the fluid mechanics techniques used in mechanical engineering. The hydraulic devices and systems that incorporate the transmission of hydraulic pressure and forces exerted by a static fluid on immersed surfaces.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to work with the concept and measurement of viscosity in fluids, and the characteristics of Newtonian and non- Newtonian fluids; examine fluid flow phenomena, including energy conservation, estimation of head loss in pipes and viscous drag; and examine the operational characteristics of hydraulic machines, in particular the operating principles of various water turbines and pumps.
This unit introduces students to engineering management principles and practices, and their strategic implementation.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to investigate key strategic issues involved in developing and implementing engineering projects and solutions and explain professional codes of conduct and the relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities.
This unit introduces students to the principles and concepts of thermodynamics and its application in modern engineering.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to investigate fundamental thermodynamic systems and their properties, apply the steady flow energy equation to plant equipment, examine the principles of heat transfer to industrial applications, and determine the performance of internal combustion engines.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to illustrate the role and purpose of production engineering and its relationship with the other elements of a manufacturing system. They will be able to select the most appropriate production processes and associated facility arrangements for manufacturing products of different material types and design a production system incorporating a number of different production processes.
The aim of this unit is for students to investigate how Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and industrial robots can be programmed to successfully implement automated engineering solutions.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to program PLCs and robotic manipulators to achieve a set task, describe the types and uses of PLCs and robots available, write simple PLC programs, and program industrial robots with straightforward commands and safety factors.
This unit introduces students to the important principles, components and practices of instrumentation in the controlling of a process system, together with the terminology, techniques and components that are used in such a system.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain why the measurement of system parameters is critical to a successful process control performance, describe when and how such measurements are carried out, and develop skills in applying predicted values in order to ensure stability within a control system for a range of input wave forms.
This unit introduces students to the importance of quality assurance processes in a manufacturing or service environment and the principles and theories that underpin them.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to illustrate the processes and applications of statistical process, explain the quality control tools used to apply costing techniques, identify the standards expected in the engineering environment to improve efficiency and examine how the concept of Total Quality Management and continuous improvement underpins modern manufacturing and service environments.
This unit introduces students to the importance of equipment maintenance programmes, the benefits that well-maintained equipment brings to an organisation and the risk factors it faces if maintenance programmes and processes are not considered or implemented.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the importance of compliance with statutory regulations associated with asset maintenance, illustrate maintenance techniques adopted by the industry, work safely whilst performing maintenance tasks in an industrial environment and identify inspection and maintenance techniques.
This unit will give a wide overview of the electrical and electronic principles used in engineering.
On successful completion of this unit students will have a good and wide-ranging grasp of the underlying principles of electrical and electronic circuits and devices and will be able to proceed with confidence to further study.
The unit introduces the two main branches of digital electronics, combinational and sequential. Thus, the student gains familiarity in the fundamental elements of digital circuits, notably different types of logic gates and bistables. The techniques by which such circuits are analysed, introduced and applied, including Truth Tables, Boolean Algebra, Karnaugh Maps, and Timing Diagrams.
On successful completion of this unit students will have a good grasp of the principles of digital electronic circuits and will be able to proceed with confidence to further study.
This unit introduces students to the characteristics and operational parameters of a range of electromagnetic powered machines that are used in a variety of applications.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to identify the constructional features and applications of transformers; investigate the starting methods and applications of three-phase induction motors and synchronous machines; investigate the types of generator available in the industry by assessing their practical application; and analyse the operating characteristics of electromagnetic transducers and actuators.
This unit introduces students to the use of electronics manufacturers’ data to analyse the performance of circuits and devices, the operational characteristics of amplifier circuits, the types and effects of feedback on a circuit performance, and the operation and application of oscillators. They will also be introduced to the application of testing procedures to electronic devices and circuits and use the findings of the tests to evaluate their operation.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to determine the operational characteristics of amplifier circuits, investigate the types and effects of feedback on an amplifier’s performance, examine the operation and application of oscillators and apply testing procedures to electronic devices and circuits.
This unit introduces students to all the stages of the CAD/CAM process and to the process of modelling components using CAD software specifically suitable for transferring to CAM software.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to illustrate the key principles of manufacturing using a CAD/CAM system; produce 3D solid models of a component suitable for transfer into a CAM system; use CAM software to generate manufacturing simulations of a component; and design a dimensionally accurate component on a CNC machine using a CAD/CAM system.
The aim of this module is to develop students’ knowledge and appreciation of the applications of fluid power systems in modern industry.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain applications of hydraulic and pneumatic systems in the production industry, determine the fundamental principles and practical techniques for obtaining solutions to problems, appreciate real-life applications of pneumatic and hydraulic systems, and investigate the importance of structured maintenance techniques.
The aims of this unit are to develop students’ knowledge of the engineering fundamentals that augment the design and operation of plant engineering systems, and to furnish them with the tools and techniques to maintain technological equipment.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to describe the fundaments that underpin the operation of the systems they deal with on a daily basis and apply these fundamentals to the successful maintenance of these systems.
This unit introduces students to the characteristics and operational parameters of a range of electrical system components that are used in a variety of applications; and how to fault find when they go wrong.
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to follow electrical system circuit diagrams, understand the operation of the various components that make up the system and select the most suitable fault-finding technique.
The aim of this unit is to enable students to produce 2D CAD drawings (using industry standard CAD software), and to modify and construct electrical and mechanical drawings e.g. distribution systems, fire alarms, steam ranges, electrical and hydraulic circuits.
This unit will support the development of the students’ CAD abilities and build upon those skills to introduce the more advanced techniques that are used to create and modify schematic drawings quickly and efficiently.
This unit will provide students with the necessary background knowledge and understanding of the structure and property relationship of polymer materials to guide their selection of material and manufacturing techniques to produce a sustainable, fit for purpose product.
This unit will provide students with an understanding of the relationship between a polymer’s structure and properties and between processing technique and product performance.
To gain entry onto the HNC in General Engineering, the usual entry requirement is a level 3 qualification in this field. However, mature candidates who do not possess such qualifications but have experience in the engineering field, can also be accepted onto the course. 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.
The usual entry requirements for this course are a minimum of 64 UCAS points obtained from level 3 qualifications.
Examples of this includes:
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:
Unfortunately, no. Edexcel courses are available to UK residents only.
All students 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.
Experience working in the engineering sector, if you don’t have a level 3 qualification in engineering.
At UniCourse we have a wide range of payment plans to support everyone, pick one of the below plans and start your journey.
If you would like to take advantage of the cheaper plan 1 payment option but it isn’t suitable to pay this all in one go, you have the option to pay at least 40% of this price upfront and then set up a monthly payment plan to pay the remaining balance (up to 12 months). Please state you would like to take advantage of this on your application form.
This course provides students with a straight path to employment or progression onto a HND or a university degree course. Once you’ve achieved this Level 4 HNC in General Engineering you can progress onto our level 5 HND or even 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 that can offer career progression.
If you are thinking about whether to apply for just an HNC or the full HND, you could save yourself up to £600 by buying our combined package.
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.
This course builds up core skills whilst preparing you for further subject specialisation if students 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.
The skills you learn as part of the HNC in General Engineering can provide you with the opportunity to take your first steps into employment in the engineering sector or can help those already in employment to progress further in their careers and gain promotions.
Some of the job roles this qualification can lead to include:
The Level 4 BTEC HNC in General 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: