HND in General Engineering (Pearson)

The Edexcel BTEC Level 5 HND 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 HND 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 have completed a relevant HNC and 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 5 HND 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 5 Higher National Diploma in Engineering.

Basic Information

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. The time you have to complete your HND will depend on when you started your HNC. 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.

Tutor Support

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.


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Module Details - How Will It Work?

To achieve the HND in General Engineering, you need to have completed an HNC, and then study a further seven units as outlined below. This includes two mandatory core units, two mandatory specialist units and then you select three optional units. These modules continue to build upon the essential skills, knowledge, and techniques learnt at Level 4 whilst teaching students more subject-specific specialist skills. As you conduct further research into the HND, 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.

U34 Research Project

Completing a piece of research is an opportunity for students to showcase their intellect and talents. This unit introduces students to the skills necessary to deliver a complex, independently conducted research project that fits within an engineering context.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to deliver a complex and independent research project in line with the original objectives, explain the critical thinking skills associated with solving engineering problems, consider multiple perspectives in reaching a balanced and justifiable conclusion, and communicate effectively a research project’s outcome.

U35 Professional Engineering Management

The aim of this unit is to continue building up on the knowledge gained in Unit 4: Managing a Professional Engineering Project, to provide students with the professional standards for engineers and to guide them on how to develop the range of employability skills needed by professional engineers. The topics included in this unit are; engineering strategy and services delivery planning, the role of sustainability, Total Quality Management (TQM), engineering management tools, managing people and becoming a professional engineer.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to construct a coherent engineering services delivery plan to meet the requirements of a sector-specific organisation or business. They will display personal commitment to professional standards and obligations to society, the engineering profession and the environment.

U39 Further Mathematics

The unit will prepare students to analyse and model engineering situations using mathematical techniques. Among the topics included in this unit are; number theory, complex numbers, matrix theory, linear equations, numerical integration, numerical differentiation, and graphical representations of curves for estimation within an engineering context. Finally, students will expand their knowledge of calculus to discover how to model and solve engineering problems using first and second order differential equations.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to use applications of number theory in practical engineering situations, solve systems of linear equations relevant to engineering applications using matrix methods, approximate solutions of contextualised examples with graphical and numerical methods, and review models of engineering systems using ordinary differential equations.

U49 Lean Manufacturing

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the principles and processes of lean manufacturing, so that they can become an effective and committed practitioner of lean in whatever industry sector they are employed in. To do this, the unit will explore the tools and techniques that are applied by organisations practicing lean.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the common principles of lean manufacturing, compare the Toyota Production System with the now more widely adopted generic approaches to lean manufacturing, utilise a range of the process improvement tools used within lean manufacturing, and demonstrate effective communication skills in order to lead the process of continuous improvement across an organisation.

U36 Advanced Mechanical Principles

The aim of this unit is to continue covering the topics discussed in Unit 9: Mechanical Principles. It will provide students with advanced knowledge of the mechanical theories associated with engineering applications.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to have more advanced knowledge of mechanical principles to determine the behavioural characteristics of materials subjected to complex loading; assess the strength of loaded beams and pressurised vessels; determine specifications of power transmission system elements; and examine operational constraints of dynamic rotating systems.

U37 Virtual Engineering

This unit introduces students to the application of relevant Computer Aided Design (CAD) and analysis engineering tools in contemporary engineering. They will learn about standards, regulations and legal compliance within the context of engineering.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to consider how to perform computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, develop finite element product and system models, explain the identification of faults in the application of simulation techniques and discuss the modelling method and data accuracy.

U38 Further Thermodynamics (Under development)

The aim of this unit is to develop further students’ skills in applied thermodynamics by investigating the relationships between theory and practice. Among the topics included in this unit are; heat pumps and refrigeration, performance of air compressors, steam power plant and gas turbines.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to determine the performance and operation of heat pumps and refrigeration systems, review the applications and efficiency of industrial compressors, use charts and/or tables to determine steam plant parameters and characteristics, describe the operation of gas turbines and assess their efficiency.

U41 Distributed Control Systems (Under development)

This unit introduces students to the applications of Distributed Control Systems in industrial measurements and control engineering, the different types of industrial networking used in control and instrumentation, the analysis of the performance of a given control system, and how to suggest appropriate solutions using a variety of possible methods.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the impact of automated systems in modern control processes, explain the basic concepts, architecture, operation and communication of distributed control systems, identify appropriate techniques to specify and implement a simple DCS and develop programmes to use machine interfaces to monitor and control the behaviour of a complex system.

U42 Further PLCs (Under development)

The aim of this unit is to further develop students’ skills in the use of PLCs and their specific applications within engineering and manufacturing. Among the topics included in this unit are; device interface methods, PLC signal processing and communications with other devices, PLC programming methodology and alternative programmable control devices.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to research the design, selection and use of PLCs as part of a larger system, programme a PLC to solve an industrial process problem for a given application and illustrate the alternative strategies for using other available types of programmable control devices.

U43 Further Electrical Machines and Drives

The aim of this unit is to continue developing the skills in the use and application of electrical machines, particularly direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) drives. Among the topics included in this unit are; an introduction to electrical machines and drives, and their characteristics, starting and braking, loading conditions, ratings, and their control.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the operation of different motors used in industry, describe the different types of industrial drives used in various disciplines, assess the importance of electrical machines and their drives for a given industrial application, analyse their performances and suggest appropriate solutions using a variety of possible methods.

U44 Industrial Power, Electronics and Storage

This unit presents a wide-ranging introduction to the field of existing and renewable energy systems. The unit will also explore the potential impacts of climate change and why more, and different forms of, sustainable energy sources are required together with the need for energy efficiency measures.

By the end of this unit students will be able to examine the technological concepts behind providing a sustainable electrical energy supply for the future. They will also be able to describe how the fundamental technical and economic processes and drivers at play in the electrical power industry affect the selection and use of energy sources.

U45 Industrial Systems

This unit presents a structured approach to the development of advanced electronic solutions in a range of industrial situations. Among the topics included in this unit are techniques and applications of electrical and electronic engineering, as they apply to various branches of industry, such as component handling, controlling the speed or torque of a motor or responding to change of circumstances in a process.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to describe system elements and consider their overall characteristics. This provides opportunity for analytically assessing the accuracy and repeatability of electronic instruments.

U46 Embedded Systems

This unit builds on introductory knowledge students have already gained in electronic circuits. It develops their knowledge of computer hardware, focussing on the small, low-cost type of computer (i.e. a microcontroller), usually used in embedded systems. It then develops skill in devising circuits which operate external to the microcontroller and interface with it; generally, these relate to sensors, actuators, human interface or data transfer.

Students will also develop programming skills writing programmes which download straight to the microcontroller and cause it to interact with its external circuit. They will then explore the wider context of embedded systems, learning how they are applied in ‘hi-tech’ applications, in many cases revolutionising our ability to undertake certain activities.

U48 Manufacturing Systems Engineering

The aim of this unit is to develop students’ understanding of that complexity within a modern manufacturing environment.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the principles of a manufacturing system and consider how to design improvements. They will be introduced to all the elements that make up a modern manufacturing system, and they will learn how to optimise the operation of existing systems through discerning use of monitoring data.

U50 Advanced Manufacturing Technology

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to analyse and evaluate the potential of using advanced manufacturing technologies to improve the competitive advantage of the organisations adopting them. The student will develop knowledge and understanding of advanced manufacturing technologies, digitalisation and a range of advanced manufacturing technologies. They will also develop their own research activities into the latest developments.

U51 Sustainability

This unit is designed to support the Professional Engineering and Professional Engineering Management core units at Level 4 and 5. On successful completion of this unit the student with possess a wide range of knowledge and understanding of the issues and topics associated with sustainability and low carbon engineering.

U52 Further Electrical, Electronic and Digital Principles

The emphasis in this unit will be in developing a structured approach to the analysis of AC single-phase and three-phase powered circuitry. This will help students to arrive at the solution in the most efficient way, with the greatest probability of it being correct.
Successful completion of this unit will enable students to cope with increasingly complex problems and prepare them for the challenge of Level 6 academic programmes.

U53 Utilisation of Electrical Power

The aim of this unit is to develop students’ understanding of electrical power systems and power distribution, giving consideration to the advantages and disadvantages of alternative power sources.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the demands, sources and construction of electrical power generation and distribution systems, review the interconnections of power systems and their necessary protection, identify the requirement for engineering activity and describe new and emerging methods to optimise energy usage.

U54 Further Control Systems Engineering (Under development)

The aim of this unit is to provide the student with the fundamental knowledge of the principles of control systems and the basic understanding of how these principles can be used to model and analyse simple control systems found in industry.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to devise a typical three- term controller for optimum performance, grasp fundamental control techniques and how these can be used to predict and control the behaviour of a range of engineering processes in a practical way.

U63 Industrial Services

The student will be introduced to the fundamental principles of electrical power and lighting systems, the rudiments of industrial compressed air systems, the provision of steam for both power generation and process plant, and the applications and precepts of refrigeration plant and heat pumps.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to manage and maintain a wide range of commonly encountered industrial systems.

U64 Thermofluids

The aim of this unit is to provide a rational understanding of functional thermodynamics and fluid mechanics in common industrial applications.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to review industrial thermodynamic systems and their properties, examine the operation of practical steam and gas turbines plants, illustrate the properties of viscosity in fluids, and analyse fluid systems and hydraulic machines.

Entry Requirements - How Do I Apply?

To gain entry onto the HND in General Engineering you must have completed the HNC in General Engineering first. If you do not have a HNC already, you must first complete the 8 HNC modules before studying for a HND. If you have not yet completed the HNC, you can enrol onto UniCourse’s combined HNC and HND course to save yourself up to £600!

How many points do I require?

The entry requirements for this course specify a minimum of 120 credits obtained from the relevant HNC.

Can I be accepted with experience?

Even if you have experience working in the engineering sector you must have obtained a HNC before you can start studying for a HND.

Even if you have experience working in the engineering sector you must have obtained a HNC before you can start studying for a HND.

Unfortunately, no. Edexcel courses are available to UK residents only.

Level Of Education

All students must have GCSE’s in Maths, English and Science at GCSE grade C/4 or above, or a Level 2 equivalent.

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

You must have completed a HNC in General Engineering.

Payment Plans

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.

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Progression - What Can I Do After My Course?

This course provides students with a straight path to employment or progression onto a university degree course. Once you’ve achieved this Level 5 HND in General Engineering you can progress onto the third year of a BSc (Hons) full university degree programme with the Open University. Many campus-based universities will accept this qualification as an entry requirement to year three 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 and further job security.

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.


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?

The BTEC Level 5 HND in General Engineering builds upon the core skills learnt in Level 4 to provide a greater breadth of knowledge and specialisation in general engineering. It equips students with the knowledge and relevant qualifications needed to progress onto the third year of a full Honours University degree course.

1. Progress onto the third year of a full Honours University degree

2. Progression into employment in general engineering

3. Gain promotion opportunities

More workplace opportunities

The skills you learn as part of the HND 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:

1. Maintenance engineer

2. Control engineer

3. Other engineering professionals or engineering technicians

Further education opportunities

The Level 5 BTEC HND in General Engineering is recognised by many Higher Education Providers – such as the Open University – as meeting admission requirements for progression onto degree courses in related areas such as:

1. General engineering

2. Maintenance engineering

3. Communications engineering

Will my chosen University accept this qualification

The HND in General Engineering will allow you to apply for year 3 of a BSc (Hons) degree with the Open University. Many campus-based universities will also accept this qualification as an entry requirement to the final year of their degree programmes.

Please check with the university you have in mind.

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