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+ Computing & IT HND

We're living in a digital age which makes IT the career of the future.

Computer technology is increasingly embedded in business processes and society, which means there are always opportunities for suitably qualified professionals.

Our computer suites offer the latest high-spec equipment and software. Choose a higher education programme in computing and IT, and you're choosing to be part of a growing and evolving sector, integral to the modern world.

Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing

  • Introductory Course Information:

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    Award: Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing 

    UCAS Code: I610 

    Location: Bolton College – Deane Road  

    Location of PlacementN/A 

    Awarding BodyPearson  

    Professional body accreditations: None 

    Duration2 Years (full-time) 

    Academic Year 1: TBC September 2018 - TBC June 2019 

    Academic Year 2: TBC September 2019 - TBC June 2020 


  • Full-time study & work experience

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    Full-time study: When studied full time the duration of the course will be over 2 semesters per year. As a full-time student, you will be expected to study 15 units over the 2-year programme. The timetabled classes will take place 2 days per week. The qualification requires that you gain a minimum of 240 credits, of which 135 are mandatory core units.  

    Work placements/experience: Students may undertake work placement during the summer break. This is recommended but is not a course requirement. The course also enjoys the input of guest speakers who work in a range of key industrial sectors and roles. Students have the opportunity to go on project visits in order to experience first-hand experience in the industry 

  • Timetables

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    Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Further details of scheduled classes can be obtained from your course leader: Email    

  • Entry & additional requirements

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    • GCSE Maths and English at Grade C/4 or above, or equivalent 
    • Level 3 Diploma OR 
    • 2 A Levels at Grade C or above 
    • Applicants with industry experience but without the full set of entry requirement qualifications will be assessed to determine their suitability for the course via an interview  

    Additional requirements: You will be expected to have an interview with the course leader prior to starting the course. The course leader will be able to explain in more depth the requirements and commitments that are needed to successfully complete the course. 

    Credit transfer or accreditation of prior learning or experience: If you have already achieved a qualification that is comparable to this course, you may be able to gain credit/s for comparable units. If you think you have relevant work experience that you want to be considered for accreditation then this may be taken into account. Further information is available at our Accreditation of Prior Learning page

  • Course Overview

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    This full-time HND can help you turn your interest in computing into a rewarding career opportunity. The course will help you prepare to work in the computing industry by teaching you essential skills – from problem-solving to supporting individual computer users and organisations, to maintaining and managing their online systems. You will also be introduced to games development and programming, where you can use your imagination and creativity to modify and manipulate software to create animations and cutting-edge interfaces. 


    Throughout the 2 year course you will gain knowledge and understanding; practical, professional and subject-specific skills. You will develop cognitive, intellectual and thinking skills; and you will gain valuable key, personal and transferable skills. In order for you to develop and enhance your employability skills, taught, developed, and assessed learning will involve crucial skills such as: communication, teamwork, organising and planning, numeracy, problem-solving, flexibility and adaptability, action planning, self-awareness, initiative, personal impact and confidence, environmental sustainability, and social, public and ethical responsibility.  


    In line with Pearson BTEC requirements, the Level 5 HND programme contains a minimum of 120 credits at level 5. 

    • Qualification credit value: a minimum of 240 credits of which 120 credits are at 

    Level 5, and 120 credits are at Level 4. 

    • Mandatory core unit credit: 135 credits. 

  • Module/Unit Map

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    This module/Unit map provides a list of modules that make up your course. Each module/unit is worth a specified number of credits: you take a combination of compulsory and optional modules/units, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing some of your own interests. You must take modules/units worth 240 credits overall. 


    Our teaching is informed by research and experience, and modules/units change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules/units and who is teaching them in the module guides or by contacting your course leader. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module/unit, this may not be offered. Typically, if low student numbers or changes in staff availability result in changes of options offered, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you chose an alternative module/unit. 


    The course combines ALL of the following modules: 


    Module Code 

    Module title 



    YEAR 1 










    Professional Practice 




    Database Design & Development 








    Managing a Successful Computing Project (Pearson-set) 




    Computer Systems Architecture 




    Website Design & Development 



    YEAR 2 


    Computing Research Project (Pearson-set) 




    Business Intelligence  




    Advanced Programming 




    Network Security  




    Emerging Technologies  




    Games Development  




    Operating Systems 



    Optional courses are selected by the College 


    Module GuidesYou can find out all information relating to each module in Module Guides. 

  • Teaching & Learning

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    Teaching and Learning: 

    • Teaching:The diverse nature of the Computing programme necessitates the deployment of a variety of teaching and learning methods in order to ensure the acquisition and development of the appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills. Many of these will be experienced during formally timetabled classes whilst others will be appropriate to student centred learning.  
    • Independent LearningWhilst there are significant opportunities to spend time with the tutors and technicians during timetabled classes, practical work and tutorials, there is an expectation that students will devote a significant amount of time to personal study. This personal study time might be spent, for example, engaging in general background reading, revisiting practical work, attending technical meetings and lectures provided by the professional bodies or working on assignments. During the early stages of studies, guidance will be provided on how students can make the best use of their personal study time. However, as students’ progress through the programme, this guidance will become less structured and prescriptive.  
    • The learning and teaching methods described below are those most commonly adopted by the programme during the formally timetabled sessions. However, individual module tutors are free to introduce techniques that they view as especially suitable in aiding learning in their specialist area.   
    • Lectures: Lectures play an important part throughout the course and will feature in all modules of the programme. They involve the dissemination of theoretical and empirical information by a lecturer and provide a basic framework that students can build upon through their reading and through other classroom activities. Guest Lectures by specialists from industry, the professional bodies and other academic institutions, enhance the learning experience. 
    • Practical Sessions: Tutor-led practical sessions which can take place in dedicated class areas, be field based or located in computer suites or studios, are a key aspect of this programme. These may comprise demonstrations by staff members, hands-on practical activities or project work. These activities help develop subject specific practical skills. 
    • Visits: Visits are an important aspect of the programme as they provide the opportunity for students to view state-of-the-art projects. Such events also help to promote a synthesis between academic and professional based activities. 
    • Workshops: Workshops are also employed in some modules and may involve the development of skills, e.g. research methods, the application of statistics, presentations etc., as well as problem solving through the evaluation of case-study material. Assistance with assignment work may be offered in workshops, and they play an important part in increasing students’ confidence in dealing with the subject matter. 
    • Tutorials: These are group or individually based and may be shared with students who are studying a similar area/issue.  Students should prepare for tutorials, which are usually associated with an assignment, by bringing any plans for discussion. 
    • Informal Group Study Sessions: Laptops can be booked out via the ‘Laptop Bank’ issue system and used for group work in the LRC and other areas. 
  • Overall Workload

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    Overall workload: Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hrs per week independent learning, and assessment activity plus field trips, with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours. While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional module/units you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course. 

    Year 140% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity and 60% of your time is spent on independent learning. 
    Teaching, learning and assessment: 15 hours per week 
    Independent learning: 22.5 hours per week. 

    Year 240% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity and 60% of your time is spent on independent learning. 
    Teaching, learning and assessment: 15 hours per week 
    Independent learning: 22.5 hours per week  

  • Academic Support

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    Our academic support team provide help in the following areas: 

    • Study skills (including reading, note-taking, presentations, Turnitin requirements, in conjunction with the library)  
    • Written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy) 
    • Academic writing (including how to reference) 
    • Research skills (in conjunction with the library) 
    • Critical thinking and understanding arguments 
    • Revision, assessment and examination skills if required 
    • Our Learner Support service helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia. 


    Teaching staff: You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules/units on the course. The team includes academic tutors, professional practitioners with industry experience, and technical personnel when relevant. The teaching is informed by the research and industry experience of our team and 100 per cent of tutors have a teaching qualification. 

  • Assessment & Feedback

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    The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark or grade. Each module/unit will normally contain at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades/marks you receive for them do not count toward your module/unit mark or grade.  There is a formal or ‘summative assessment at the end of each module/unit. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessment such as exams, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, and final year major project. The grades from the formal assessments count towards your module/unit mark or grade. 


    Percentage of course assessed by coursework: The balance of assessment by either examination or coursework assessment depends to some extent on the optional module/units you take. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by course work is as follows: 

    • Year 1100% coursework 

    • Year 2100% coursework 


    Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examinations performance is available upon request from the module/unit leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module/unit tutor. We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in (practice assessment) and 10 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment). 

  • Learning Resource Centres

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    There are a number of comfortable and contemporary Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) at Bolton College, here to support the needs of learners and staff by providing quality resources for independent or group study.  

    The LRCs at Deane Road are among the most technologically advanced in the country, featuring: 

    • Apple Mac computers 

    • Interactive White Boards for use by students and staff 

    • Overhead TVs to provide easy to read visual information 

    • RFID self-check machines for book issues  

    • Self-issue laptops that can be used anywhere in the building 

    • State of the art printers and scanners 

    In all of the college LRCs, our staff are available to provide you with advice and support.  Bolton College are proud of the friendly, responsive, innovative and proactive service that we provide. Out of college hours, the quality of learning support is excellent. 

    If you'd like to know more about the accessibility of our LRCs via Disabled Go 
    Click here for information on the Deane Road LRC  
    Click here for information on the Construction & Arts Block LRC 
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    The Virtual Learning Environment 

    Moodle is an on-line gateway to all sorts of information about college courses.  Wherever or whenever you want to learn, you will find assignment details, tests, and links to websites, videos and forums.  Through Moodle, Bolton College is able to support your learning even when you are not in the classroom. Many students find this to be a convenient and enjoyable way to learn. 

    The Library tab on Moodle allows you to access the library catalogue, e-books, e-magazines, and many specialist websites: You can also find information on how to book a computer, how to renew books online, library opening times and much more. 

    Technology - an exciting way to learn 

    Bolton College recognises the need to keep up-to-date with technology which is why we like to give you the edge in all learning experiences. You can read more about the equipment in use around the college on ourTechnology page. 

    For further information visit our Learning Resource Centre facilities page

  • Costs & Financial Support

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    • For new students starting in 2018-19 the tuition fees are £5,996 
    • For continuing students going into Year 2, (who started in 2017-18) the tuition fees are £5,996 


    The following course-related costs are included in the fees: 

    • Loan of equipment required for modules 
    • Annual printing allowance 

    The following course-related costs are not included in the fees: 

    • Field trips to sites 
    • The costs of books you might wish to buy 
    • Additional printing over and above the annual allowance 

     Accommodation and living costs are not included in the fees. 


    Sources of financial support: If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained from Student Services about how to fund you course OR AND 

    In addition to being able to apply for student loan if you are doing a Foundation Degree, a Full time HNC or HND, you can apply for a Student Loan for doing a part time HE course such as a HNC  


    Bursaries, scholarships and prizes: The College also provides Progression Awards for students who progress from a level 3 Bolton College course onto a HE Bolton College course. For further information visit our bursaries page.


    Useful links for Bolton College Regulations, Policies and Procedures:  If you need information regarding any of the HE policies and procedures or how to make a complaint or appeal then please visit our key strategies and framework page

  • What can I do with this qualification?

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    Successful completion of the course allows progression onto degree course in similar areas. You could also go on to work as a Desktop Support Engineer, IT Support Technician, Programme/Software/Web Developer, Network Administrator or Network Engineer. 

  • I'm interested, what do I need to do next?

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    In the first instance, please complete the UCAS Application Form on the UCAS website. Offers are made based on the content of the form, followed by an interview with the course leader. If you are late in applying to UCAS then please contact Maxine Houghton and request a HE Application Form, or click here to apply online

    For any course queries, please contact 
    Maxine Houghton (Curriculum Leader 
    Tel: 01204 482 274 

    For any queries regarding the application process, please contact:  
    Admissions Office 
    Tel: 01204 482 181