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General Engineering HNC

General Engineering

The Engineering sector is diverse and offers a variety of career opportunities. 


Our General Engineering HNC course is equivalent to the first year of a university degree and will give you the option of working or studying in different areas of the field. 


In the UK, there is an increasing need for workers with engineering expertise, so there's never been a better time to get in to the sector. 


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The Higher Education courses shown on Bolton College’s website are taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton. Therefore, all the information applicants and learners provide will be shared between these two organisations. Applicants and learners will receive communication from both the University of Bolton and Bolton College. Student Finance Loan applications should be made using the institution ‘University of Bolton’ not Bolton College.

BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in General Engineering

  • Introductory Course Information

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    Award: Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in General Engineering 

    UCAS points: 32

    Location: Bolton College – Deane Road  

    Awarding BodyPearson   

    Duration2 Years (part-time) 

    Start Date: 21/9/2020

  • Course Overview

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    The Level 4 HNC in General Engineering is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering technologies which are crucial to organisations in this dynamic sector. The course also provides you with key transferable skills which employers are looking for.


    Our expert tutors will guide you throughout your course and help you gain practical, professional and subject specific skills. Your course will cover the key knowledge required by all engineers such as; engineering design, mathematics and science, and how to manage a professional engineering project. You'll be able to take specialist units to further develop your knowledge in areas of electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering.


    You'll also complete an individual research project, where you'll have the opportunity to develop and apply your knowledge & practical ability. We'll support you as you develop cognitive, intellectual and thinking skills, and gain valuable key, personal and transferable skills ready for employment or further study.

  • Course Highlights & Key Features

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     Course Highlights

    • Our General Engineering course provides you with the opportunity to make progress towards achieving internationally recognised registration with a professional body regulated by the Engineering Council.
    • We'll encourage you to undertake a work placement during the summer break - this is recommended but is not a course requirement.
    • Upon completion of this programme, you'll be awarded the Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering (General Engineering).
    • Bolton College scores highly in student satisfaction surveys for our HE provision, and we take pride in being able to offer you the opportunity to learn from industry-experienced staff.


    Key Features

    •  This course offers essential subject knowledge to help you progress into the world of work, advance in your current role or onto further study.
    • We adopt a 'student-centred' teaching and learning approach. We'll work with you on an individual basis so that you receive tailored support throughout the duration of your studies.
    • We'll give you the opportunity to  attain essential 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.
  • Modules

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    The modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

    • Engineering Maths
    • Engineering Science
    • Engineering Design
    • Managing a Professional Engineering Project
    • Electrical and Electronic Principles
    • Electronic Circuits and Devices
    • Instrumentation and Control Systems
    • Automation, Robotics and Programmable Logic Controllers
  • Entry Requirements

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    • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3
    • 5 GCSEs at grade C or above / 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and maths
    • Entry is also available to those who have extensive relevant work experience within the Engineering sector - if you don't have the academic qualifications required but have extensive appropriate work experience, we'll consider your application.
    • If English isn't your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications - click here to find out more.
    • If you want to progress on to a top-up degree course at a university after completing this HNC, you will usually need GCSE English and maths at grade c/4 or above (or equivalent). If you have not already achieved this, please speak to the course leader about taking GCSE English and/or maths while completing this course.
    You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of your work.
  • Career Opportunities

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    This qualification has been developed by Pearson in close partnership with experts from professional bodies, vendors, businesses, universities and colleges so that you can gain the skills necessary to succeed in the future - no matter which route you choose to take.


    What can I do with this qualification?

    The HNC in General Engineering is designed to prepare you for a career within control engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, sensors and data processing, avionics, mechanical, automotive, biomedical engineering, computing, telecommunications and mobile communications.


    You can also progress onto a higher level qualification if you complete the Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC in Engineering (General Engineering).  You'll be able to apply for advanced standing to bachelor's degrees in a selection of engineering areas.


    Other career options:

    • Teaching
    • Research and development
    • Finance
    • Business
    • Intellectual property
    • Government and Civil Service
    • Military


    Professional Recognition

    Engineering qualification within the UK are referenced against the Engineering Council, UK specifications which sets standards at Levels 3, 6 and 8.


    Certificate holders of General Engineering meet the academic requirements for the Engineering Council Engineering Technician Standard (EngTech).

  • Fees & Financial Support

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    For students starting in 20-21, the tuition fees are £2,996.


    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 on the Progression Award, click here. To find out more about financial support, please click here.


    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

  • Teaching, Learning & Assessment

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    Due to the nature of this HNC programme being so diverse, we use a range of teaching and learning methods, so that you can achieve the relevant concepts, knowledge and skills. To do this we combine classroom learning with student centred and independent learning. You will be attending lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and informal group study sessions. There will also be opportunities for visit sites to view state-of-the-art projects and learn from specialist guest speakers in the industry or other academic institutions.


    You will have significant opportunities to spend time with your tutors however, you will still be expected to dedicate a significant amount of time to personal study i.e. you might spend this time engaging in general background reading, revisiting practical work, attending technical meetings and lectures provided by the professional bodies or working on assignments.


    The assessment methods for your course will vary depending on the learning outcome and the type of module content being assessed. You'll have opportunities to test your understanding of subjects 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’ll 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. Methods include a range of 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. 



    The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


    Assessment methods


    Assessment method

    Level One

    Coursework (97%), Practical exams (3%)


    Learning activities


    Learning activity

    Level One

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

  • How To Apply

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    September Start

    You can apply directly online by clicking here


    Before you start your online application, please read the Application Guidance Notes.


    You should also ensure you have to hand:

    • Details of the educational establishments you attended and the dates
    • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course - you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies of it
    • Details of any employment history including, name, address, dates and your role
    • Your personal statement - this can either be entered into the relevant field within the online application form OR uploaded separately
    • Details including email addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide you with an academic reference.


    Please ensure that any documents you want to upload to support your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.


    Please verify that the data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.



    International applications are not possible for this course.

    As an international student you are not allowed to study part time courses, this is because of the restrictions on your visa. 

  • Contact Us

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    Gibson Jeremie
    Programme Leader, Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482035


    Peter Alstead
    Head of Area, Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482035

HE Applications Drop-In Sessions

Need help applying to a Bolton College Higher Education course? Drop-in to Student Services on the ground floor between 2PM and 4PM on a Tuesday and Thursday or between 10AM and 12PM on a Wednesday.


Please bring your National Insurance number and passport with you. You will also need to have prepared a short personal statement when you visit us.