Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Computing 2022

Start Dates

15 April 2024
Check all term dates


Full-Time: 1 Year
Part-Time: 2 Years
Online: 1 Year

Study Mode

Classroom Based

Tuition Fee / Year

Full Time : £6125
Part-Time: £3000
Online : £1800

The 2022 revalidated BTEC Higher National qualifications in Computing include enhanced work-related curriculum that is designed to address an increasing need for high quality professional and technical education pathways at Levels 4 and 5,  equipping students with the right skills and competencies for the workplace, or progression to further higher education study. Each of the pathways in the BTEC HN Diploma have been aligned to IfATE occupational standards.

Ofqual Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Qualification numbers: Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Computing: 603/7595/4

Purpose of the Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals

The purpose of Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals is to develop students as independent-thinking professionals who can meet the demands of employers and adapt to a constantly changing world. The qualifications aim to widen access to higher education and improve the career prospects of those who take them.

Level 4 Units
Unit Credit Level
Core Unit Mandatory 1: Programming 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory 2: Networking 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory 3: Professional Practice 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory 4: Database Design & Development 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory 5: Security 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory 6: Planning a Computing Project (Pearson-Set) 15 4
Core Unit Mandatory

7: Software Development Lifecycles

15 4
Optional Unit 13: Website Design & Development 15 4



The Level 4 Higher National Certificate provides a solid foundation in computing, which students can build on if they decide to continue their studies.

Entry Requirements & Admissions

Entry requirements and admissions

Pearson does not set formal entry requirements for our qualifications but as a centre, you are responsible for making sure that the students you recruit have a reasonable chance of success on the programme.

Students who have recently been in education are likely to need:

  • a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Computing
  • a GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent) and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as maths and English
  • other related Level 3 qualifications
  • an Access to Higher Education Diploma from an approved further education institution
  • relevant work experience, or
  • an international equivalent to the above qualifications

Our Recognition of Prior Learning policy means that students’ previous learning and experience can be taken into account and they may be awarded certain qualifications or units of a qualification based on that learning or experience.

 Recognition of prior learning and attainment for more information.

 English language requirements

Pearson’s mission is to help people make more of their lives through learning. To assist centres in recruiting students who have the skills to benefit from undertaking a Higher National programme of study, we provide the following clarification regarding the English language admission requirements when offering places to applicants. 

All centres delivering Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications in English must ensure that each applicant can demonstrate their capability to learn and be assessed at the relevant level in English. 

Students applying for a Pearson BTEC Higher National qualification that is taught and assessed completely in English will need a certain level of English language skills.

Before accepting students onto a programme, you must make sure that those who are non-native English speakers and who have not carried out their final two years of schooling in English can demonstrate ability at a standard equivalent to:

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
  • PTE Academic 51, or
  • IELTS 5.5 (reading and writing must be at 5.5).

Students who have completed a Pearson BTEC Higher National qualification delivered partly or completely in another language but which was assessed in English will need to demonstrate ability in English to the standard above but at the end of the programme.

It is up to you to decide what proof of ability students will need to provide.

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