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Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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Award   Higher National Diploma  HND Course Title   Electrical and Electronic Engineering
UCAS Code   006H Award Level   QCF 5
Start Dates   October and February Study Mode  Weekend [3 years]
Awarding Body  Pearson BTEC
  1. Entry Requirements
  2. Course Overview
  3. Course Structure
  4. Course Content
  5. Progression
  6. Professional Recognition
  7. Fees
  8. Apply Online

Course Overview

The Edexcel BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering is a specialist vocational programme, linked to professional body requirements and with a strong work related emphasis.

The course provides a thorough grounding in the key concepts and practical skills required in the electrical and electronic engineering sector and its wide recognition by employers allows progression directly into employment. It aims to develop a good understanding of the key areas of electrical and electronic engineering, preparing students for a wide range of careers and further study.

The strong emphasis is also placed on transferable skills, e.g. project management, people management, planning and business management techniques, to ensure that graduates have the awareness to succeed in the ever changing technological and management context.

You will be taught in different ways, including lectures, practical activities, group discussions, laboratory sessions and seminars. You will also have the chance to put the theory you have learned into practice.

You will be assessed on your coursework, including reports, essays, case studies, presentations, individual and group projects.  

General Entry Requirements

    If you are under 21 years of age at the start of the course, you must have at least one of the following:

    • At least one GCE A-level pass. In addition, you should have appropriate supporting passes at GCSE (including English and Maths at grade C or above) or Key Skills Level 2 qualifications in communication, IT and Application of Number or equivalent.
    • A Level 3 qualification such as: BTEC level 3 Diploma, National Diploma, Advanced GNVQ/NVQ, AVCE/VCE, Foundation Certificate in a relevant subject
    • Access to Higher Education in a relevant subject
    • Advanced Modern Apprenticeship with Level 3 qualifications in a relevant subject
    • Baccalaureate/International Baccalaureate
    • An equivalent foreign qualification
    • Any other level 3 qualification in a relevant subject

    If you are over 21 years of age, you may demonstrate a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include relevant work experience and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector.



Graduates can progress to a wide range of careers in electrical and electronic engineering, e.g. electrical/electronic design, communication design, manufacture, maintenance and technical services areas of the engineering industry.

Bachelor degree

BTEC HNDs are well established qualifications with a proven track record of success. They are a recognised and popular route to university leading to the final year of a bachelor degree or to a specialised bachelor degree top up, which usually lasts 1 academic year. Following an HND course with later progression to a degree will appeal to mature students and professionals returning to higher education. This option is also particularly relevant to International students who can get the best of both worlds: the college and the university. The First two years of study will be spent at the college where learning takes place in small groups with close tutorial support and the final year will be spent at the university. International students can also save on the cost of a university degree by choosing to do an HND course first.

Postgraduate qualifications

Graduates can progress to a Postgraduate Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and then onto a Master degree in a relevant subject. Graduates with at least two years of managerial experience can progress directly to a Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership (DMS) and later on to management Master degrees programmes such as MSc, MA or MBA.

Professional Recognition

Edexcel BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) qualifications are internationally recognised by employers and professional organisations. The recognition is a way for students to prepare for jobs and careers in the engineering sector through membership of relevant professional bodies. HNC and HND students and graduates may be offered exemptions by various professional bodies from parts of their own qualifications in relation to membership.

The Edexcel BTEC Higher Nationals in Electrical and Electronic Engineering have been developed with career progression and recognition by professional bodies in mind. The development of this qualification has been informed by discussions/relevant publications from the Engineering Council UK (EC (UK)) and the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (SEMTA).

Course Structure

    To qualify for the Edexcel BTEC Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering students must complete at least 240 credits. A minimum of 125 credits must be at level 5.

HNEE 101Analytical Methods for Engineers - 4415
HNEE 102Engineering Science - 4415
HNEE 103Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation - 5520
HNEE 105Electrical and Electronic Principles - 5515
HNEE 106Health, Safety and Risk Assessment for Engineering - 4415
HNEE 158Microprocessor Systems - 4415
HNEE 163Electrical Power - 4415
HNEE 203Mathematics for Technicians -3310
HNEE 108Engineering Design - 5515
HNEE 122Programmable Logic Controllers - 4415
HNEE 135Further Analytical Methods for Engineers - 5515
HNEE 138Managing People in Engineering - 5515
HNEE 139Electronic Principles - 5515
HNEE 159Advanced Mathematics for Engineering - 5515
HNEE 166Electrical, Electronic and Digital Principles - 5515
HNEE 168Applications of Power Electronics - 4415

Tuition Fees

Online Application

Note: Before you apply, please make sure you have access to your email, prepared document scans (picture, passport, other supporting documents)

Please click here to proceed with Online Application (opens in new window)

Analytical Methods for Engineers - 4 [HNEE 101]

Unit type:Core

    This unit enables learners to develop previous mathematical knowledge obtained at school or college and use fundamental algebra, trigonometry, calculus, statistics and probability for the analysis, modelling and solution of realistic engineering problems. Learning outcome 1 looks at algebraic methods, including polynomial division, exponential, trigonometric and hyperbolic functions, arithmetic and geometric progressions in an engineering context and expressing variables as power series. The second learning outcome will develop learners’ understanding of sinusoidal functions in an engineering concept such as AC waveforms, together with the use of trigonometric identities. The calculus is introduced in learning outcome 3, both differentiation and integration with rules and various applications. Finally, learning outcome 4 should extend learners’ knowledge of statistics and probability by looking at tabular and graphical representation of data; measures of mean, median, mode and standard deviation; the use of linear regression in engineering situations, probability and the Normal distribution.

Engineering Science - 4 [HNEE 102]

Unit type:Core

    Engineers, no matter from what discipline, need to acquire a fundamental understanding of the mechanical and electrical principles that underpin the design and operation of a large range of engineering equipment and systems. This unit will develop learners’ understanding of the key mechanical and electrical concepts that relate to all aspects of engineering. In particular, learners will study elements of engineering statics including the analysis of beams, columns and shafts. They will then be introduced to elements of engineering dynamics, including the behavioural analysis of mechanical systems subject to uniform acceleration, the effects of energy transfer in systems and to natural and forced oscillatory motion. The electrical system principles in learning outcome 3 begin by refreshing learners’ understanding of resistors connected in series/parallel and then developing the use of Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s law to solve problems involving at least two power sources. Circuit theorems are also considered for resistive networks only together with a study of the characteristics of growth and decay of current/voltage in series C-R and L-R circuits. The final learning outcome develops learners’ understanding of the characteristics of various AC circuits and finishes by considering an important application – the transformer.

Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation - 5 [HNEE 103]

Unit type:Core

    This unit provides opportunities for learners to develop skills in decision making, problem solving and communication, integrated with the skills and knowledge developed in many of the other units within the programme to complete a realistic project. It requires learners to select, plan, implement and evaluate a project and finally present the outcomes, in terms of the process and the product of the project. It also allows learners to develop the ability to work individually and/or with others, within a defined timescale and given constraints, to produce an acceptable and viable solution to an agreed brief. If this is a group project, each member of the team must be clear about their responsibilities at the start of the project and supervisors must ensure that everyone is accountable for each aspect of the work and makes a contribution to the end result. Learners must work under the supervision of programme tutors or work-based managers.

Electrical and Electronic Principles - 5 [HNEE 105]

Unit type:Core

    Circuits and their characteristics are fundamental to any study of electrical and electronic engineering and therefore a good understanding is important to any engineer. The engineer must be able to take complex electrical circuit problems, break them down into acceptable elements and apply techniques to solve or analyse the characteristics. Additionally, fine tuning of the circuits can be performed to obtain required output dynamics. This unit draws together a logical appreciation of the topic and offers a structured approach to the development of the broad learning required at this level. Learners will begin by investigating circuit theory and the related theorems to develop solutions to electrical networks. In learning outcome 2 the concept of an attenuator is introduced by considering a symmetrical two-port network and its characteristics. The design and testing of both T and π networks is also covered. Learning outcome 3 considers the properties of complex waveforms and Fourier analysis is used to evaluate the Fourier coefficients of a complex periodic waveform. Finally, learning outcome 4 introduces the use of Laplace transforms as a means of solving first order differential equations used to model RL and RC networks, together with the evaluation of circuit responses to a step input in practical situations.

Health, Safety and Risk Assessment for Engineering - 4 [HNEE 106]

Unit type:Specialist

    This unit has been designed to develop the learner’s awareness of the principles, planning and implementation of health and safety practice within an industrial environment such as those to be found in engineering production, manufacture, services and maintenance and those in the chemical, transport and telecommunication engineering industries. In particular, the selection, application and evaluation of safe working procedures, for operations appropriate to particular industrial activities, are first considered. Then current UK and EU health and safety legislation, the role of the inspectorate, safety audits and current codes of practice are covered. Next, risk is assessed and evaluated by identifying, rating and assessing the severity of hazards and recording all evidence and actions taken for future monitoring of these hazards. Finally, risk management activities are considered including the methods used for gathering evidence, disseminating information, complying with current regulations and implementing policy to minimise risk to life and property, for activities within a general engineering environment.

Microprocessor Systems - 4 [HNEE 158]

Unit type:Specialist

    This unit will develop learners’ understanding of microprocessor-based systems and their use in instrumentation, control or communication systems.


    This unit will develop learners understanding of the practical aspects of device selection and the interfacing of external peripheral devices. Learners will also study the key stages of the

    development cycle – specify, design, build, program, test and evaluate.


    The first learning outcome requires learners to investigate and compare the applications of

    microprocessor-based systems. Following this, learners will experience and develop software

    designs and write programs for a microprocessor-based system. The final learning outcome

    considers the design of programmable interface devices such as UARTs, PPIs, I/O mapped

    devices and memory-mapped devices. At this point, learners should be able to carry out the

    design, build, program and test of a programmable interface. This will include the selection and use of devices and the writing and testing of suitable software in assembler or high-level


Electrical Power - 4 [HNEE 163]

Unit type:Specialist

    Our modern world increasingly relies upon electrical power to supply our industries, commercial centres and homes with a convenient, flexible and reliable source of energy. To meet the client’s expectations, electrical energy must be provided at a reasonable cost and transmitted to the point of need, at the appropriate voltage and current levels. The client’s utilisation of the energy source needs to be appropriate, without undue complexity, to facilitate energy generation and transmission. This unit takes the learner through the complex process of analysing three-phase systems with consideration being given to harmonics and their effects. The methods of power distribution through the National Grid are then discussed with final economic considerations taken into account to enhance generation, transmission and distribution, with acceptable costs to clients. Throughout their working careers, modern engineers will have to consider new technologies and be able to evaluate the options available to make appropriate selections. With our global resources of fossil energy reserves decreasing and concerns over protecting the environment growing, alternative sources of energy are considered. Evaluative considerations will be made to inform the engineer of the issues associated with this topic, which may need to be considered far more at local and regional levels. Additionally, self-generation of electrical energy is now possible for a broad range of users throughout the world, utilising local environmental facilities.

Mathematics for Technicians -3 [HNEE 203]

Unit type:Specialist

    This unit aims to enhance learners’ knowledge of the mathematical principles used in engineering, enabling them to pursue further study on a higher education qualification in engineering.

    Mathematics is an essential tool for any electrical or mechanical engineering technician. With this in mind, this unit emphasises the engineering application of mathematics. For example, learners could use an integral calculus method to obtain the root mean square (RMS) value of a sine wave over a half cycle.

    The first learning outcome will extend learners’ knowledge of graph plotting and will develop the technique of using a graph to solve (find the roots of), for example, a quadratic equation.

    Learning outcome 2 involves the use of both arithmetic and geometric progressions for the solution of practical problems. The concept of complex numbers, an essential tool for electrical engineers considering, is also introduced.

    Learning outcome 3 considers the parameters of trigonometrical graphs and the resultant wave when two are combined. The use of mathematical formulae in the latter half of this learning outcome enables a mathematical approach to wave combination to be considered.

    Finally, in learning outcome 4, calculus techniques are further developed and used to show their application in engineering.

Engineering Design - 5 [HNEE 108]

Unit type:Specialist

    This unit will enable the learner to appreciate that design involves synthesising parameters that will affect the design solution. The learner will prepare a design specification against a customer’s specific requirements. They will then prepare a design report that provides an analysis of possible design solutions, an evaluation of costs and an indication of how the proposed design meets the customer’s specification. It is expected that the learner will, during the design processes, make full use of appropriate information and communication technology (ICT).

Programmable Logic Controllers - 4 [HNEE 122]

Unit type:Specialist

    The unit focuses on the design and operational characteristics and internal architecture of programmable logic control systems. It examines the signals used and the programming techniques that can be applied. The unit also provides learners with the opportunity to produce and demonstrate a program for a programmable logic controller device (for example produce a programme for an engineering application, store, evaluate and justify approaches taken).

Further Analytical Methods for Engineers - 5 [HNEE 135]

Unit type:Specialist

    This unit has been designed to enable learners to use number systems, graphical and numerical methods, vectors, matrices and ordinary differential equations to analyse, model and solve realistic engineering problems. Learners will use estimation techniques and error arithmetic to establish realistic results from experiments and general laboratory work. They will then consider the conversion of number systems from one base to another and the application of the binary number system to logic circuits. Complex numbers and their application to the solution of engineering problems are also studied. Learners will look at the use of graphical techniques together with various methods of numerical integration (for example Simpson’s rules) and estimation (for example Newton-Raphson). They will then go on to analyse and model engineering situations using vector geometry and matrix methods. Finally, learners will study both first and second order differential equations and their application to a variety of engineering situations dependant upon the learner’s chosen discipline.

Managing People in Engineering - 5 [HNEE 138]

Unit type:Specialist

    The unit will give learners an opportunity to examine the various practices, procedures and constraints that influence the management of people within a work environment. This will require learners to consider and explain the processes and procedures involved in the management of people, such as human resource planning, recruitment, selection and contracting. Learners will also investigate a range of working relationships in engineering settings and the lines of responsibility. Management and development of human resources are also covered with an examination of industrial relations and legislation.

Electronic Principles - 5 [HNEE 139]

Unit type:Specialist

    In this unit, learners will examine the use of current manufacturers’ data and support, apply current circuit analyses and design, implement and then test the created applications. Although fault-finding skills are not the main emphasis of the unit they will form an integral part in the later development, in terms of testing.

Advanced Mathematics for Engineering - 5 [HNEE 159]

Unit type:Specialist

    This unit will enable learners to develop further techniques for the modelling and solution of engineering problems. Learners will review methods for standard power series and use them to solve ordinary differential equations. Numerical methods are then considered before both methods are used to model engineering situations and determine solutions to those equations. Laplace transforms are introduced in learning outcome 2 and their use in solving first and second order differential equations together with the solution of simultaneous equations. In learning outcome 3, Fourier coefficients are determined to represent periodic functions as infinite series and then the Fourier series approach is applied to the exponential form to model phasor behaviour. The final part of this learning outcome involves using the Fourier series to model engineering situations and solve problems. Learning outcome 4 reviews partial differentiation techniques to solve rates of change problems and problems involving stationary values. Also in this learning outcome, direct partial integration and the separation of variables methods are used to solve partial differential equations. Finally, partial differential equations are used to model engineering situations and solve problems.

Electrical, Electronic and Digital Principles - 5 [HNEE 166]

Unit type:Specialist

    This unit brings together the differing aspects of electrical, electronic and digital principles. Learners will start by analysing series and parallel LCR circuits using complex notation and evaluating the effects on a circuit’s performance by changes in impedance. Learners will then use different circuit theorems to evaluate currents and voltages in electrical circuits. They will also consider the conditions for maximum power transfer and impedance watching. The differing types and classes of operation of electronic amplifiers are analysed and evaluated before some are designed and tested then compared with theoretical results. Finally, learners will investigate digital electronic device families and the design and testing of digital circuits.

Applications of Power Electronics - 4 [HNEE 168]

Unit type:Specialist

    Power electronics involves the use of semiconductor devices to control a range of applications in rectification, DC and AC motor control and controlled power supplies. To meet the challenges expected of a modern ‘heavy current’ engineer the unit carries an emphasis on the application of power electronics to variable speed controllers. The focus is on the power aspects rather than the associated detail of the electronic control and firing circuitry. In every aspect of engineering variability exists and therefore acceptable tolerances are specified to define close limits of output. Testing and measurement must make use of safe techniques and in this case are conducted via the use of isolating probes and transducers in systems operating from earthed power systems. The unit involves practical investigations of common configurations of controlled rectifier and inverter systems, as applied to alternating and direct current motor control. The use of commercial/industrial variable speed drives provides a relevant and convenient method of investigation. To broaden the scope of the subject, non-drive applications of power electronics are investigated and developed to meet local industrial requirements. No matter in which sector he/she is involved, the modern engineer needs to be energy conscious and therefore must seek and implement ways of conserving valuable resources.

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