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HND Engineering (General Engineering)

UCAS code: 
Institution code: 
East Coast College (Lowestoft)


One and a half years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

Level 4 (HNC) in relevant subject.


This Pearson Higher National award is delivered, assessed and quality assured by East Coast College, working in partnership with the University of Suffolk.


This course is delivered in the Energy Skills Centre at East Coast College’s Lowestoft campus – a new £11m development providing state-of-the-art facilities for students in the engineering and energy sectors. Students studying the HND Engineering (General Engineering) programme are likely to have progressed from the HNC Engineering (General Engineering) programme and will have approximately 12 hours contact for full-time and 9 hours for part-time per week. Contact hours will be a blend of class sessions, practical time in workshops and IT rooms, plus tutorials.

Students will normally be expected to undertake a minimum of 20 hours independent study in the average week (full-time) and 12-14 hours if studying part-time, but should be prepared for this to vary depending on assignment demands, deadlines etc. It is intended to provide a vocationally-based level 5 programme of study for those progressing from level 4 and to enhance career choices and opportunities for those working within – or intending to work within – the engineering sector, or wish to incorporate the study within a Higher Apprenticeship.

As such, it presents study areas identified as requirements of employers in the local area and beyond, to provide a broad skills-base and equip the student for employment or further study. This Edexcel/Pearson Higher National Diploma has been approved for delivery by the University of Suffolk, under whose frameworks, policies and procedures it is offered, in line with requirements for such courses. Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications are designated as Higher Education qualifications in the UK and are aligned to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Subject Benchmarks. These qualifications are part of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)

Course modules

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Professional Engineering Management (Core)

Among 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. 

Further Mathematics (Study)

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.

Lean Manufacturing (Study)

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. The students will consider both the benefits and challenges of using lean manufacturing, and become sufficiently knowledgeable about the most important process tools and techniques to be able to operate and use them.

Further Electrical, Electronic and Digital Principles (Optional)

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. In addition, students will be introduced to the expanding use of computers, using specialised software to solve electrical, electronic and digital circuits. This will allow students to develop the necessary confidence and competence in the four key areas of mathematical techniques, circuit analysis, circuit simulation and laboratory practice

Advanced Mechanical Principles (Optional)

Topics included in this unit are: Poisson’s Ratio and typical values of common materials; the relationship between the elastic constants such as Bulk Modulus, Modulus of Elasticity, Modulus of Rigidity; the relationship between bending moment, slope and deflection in beams; calculating the slope and deflection for loaded beams using Macaulay’s method; analysing the stresses in thin-walled pressure vessels; and stresses in thick-walled cylinders, flat and v-section belt drive theory.

Thermofluids (Optional)

The aim of this unit is to provide a rational understanding of functional thermodynamics and fluid mechanics in common industrial applications. The unit promotes a problem-based approach to solving realistic work-related quandaries such as steam plant efficiency and fluid flow capacities. Students will examine fundamental thermodynamic principles, steam and gas turbine systems and viscosity in fluids, along with static and dynamic fluid systems. Each element of the unit will identify a variety of engineering challenges and assess how problems are overcome in real-life industrial situations. 

Research Project (Core)

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. 

Career opportunities

This is intended to provide a vocationally-based level 5 programme of study for those seeking progression from HNC/level 4 who are seeking to improve their career choices and who may already be working within the sector. Others may wish to incorporate the programme within a Higher Apprenticeship.

On completion of the HND Engineering (General Engineering), students may progress onto a level 6 programme, such as the BSc (Hons) Operations Engineering course at East Coast College. The course presents study areas identified as requirements of employers in the local area and beyond to provide a broad skills base to students and equip them for employment or further study. 

Fees and finance


  • UK full-time tuition fee: £6,168 p.a.
  • UK part-time tuition fee: £771/£1,028 p.a. per 15/20 credits (Please contact the Student Centre for further information)
  • International full-time tuition fee: £6,570

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. 

* 2023-24 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

Entry requirements