A person constructing a model vehicle with MDF

Mode of Study



2 years part-time

Start date

September 2023


Want to turn your engineering job into a qualification that shows you're ready for roles as ambitious as you are? On this HNC Mechanical Engineering course, you'll learn fundamental knowledge and skills in engineering sciences and management, and explore ways of applying what you've learned to your job. 

On this level 4 course, you'll study 1 day a week, on day release from your job, in a new £12million engineering facility at the Isle of Wight College. You'll learn from experts and use the latest tools, equipment and resources, and you'll graduate with a Higher National Certificate that could secure a dream job, or entry to the further study you need to convert this course to a full honours degree. 


The exterior of Isle of Wight College CECAMM

Isle of Wight College – CECAMM

This course takes place at the Isle of Wight College's Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine (CECAMM).

While studying at CECAMM, you can access our student support services and community including study support, the Students' Union, and our library's online resources.

Explore CECAMM

Course highlights

  • Develop the skills and knowledge you need to excel in the mechanical engineering sector
  • Learn from experienced lecturers at the Isle of Wight College’s new Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine (CECAMM)
  • Enhance your mechanical engineering knowledge with business-related study – including marketing, finance, business law, data management, business strategy, organisational theories and human resource management
  • Work on your own research project that puts what you've learned into practice

Entry requirements

HNC Mechanical Engineering entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels – EEE
  • UCAS points – 48 points to include a minimum of 1 A level, a BTEC qualification in a relevant engineering discipline, or equivalent. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience will be considered (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T level in Construction: Design, Surveying And Planning, or T level in Science – Pass (D or E in the core)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – PPP

Selection process

  • All applicants will need to attend an interview.

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Careers and opportunities

Our Careers and Employability service can help you with career planning and you'll get access industry contacts, careers events and recruitment fairs during the course.

After you finish the course, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

What you'll study on this HNC Mechanical Engineering course

Modules - part-time

Core modules in this year include:

  • Analytical Methods for Engineers – 15 credits
  • Engineering Science – 15 credits
  • Engineering Thermodynamics – 15 credits
  • Mechanical Principles – 15 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

You'll also need to do around 120 hours of self-directed learning for each module.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Fluid Mechanics – 10 credits
  • Management of Projects – 15 credits
  • Materials Engineering – 15 credits
  • Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

You'll also need to do around 120 hours of self-directed learning for each module.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching on this course includes: 

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • group sessions
  • presentations
  • discussions
  • research
  • presentations
  • e-learning
  • tutorials

You'll spend 1 day a week at the Isle of Wight College's Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine (CECAMM). You'll also do work-based learning, working with colleagues to put what you've learned in the classroom into practical use.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • observation
  • presentations
  • a portfolio
  • reports
  • exams
  • reflective accounts

How you'll spend your time

A typical week

You'll be following CECAMM's teaching programme on this course. 

We recommend you spend at least 12 hours a week studying for your Mechanical Engineering HNC. You’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials for part of your study time, and will spend the remainder in independent study such as research and assignment writing, alone or in a group with others from your course.

Supporting your learning

Even though you'll study your course at one of our partner colleges, you'll still be a student of the University of Portsmouth.

You'll have access to support via video, phone and face-to-face from University teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following University services:

Types of support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2023 start)


  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – awaiting confirmation
  • EU students – awaiting confirmation
  • International students – awaiting confirmation

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees. So you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


How to apply

Apply for this part-time course using our online application form. Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.