HNC Mechanical Engineering

If you don’t have the right qualifications to enrol directly on to the Mechanical Engineering degree, the HNC could be for you. The HNC provides a flexible route to degree study and is a recognised qualification in its own right. Once you complete the HNC you have the option to progress on to the HND Mechanical Engineering and then to the degree.

USW is the only provider of part-time engineering courses in Wales. This means part-time students can continue to work full time while attending university one day a week for their lessons.

The HNC Mechanical Engineering will help build a firm foundation for employment as a senior technician in a range of engineering sectors including aviation, defence, medical engineering, engineering management, manufacturing, and the automotive industry.

You will gain transferable skills in communication, problem-solving and teamwork, which will make you attractive to employers in other sectors. Successful completion will give you the academic qualifications required to gain EngTech status.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
N/A Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
N/A Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A

All three mechanical engineering courses – HNC, HND and BSc – share a common first year, so you will have the chance to work alongside engineering professionals from all areas of the industry, and share information and good practice. 

Year One: HNC Mechanical Engineering, full time

  • Engineering Mathematics 1 – 20 credits
  • Design and Manufacture – 20 credits
  • Professional Engineering Techniques – 20 credits
  • Mechanical Science 1 – 20 credits
  • Measurement Systems – 20 credits
  • Thermofluids 1 – 20 credits

Year One: HNC Mechanical Engineering, part time

  • Engineering Mathematics 1 – 20 credits
  • Design and Manufacture – 20 credits
  • Professional Engineering Techniques – 20 credits

Year Two: HNC Mechanical Engineering, part time

  • Mechanical Science 1 – 20 credits
  • Measurement Systems – 20 credits
  • Thermofluids 1 – 20 credits

On completion of the HNC, there is the opportunity to progress onto the HND and then to the BSc (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree where you’ll be able to complete a major industry or research-based project.


This mechanical engineering qualification is taught via lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will also undertake practical work using specialist workshop and laboratory facilities. The time you are expected to commit to study may vary depending on your existing qualifications and previous experience.

The HNC timetable for 2019-20 academic year is as follows:

• Monday and Tuesday for full time students
• Tuesday for Year One part time students
• Monday for Year Two part time students


The HNC mechanical engineering is assessed through coursework and examinations. Each module will include one or two assignments that you must complete in your own time.


Our Mechanical Engineering facilities are excellent. They include:

  • Well-equipped computer rooms using state of the art (industry standard) design and analysis software. (SolidWorks, Ansys, FEA and CFD, LS-Dyna, SolidCAM, Simul8, etc.), with a cluster (Super Computer) for use on high end computational activities.
  • Dedicated project rooms for all cohorts, access to laser cutter and a four-axis CNC router.
  • Composite manufacturing facilities, including autoclaves.
  • Additive manufacturing facilities (3D printing), laser scanner, wind tunnel, extensive material testing facilities, as well as laboratories with equipment for supplementing teaching in all core subjects, mechanics, dynamics, materials, thermodynamics, fluid-dynamics and control.
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT) facilities.
  • Access to technical staff in our workshops which include CNC machining centre, lathes and milling machine, drills, etc, for use on all project work undertaken.
  • Large open access multi discipline built area for projects.
  • Well-equipped Formula Student build area.


Three GCSEs at grade C/Grade 4 or above, including Mathematics and English language. Applications are considered on an individual basis.

Typical A-Level Offer

DD at A level

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade D and D at A Level

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass

Typical IB Offer

Pass IB Diploma or two IB Certficates at Higher level.

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass Access with a minimum of 48 UCAS points

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £700 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Completion of this HNC mechanical engineering course can lead directly to a career or further study, such as our mechanical engineering HND or mechanical engineering degree. There are also a range of engineering sectors you could work in such as, design, manufacturing, research and development, production management and quality.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.