Business HNC

UCAS code 001N

What is special about this course?

The HNC Business will give you an excellent introduction to a wide range of business and management skills.

You will gain a range of knowledge and understanding that is highly sought-after by employers, including: marketing; economics; IT; communication; business accounting; HRM, management; and digital marketing.

The diverse nature of the course will ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge to start your own business, undertake a variety of business-related job roles or progress onto further studies.

Special features

  • You can study full-time, part-time or flexibly to suit your personal and professional circumstances*
  • The course is available to study at a number of UHI campuses
  • You can progress to further study on a range of degree courses

*the modes of study available vary depending on which UHI Campus you are applying to study with.


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A Level at grade D or above
  • Alternatively, an NC/NQ Business, Administration or Accounting at SCQF Level 5 or above OR
  • Completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship in: Accountancy; Financial Services; or Business Skills
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above may still be eligible for a place dependent upon their previous studies/work experience

Access routes

  • Access to HN Business - available to study at several UHI campuses

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Business accounting
  • Communication: business communication
  • Economic issues: an introduction
  • Graded unit 1: business
  • Information technology: applications software 1
  • IT in business: spreadsheets
  • Managing people and organisations
  • Marketing: an introduction

Optional units may include:

  • Business law: an introduction
  • Creating a culture of customer care
  • Digital marketing communications: an introduction
  • Human resource management: an introduction
  • Human resource management: core activities
  • Personal development planning
  • Personal enterprise skills
  • Preparing to start a business
  • Recruitment, selection and induction
  • Work placement

At Inverness College you will study one 1st year degree module: Introduction to people management and organisational behaviour. This is in place of two optional SQA credits - for more information, please contact Inverness College UHI.

Additional units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We continue to review government guidance and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will mainly be delivered mainly online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus attendance and placements will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, where this is not possible alternative options will be considered.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time attendance (structured/unstructured)
  • Day release - 1 day per week x 2 years (available at Inverness UHI)*
  • Distance/online (available via Perth College UHI)**

*If you wish to apply for the day release learning option at Inverness College UHI, please choose the part-time apply option and mention this in your personal statement when completing our online application form

**If you wish to apply for the distance/online learning option at Perth College UHI, please include this in your personal statement when completing our online application form

  • If you are studying full-time or part-time on campus, you will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • If you are studying fully via distance/online learning, you will access all of your materials via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will be assessed by way of continuous assessment and one graded assessment at the end of the year

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time (structured) or day release: 2 years
  • Part-time (unstructured) or distance/online learning: variable

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September (full-time and day release)
  • January (part-time study at Lews Castle College UHI and North Highland College UHI)
  • Variable for distance/online learning: please contact Perth College UHI for more details on how to apply for other start dates



For students normally domiciled in Scotland, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Note: The Scottish Government set this fee which has not yet been confirmed for 2021-22 so may be subject to change.

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,915
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £461

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £7,020 £7,230
Part-time (per HN credit) £468 £482

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you will be qualified to take up a variety of posts in administration, business and management, or self-employment.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of HNC Business, you may be able to progress onto year 2 of HND Business and from there to BA (Hons) Business and Management.

Students at Inverness must achieve all units in the HNC Business programme, plus the required first year degree module, to progress into year two of BA (Hons) Business and Management.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Business HNC

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2021 or Aug/Sep 2021 or Jan/Feb 2022

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.