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Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Business

Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Business


1 year




level 3 or equivalent


level 3 or equivalent


Internal and External assessment

What does this course lead to?

This effectively builds underpinning core skills while preparing the student for subject specialisation at Level 4. Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in research, self-study, directed study and workplace scenarios.

Graduates successfully completing the Higher National Certificate will be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the basic concepts of business. They will be able to communicate accurately and appropriately, and they will have the qualities needed for employment that requires some degree of personal responsibility. They will have developed a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent initiatives, organisational competence and problem-solving strategies. They will be adaptable and flexible in their approach to business, show resilience under pressure, and meet challenging targets within a given resource.

Programme Summary

This course consists of 8 units (6 core units + 2 optional units) including a Business Project (Pearson-set). There are 60 guided learning hours for each 15-credit unit.

Qualification and Number Total Units Maximum Credit Total Guided Qualification Time (TQT)
HNC (601/8364/0) 8 120 1200 Hours
Core Units


Unit Credit Value TQT Unit Code Level
1. Business and the Business Environment 15 150 L/508/0485 4
2. Marketing Essentials 15 150 R/508/0486 4
3. Human Resource Management 15 150 Y/508/0487 4
4. Management and Operations 15 150 D/508/0488 4
5. Management Accounting 15 150 H/508/0489 4
6. Managing a Successful Business Project (Pearson-set) 15 150 D/508/0491 4
Optional Units
8. Innovation and Commercialisation 15 150 M/508/0494 4
9. Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management 15 150 T/508/0495 4

Entry Requirements

Learner normally needs to have at least one of the following

  • A BTEC Level 3 qualification in Business
  • A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as maths and English
  • Other related Level 3 qualifications
  • An Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved further education institution
  • Related work experience
  • An international equivalent of the above

Related work experience or equivalent overseas qualifications

More mature learners may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience (paid and/or unpaid) and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector. Learners who are non-native speakers or who have not studied final two years of school in English will be required to prove their proficiency in English language at a minimum of Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2; PTE 51; IELTS 5.5; Reading and Writing must be at 5.5 or equivalent.

Course Assessment and Grading

This HNC programme is assessed by a mixture of assignments and presentations where applicable. Each unit is internally assessed and graded by qualified tutor/assessors and internal verifiers, and then externally verified by a Pearson examiner. Grades awarded are Pass, Merit and Distinction.

Course Duration

The Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a Level 4 qualification made up of 120 credits. It is usually studied full-time over one year, or part-time over two years.

Progression Route

The Level 4 Higher National Certificate provides a solid grounding in business, which students can build on should they decide to continue their studies beyond the Certificate stage onto the Level 5 which is a Diploma stage.