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HNC in Business

The HNC in Business is designed to prepare you with the knowledge and fundamental skills to navigate the highly competitive and ever-changing business industry.

  • Tuition fees: £1,205 - £8,100
  • Programme level: SCQF Level 7
  • UCAS code: ALM1
  • Start date: September or January
  • Study mode: Full-time, Part-time
  • Duration: 1 year

What will I study?

The HNC in Business is the first year of a 2-year programme, comprised of study at HNC level during the first year with progression to HND in the second. It is designed to help you develop the essential knowledge and skills needed to succeed within the business sector, while also giving broader insight into specialist areas including marketing, communications and managing people and organisations.

You will gain insight into the different factors that influence modern-day businesses as well as the structures and strategies adopted by organisations to develop, grow and succeed.

With business roles being in high demand, particularly within the UK, studying the HNC in Business will provide a pathway into the industry for ambitious and committed students.

Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, have interest in management, looking to refresh your skills and knowledge or are simply seeking a change in career, our Business course is for you. 

All teaching for this programme will be delivered in person, on campus. Classes will not be delivered online. 

Download the programme handbook

What will I learn?

  • Develop knowledge and skills required for employment in a business environment
  • Acquire skills and knowledge in key business functions such as Management, Marketing, and Accounting as well as developing knowledge and skills in Economics, Communication, Problem Solving and the influence of technology on the business environment and businesses themselves
  • Provide a grounding for students looking to start up their own business by integrating a Business Fundamentals unit while exploring emerging digital business models and getting an introduction to accounting
  • Develop study and research skills
  • Develop transferable skills including Core Skills to the levels demanded by employers

Programme information

The Chartered Institute of Bankers for Scotland currently accept holders of the HNC and HND directly into their higher level qualification leading to MCIBS (Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland). Click here for more information.

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

As of the 1st October 2020 CIMA accredited programmes will be given exemptions in line with the new global CIMA accreditation policy. Please click here for the list of qualification exceptions

Entry requirements

  • 2 Highers or equivalent and National 5 Maths or equivalent
  • Relevant National Qualifications or National Qualification Group Awards at SCQF level 5 or 6

Applicants with no formal qualifications are encouraged to apply and may be asked to attend an interview. 

This programme may be suitable if you are:

  • A school leaver
  • An adult returner to education
  • Have relevant work experience, but no formal qualifications

English Language requirements 

Teaching takes place solely in English and you must demonstrate that their English language proficiency is at a level that will allow you to follow your intended programme successfully.

If English is not your first language you must hold a qualification as evidence of your English language skills. Full details of the qualifications we accept, can be found here.

Student Visa requirements for study in the UK

The UK Government approves certain English language qualifications as being Secure English Language Tests (SELT). These meet the government’s requirements for visa applications.

Al-Maktoum College will accept the following:

  • IELTS – 6.0 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component and 6.0 in writing) or equivalent
  • LanguageCert – B2 or equivalent

Full entry requirement information can be found here

Successful completion of year 1 (HNC) will allow you to progress onto the HND (year 2).

You may also choose to apply to university to continue your studies at degree level. The College has an agreement in place with Abertay University which allows entry into Year 2 of selected degree programmes. View the full University articulation routes here.   

The HNC and HND in Business prepare learners for entry to a wide range of positions in employment. Below are a small selection of those where progression is possible directly or with further study or experience:

  • Business development manager
  • Business change manager
  • Project manager
  • Business analyst


  • You will have 12 hours of class time per week with an additional 12 hours of independent study expected
  • Classes will be in the form of lectures and small group tutorials
  • All teaching for this programme will be delivered in person, on campus. Classes will not be delivered online.


Assessment will be through reports, essays, and case studies as well as presentations, group assessments, exams and projects.

The HNC includes a Graded Unit, which is a project in the form of a practical assignment. It is designed to assess your ability to retain and integrate the knowledge and skills gained in the award and to also grade your achievement.

There are three grades:

A — if you achieve 70% or over

B — if you achieve between 60% and 69%

C — if you achieve between 50% and 59%.

Applications to the HNC/D in Business or the HNC/Diploma in Management & Leadership may apply directly using the College online application system or may also be submitted through UCAS.

UCAS decisions will be made directly through the Track function, however we my contact you to provide further information or to invite you to a short informal interview.

For the direct application, please make sure you have the following information:

  • Academic transcripts and qualification certificates
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if required)
  • Passport details
  • Referee details

We consider all aspects of the application: academic qualifications, personal statement and references.

If you have any questions, please contact

University Pathways

The College’s articulation agreement with Abertay University means that with successful completion of HNC Business (year 1), you can progress your studies to degree level at university. The following programmes guarantee entry into either year 2 or year 3.

  • BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance
  • BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance with People Management
  • BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance with Business Analytics
  • BA (Hons) Business Management
  • BA (Hons) Business Management with People Management
  • BA (Hons) Business Management with Law
  • BA (Hons) Business Management with Events Management
  • BA (Hons) Business Management with Analytics
  • BA (Hons) Marketing & Business Management
  • BA (Hons) Digital Marketing & Business Management
  • BA (Hons) Digital Marketing with Events Management

Unit information

Economic Issues: An Introduction

This unit will introduce you to fundamental issues in economics with a particular emphasis on the business environment. You will consider the basic economic problem, how consumers and other economic agents address this problem, and how markets can be used to allocate resources. It will introduce the operation of markets and actions that can be taken to help avoid market failure. The unit also introduces the theory of National Income and the circular flow of Income model.

Business Law: An Introduction

This unit is designed to introduce you to several aspects of law that you may encounter in a commercial environment. It introduces Scottish law and differentiates the powers of Holyrood and Westminster. It explores the different legal entities of business, contract law, and key features of the laws surrounding employment and the consumer. The unit is useful if you require a general awareness of legal matters in a business context.

Communications: Business Communication

This unit is designed to develop skills in analysing, summarising, evaluating, and producing complex written business information. It also develops skills in presenting and responding to complex oral business information. The unit enhances skills for learning, life and work and there is a particular emphasis on employability.

Business Fundamentals and Emerging Technologies

This unit is designed to emphasise the vital impact that change in internal and external business environments have on the success or failure of business organisations and the overwhelming driving force that current and emerging technologies are playing in driving this. Business organisations that fail to evolve and adapt their models to the changing environment, be it technology, or other internal and external factors will not succeed. This unit is designed to help you develop the knowledge, skills, and critical and entrepreneurial thinking to be able to visualise and appraise changes and opportunities in the business environment to allow business organisations to survive and thrive.

Recruitment, Selection and Induction

This unit is designed to provide an introduction to the recruitment, selection and induction process. It will provide you with the knowledge and skills to enable you to effectively contribute to each stage of the process.

Managing People and Organisations

This unit is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of different approaches to managing an organisation in today’s dynamic and complex business environment. It will introduce anyone, whether intending to or working in an administrative, commercial or management role, to current management theories and practice to enable you to use these to evaluate organisational effectiveness.

Accounting for Business: An Introduction

This unit is designed to introduce the basic tools needed to maintain a range of financial records for a business. It will provide the knowledge needed to record financial information using books of original entry and to create an income and expenditure account identifying whether the business has made a profit or loss, and a statement of financial position showing the assets, liabilities and overall financial position of the business. This unit will also introduce the techniques required for management of inventory and producing quotations and cost statements in a business context.

Marketing: An Introduction

This introductory unit is designed to provide a knowledge and understanding of marketing and its importance in organisations. The unit is also designed to develop your understanding of the marketing mix in the context of both products and services.

Business Graded Unit 1

This unit is a closed-book examination to assess a range of knowledge and skills achieved through study of the mandatory units.

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