NESCol expands HNC offering to S6 pupils across the North East

February 19, 2024

Pupils who are currently in S5 at schools in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire can apply to study one of three HNC courses delivered by North East Scotland College during their sixth year.

The year-long programmes offer S6 pupils the opportunity to experience college life and gain a globally recognised qualification, all before leaving school.

NESCol first ran the HNC Business course for S6s as a pilot with Aberdeen Grammar School in 2022. This grew to include pupils from across Aberdeen City for the current academic year.

The programme’s previous success has allowed the College to open applications to pupils based in Aberdeenshire as well as those in Aberdeen City schools. The choice of HNCs has also increased, with Mechanical Engineering and Computing & IT for Business now on offer.

Lauren MacAskill, Schools-College Partnerships Manager at NESCol said: “The HNC programme is a fantastic stepping stone towards further study or employment. Pupils benefit from a taste of the college experience while still enjoying their final year at school.

“We are delighted to be able to not only broaden the choice of HNCs but also offer these to S6s based across the entire North East.”

The HNC programme is suitable for pupils who are set to achieve a good set of Highers in S5 and feel ready for the next stage of education.

An HNC is broadly comparable to completing one year of an HND in college, or the first year of a university degree. The course is delivered over two full days per week at NESCol’s Aberdeen City or Altens campuses, and one half day online.

A pupil on the HNC Business course, said: “There are many things I enjoy about HNC Business – the independence you get through the college, the subjects you cover on the course, and the experience you get in business, which you can take forward in life and into university.”

A fellow pupil added: “I wanted to do this HNC course because I want to take business and learn it to a higher level, and I felt like this would really help me out with getting into uni. To anyone who is wanting to do this course, I would say that there is a lot of work, and it is a commitment, but it is worth it.”

Martin Moir, Curriculum Manager for Business Professions at NESCol, said: “Our current S6 pupils are all on track to complete the HNC Business course and are prepared to progress to the next stage of their academic career. This includes further study at NESCol, university and Modern Apprenticeships.

“We look forward to welcoming our next S6 cohort for the academic year 2024-25, and to continuing to build on this success.”

The HNCs for S6s programme is part of the Scottish Funding Council Pathfinder Project, ‘Enhancing the Senior Phase.’

Applications should be made via school subject choice forms. Interested pupils should speak to their guidance teachers about applying to college.