Childhood Practice HNC

UCAS code 173X
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

If you enjoy working with children and would like to make a difference to their formative years, the HNC Childhood Practice is the ideal course for you.

This is a nationally recognised qualification and valued award for people who want to work in a variety of early learning and childcare settings, supporting children and young people with varying needs.

This course will give you a deep understanding of working with children and young people, and will help you to integrate knowledge and theory into practice, including the importance of anti-discriminatory practice, in line with the National Care Standards and Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice.

On successful completion you will be eligible to register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) at practitioner level.

Special features

  • You will undertake a 60-day work placement which includes completion of three units from the SVQ 3 Social Services: Children and Young People
  • The course meets the registration requirements set by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) for those working in a care setting
  • You can study full-time or part-time (at some campuses) to suit your own personal circumstances
  • At certain campuses individual units can be studied as continuous professional development (CPD)

Accommodation

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

Entry requirements

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above 
  • These should preferably include English, PLUS
  • 4 National 5s or Standard Grades at Credit level, or equivalent, one of which should be English if you do not have a Higher or A level
  • Alternatively, the NC Early Education and Childcare or equivalent OR the completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services (Children and Young People)
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course
  • You should also have experience in a social service setting or similar work, either in a voluntary capacity or as an informal carer
  • For part-time study at Lews Castle College, applicants must be employed in a suitable setting. To discuss options or apply for part-time study, please contact leadmissions@uhi.ac.uk

Access routes

NC Early Education and Childcare or equivalent

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Care in contemporary society
  • Leadership starts with me
  • Health wellbeing and safeguarding
  • Lifespan development theoretical approaches
  • Promote effective communication
  • Promote health, safety and security in the work setting
  • Develop your practice through reflection and learning
  • Support for play learning and development or playwork opportunities
  • Graded unit 1

Three options units must be taken which may include some of the following:

  • Promoting language, literacy and numeracy
  • Collaborative working
  • Supporting children and young people’s behaviour
  • Supporting children and young people with additional support needs
  • Play
  • Working with children 0-3
  • Working with children 3-5
  • Working with children 5-8

Option 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 will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months 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 be delivered 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. Placements will be planned in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, probably in semester two (from January 2021). Please note to achieve this SQA qualification, you will need to successfully complete a specific number of placement hours, which could be within your place of employment. We are working hard with accrediting bodies and placement providers to clarify arrangements for delivery of these placement hours, while protecting the health and safety of everyone in the workplace environment. We will provide further information about this as soon as we can. Should public health restrictions during the coming year prevent access to such placements, your programme completion date may require to be extended.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured): available at certain campuses
  • Part-time (unstructured): available at certain campuses
  • One evening per week and one Saturday per month (January start, Inverness College UHI only)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and video conference lectures, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE)

How long will my course last?


  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI - for part-time study, please see note below*
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI - full-time only
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

This course is available to study in Gaelic at our Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI campus - please visit the course page for details.

*For part-time study at Lews Castle College, applicants must be employed in a suitable setting. To discuss options or apply for part-time study, please contact leadmissions@uhi.ac.uk.

Start date

  • September
  • January (certain campuses only)

Fees

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

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 studying this course, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,720
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £448

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

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU 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 or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,855 £7,020
Part-time (per HN credit) £457 £468

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Funding

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The HNC Childhood Practice will improve your career prospects in a range of early learning and childcare settings.

Can I progress into further study?

You will be able to progress onto a variety of degree courses, following successful interview, such as:

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I really enjoyed the video conference discussions with my tutor as they made it seem like we were in the same room. She was hugely supportive during my online studies. I've gained experience in a work place setting which has helped in both my current childcare and dance jobs. This will also make applying for roles easier as it shows some previous experience.

Sarah Blacklaw, HNC Early Education and Childcare graduate, Argyll College UHI campus.

This course, particularly the practical experience of the twelve week placement, has given me a great platform to start my future career and I now feel much more confident in the work place and more keen to learn. I learned lots of new skills from the staff who are extremely kind and helpful. The style of teaching is easy to follow. You just need to stay motivated and be prepared to work on your own at home.

Leah Mackay is studying on the HNC Childhood Practice at Lews Castle College UHI campus.

Apply for Childhood Practice HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020 or Jan/Feb 2021

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.