Forestry HNC

Course code 105D

What is special about this course?

The HNC Forestry will give you the skills, knowledge and experience required to succeed as a supervisor or self-employed contractor in the forestry industry.

Subjects include: forest science; establishment of woodlands; forest harvesting; forest mensuration and thinning control; timber sales and transportation; and woodland nursery production.


Special features

  • You will study at the Scottish School of Forestry, part of Inverness College UHI
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances
  • You will learn the technical, supervisory and managerial skills necessary for employment in forestry and woodland


We offer modern student accommodation in Inverness ideally suited to students on this course.

Entry requirements

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade B, plus 4 National 5s at grade B or above OR
  • 2 A level at grade D or above
  • Minimum of 1 year's pre-course experience in woodland environment is required or attainment of the Certificate in Forestry or equivalent. This requirement may be waived for applicants with 3 or more Highers, or equivalent, at grade B or above
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply. Relevant life or work experience will be taken into consideration on an individual basis

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Forestry: forest science
  • Forestry: timber sales and transportation
  • Forestry: graded unit 1
  • Employment and health and safety legislation for the land-based industries
  • Establishment of woodland
  • Forest harvesting
  • Forest mensuration and thinning control

Option units may include:

  • Forestry: land measurement
  • Woodland nursery production
  • Forestry: woody plant biology
  • Forestry: silvicultural systems
  • Communication: practical skills
  • Forestry operations: work programming
  • Leadership of countryside activities 

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as restrictions shift 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. From September, where practical and safe to do so, on-campus practical delivery will be prioritised and placements introduced in line with the Scottish Government guidance, including social distancing. Where this is not possible alternative options will be available. The theory elements may be delivered online through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. Further information will be provided by your home campus. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the course. International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must access scheduled classes on-campus.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will study by way of traditional classroom-based lectures and tutorials and practical workshops at the Scottish School of Forestry, part of Inverness College UHI

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: up to 3 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI - Scottish School of Forestry

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
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, 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:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

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 Inverness College UHI for more information.

Additional costs

You will need to purchase your own high vis vest, hard hat and safety boots, at an approximate cost of £40 in total.

There are additional costs associated with the Scottish Borders and South of England field trips, however students via the Forestry and Arboriculture Society normally fundraise and seek sponsorship to cover these costs.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you may be interested in pursuing a career as a forest supervisor/foreman or contractor.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion, you can progress to the HND Forestry, then on to the BSc (Hons) Forest Management.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Forestry HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 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.