Forestry HND

UCAS code 005D
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

If you like working in the great outdoors and are interested in the conservation and management of our woodland and forest areas, the HND Forestry will give you the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in the forestry industry.

You will study at the Scottish School of Forestry, part of Inverness College UHI and the leading provider of both further and higher forestry education in Scotland.  

To enhance employability you will undertake a one-year work placement (this takes place between the HNC and HND year of the course), except in cases where suitable alternative experience can be demonstrated.

Special features

  • Studying at the Scottish School of Forestry, just outside Inverness, you will benefit from access to the specialist facilities and expert staff
  • You will have the opportunity to attend a study tour of the Borders at the end of the HNC year, and the South of England at the end of the HND year
  • You will undertake a paid work placement in the forestry industry; a driving licence is a prerequisite for the placement year
  • You will study alongside students from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds and have the opportunity to take part in a range of study exchange programmes
  • The course can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis to suit your personal and professional circumstances


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

Entry requirements

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above (preferably including at least one of geography, environmental science, English or physcis), OR
  • 2 A levels 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
  • A driving licence is a prerequisite for the placement year

Advanced entry to year two:

  • Direct entry to year 2 may be possible with an HNC Forestry


This course is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters and gives partial fulfilment of Professional Membership Entry

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

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

Option units may include:

  • Forest: land measurement
  • Woodland nursery production
  • Forestry: woody plant biology
  • Forestry: silvicultural systems
  • Communication: practical skills
  • Forestry operations: work programming

Year 2 - HND

Mandatory units are:

  • Forestry: graded unit 2
  • Forest recreation
  • Forestry and other land use
  • Forestry industries market evaluation
  • Forestry: financial control of forest enterprises
  • Forestry: forest design
  • Forestry: forest policy and law
  • Forestry: forest protection
  • Forestry: woodland conservation
  • Forestry: woodland ecology

 Option units may include:

  • Forestry: use of computers in forestry management
  • Getting started in business
  • Urban woodlands and green space

As well as the second year of study at the Scottish School of Forestry, students also undertake a one-year industry work placement (held prior to commencement of the HND year): exceptions may be made in cases where suitable alternative experience can be demonstrated.

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 mainly 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. On-campus activities and practical sessions will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, with practical elements most likely in semester two (from January 2021).
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom and practical work in forest environments

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 3 years (HNC + HND + work placement)
  • Part-time: 4-6 years (depending on requirement for a work placement)

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI

Start date

  • September


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 Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact Inverness College UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your course you will be eligible for Associate Membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and able to apply for posts in a wide range of areas within the forestry industry.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of the HND, you may progress directly on to the third year of the BSc (Hons) Forest Management

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Forestry HND

I want to start in Aug/Sep 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.