Hydrogen: an Introduction for Technicians (SCQF level 7) PDA

Course code 009J

What is special about this course?

This course is aimed at anyone already employed in, or looking to pursue a career in, the energy sector, who wishes to gain a nationally recognised award. 

The modules cover the safe handling of hydrogen gas, and the operation and design of the systems used to produce, store, transport, convert, and consume hydrogen as an alternative fuel in a range of renewable energy sectors. You will also learn about the science behind what makes hydrogen suitable as an alternative fuel.

This PDA is the only nationally recognised qualification in Scotland dedicated to hydrogen, and is delivered by highly skilled and knowledgeable staff. The award has been designed in close consultation with the Scottish hydrogen sector, so you can be sure that the content is relevant, up to date, and in accordance with industry needs.

Special features

  • The only dedicated Hydrogen PDA in Scotland
  • Developed in partnership with leading employers and sector bodies in hydrogen developments
  • Taught by staff with extensive experience in hydrogen research
  • Suitable for both work-based & college-based candidates
  • Practical assignments can be completed on-site for work-based candidates 
  • Flexible study options

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above, PLUS National 5 Maths, Science and English OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above, PLUS GCSE Maths, Science and English 
  • Alternatively NC or HNC in a related discipline such as: Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Engineering Systems; Manufacturing Engineering; Measurement and Control Engineering
  • SVQ in Engineering Discipline such as Mechanical, Manufacturing or Electrical Engineering
  • Mature learners with suitable relevant work experience may be accepted for entry at the discretion of the centre

Year 1 - PDA

You will study the following core modules:

  • Safe hydrogen gas handling (SCQF level 6)
  • Operating principles of a hydrogen facility (SCQF level 7)
  • Design principles of a hydrogen system (SCQF level 8)

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video-conference lectures and tutorials and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • For candidates in employment, practical assignments will be undertaken on-site with supervisory staff providing oversight
  • For college based candidates, practical assignments will be simulated in labs and/or workshops

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time (structured): 5 months @ 7.5 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): up to 1 year

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Stornoway campus

Start date

  • September
  • January
  • Flexible start dates are available - for information on these, and how to apply for them, please contact UHI North, West and Hebrides


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.
Module 2023-24 2024-25

PDA (3 x HN units)



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, or assessed as rest of UK for fee status, the following fees apply:

Module 2023-24 2024-25

PDA (3 x HN units)



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

This course is not available for international students, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK, requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study here. For students living in the UK and assessed as international fee status, the following fees will apply:

  • This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Module 2023-24 2024-25

PDA (3 x HN units)




UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

Although this course is mostly online, you will also attend a residential session in Stornoway for between 3-4 days (duration will be dependent on your previous experience). There is no additional fee for the practical course, however you will be responsible for arranging and funding your travel and accommodation for this session.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Hydrogen plant operation and maintenance
  • Engineering technician
  • Supervisory positions

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress from PDA Hydrogen: an Introduction for Technicians (SCQF level 7) to the following courses:

  • PDA Renewable Energy Systems
  • HNC Engineering Systems (subject to satisfactory interview)
  • SVQ Level 3 in Engineering Maintenance (sponsor required)
  • Other Engineering awards in Higher Education

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Hydrogen: an Introduction for Technicians (SCQF level 7) PDA

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

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.