How your course is organised

How is my course structured?

HNC and HND courses

Over 65% of our students are currently studying for higher national awards (HNC and HND). The UHI policy is to seek to join up our awards wherever possible with direct entry from an HNC into the second year and from an HND into the third year of related degree. In some cases HNC and HND courses provide years one and two of degree courses.

How it works

  • HN programmes are made up of elements called units. Each unit is usually worth between one and three credits.
  • Students require 12 credits to achieve an HNC. HNC courses are usually made up of around 10 units.
  • Students require 30 credits to achieve an HND. HND courses are usually made up of around 22 units.
  • Some units are core, and must be taken; others are optional.

Length of study

  • HNC – one year full time
  • HND – two years full time


CertHE, DipHE, BA, BSc and Honours degrees

UHI undergraduate degrees cover a wide range of subjects. Students who do not wish to commit themselves to three or four years of study at the outset may enrol for a certificate or diploma in higher education (CertHE or DipHE) as an alternative.

How it works

  • An academic year consists of two semesters.
  • Full-time students usually study four modules per semester; eight modules per year.
  • Some modules are core, and must be taken; others are optional.
  • Some courses offer module streams that can help you build a specialism in your subject area.
  • Others offer a free elective - a module from outwith your subject area.
  • Most include a module devoted to developing an independent project.

Length of study

  • CertHE – one year full time
  • DipHE – two years full time
  • BA/BSc – three years full time
  • Honours – four years full time