The Conservation and Education Centre at the former Bristol Zoo Gardens site remains open to students.

You will have private access to the zoo grounds during lectures, to carry out your observations and data collection, but as more animals are moved, this will gradually be carried out at the Bristol Zoo Project. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Course Description

Higher National Certificates are a one year (if studied full-time) work-related qualifications designed to help you take steps into employment, or for those already in employment and seeking career development opportunities. if you are already working, gaining these skills will enable you to make an immediate contribution to your current role. The course will provide you with an extensive overview of practical business skills, which will give you a strong foundation of knowledge upon which to build a successful career.

Develop your career

Upon completion of the HNC, you will be able to progress onto the Higher National Diploma to secure a Level 5 qualification, in one year (if studied full-time). Throughout the HNC you will have developed personal skills, including being able to organise and prioritise your workload, and enhance your leadership abilities and self-confidence which will prepare you for both the world of work and the HND qualification.

Build your skills

You will complete eight units throughout the year, with each unit being assessed by assignments and/or oral presentations; these will be graded on a pass, merit and distinction basis. The course assignments will assess your knowledge and ability to demonstrate analytical and independent research, apply business theory and evaluate decisions in a real business context. Support will be offered by lecturers in preparation for assessment. The course requires reflective learning, creative thinking and effective time management.

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Study Modules
Unit 1
Business and the Business Environment

The aim of this unit is to give students background knowledge and understanding of business, of the functions of an organisation and of the wider business environments in which organisations operate. Students will examine the different types of organisations (including for profit and not for profit), their size and scope (for instance micro, SME, transnational and global) and how they operate. Students will explore the relationships that organisations have with their various stakeholders and how the wider external environments influence and shape business decision making.

Unit 10
Recording Financial Transactions

Balancing the books is at the heart of all business management. Financial accountants are concerned with the recording, summarising and interpreting of financial information and accounts. They must keep accurate and up-to-date records for different types of businesses. The overall aim of this unit is to introduce students to the essential principles of recording and organising business and financial transactions to which every organisation will need to adhere. Students will identify sources of accounting information and how it is then gathered and organised, using the dual entry bookkeeping system, in order to produce a trial balance.

Unit 14
Digital Business in Practice

In this unit, students will explore the impact of a range of digital technologies on the work place. They will examine how these technologies can support businesses aims and services, allow interaction with customers, for example to promote their business, to encourage people to visit their e-commerce site, to buy goods or services, to drive and increase sales and to provide high levels of customer service. The skills generated through an understanding of the practical and necessary use and application of relevant technologies will enable students to present themselves as being digitally literate to employers and give them the confidence to succeed in applying modern, digital methods.

Unit 17
Professional Identity and Practise

With employment opportunities and career progression becoming increasingly competitive, it is vital that new employees appreciate the value of the correct skills and competences that are expected by employers. The aim of this unit is to guide students through the process of self-assessment of skills and competences, personal career planning and the application of different learning and development approaches in a work environment. Students are not necessarily expected to engage in work activities but self-assessment and design must be applied in a specific work context to avoid the experience being generic. The unit will give students direction on how to prepare for job applications and interviews in a formalised way, with the aim of improving their career prospects. Students are expected to undertake a practical interview arranged and guided by their tutor or a relevant employer.

Students are expected to undertake a practical interview arranged and guided by their tutor or a relevant employer.

Unit 2
Marketing Processes and Planning

This unit is designed to introduce students to the dynamic world of the marketing sector and the wealth of exciting career opportunities available to support their decision making in their career choices. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the competencies and behaviours required by employers to work in the marketing sector. They will be introduced to the key principles of marketing, enabling them to develop a marketing plan and to employ elements of the marketing mix to achieve results. They will study the underpinning theories and frameworks of marketing while relating them to real-world examples, including products/services that they encounter in their daily lives.

Unit 3
Human Resource Management

This unit will give students the knowledge and skills associated with Human Resource (HR) occupational roles at either a generalist level, for example HR Assistant/HRAdvisor/Business Partner, or more specialist roles in areas such as recruitment, talent acquisition and performance and reward management. Students will explore the nature and scope of HRM and the organisational context of people management, including recruitment and retention, training and development, reward systems, employment relations and associated legislative frameworks.

Unit 4
Leadership and Management

The aim of this unit is to help students to understand the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. Students will consider the characteristics, behaviours and traits that support effective management and leadership. Students will learn about the theories that have shaped the understanding of leadership and management and how these have provided a guide to action for managers and leaders who want to secure success for their businesses. Students will look at leadership styles, how and why they are used and the extent to which they are effective.

Unit 6
Managing a Successful Business Project

This unit is a Pearson-set unit. The project brief will be set based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). The theme and chosen project within the theme will enable students to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment. The skills of project management are highly sought after by employers in all areas of business, as the ability to plan, procure and execute a business project efficiently requires a range of specific skills in leadership, time management, problem solving, budgeting and communication. The aim of this unit is to offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a small-scale business project. They will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a business project that meets appropriate business aims and objectives.

Course Video
John Pollard
HN Business Management/ FdA Sports Management program lead
*This programme is subject to validation and delivery approval by the University of Gloucestershire.
University Centre WISE
Higher National Certificate
Full-time Duration:
1 Year
Full-time Fee (Per Year):
Part-time Duration:
2 Years
Part-time Fee (Per Year):
UCAS Application Code:
UCAS Entry Tariff:
Entry Requirements

The minimum UCAS tariff entry points from a level 3 qualification, GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Once your application has been reviewed, you may be invited for an interview. Mature students over 24 without the relevant qualifications will be required to demonstrate previous experience and evidence of academic ability.

Course info last updated:
April 20, 2024
Delivery Format

The delivery format for your degree-level programs is primarily face-to-face and in-person sessions. However, there may be some hybrid sessions offered occasionally, mainly for flexibility purposes, such as tutorials or for larger events like visiting lecturers. Additionally, it's mentioned that all degree programs are well-supported by Virtual Learning Environments, which include Teams or Google Classroom.

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