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HNC Social and Community Work (Level 4) — Full-time

Course outline

This Higher National Certificate (HNC) course is designed to meet the needs and expectations of students aspiring to work in social work, community work and community development

It aims to develop students as professional, self-reflecting individuals able to meet the demands of employers in the social and community work sector and to be adaptable in a constantly changing world.
The HNC in Social and Community Work allows a varied approach to assessments and delivery that supports progression to a level 5 HND which offers a specialism route and then progression to a Level 6 (such as a BA/BSc Honours top-up degree). We have strong links to progress within college as well as opportunities with other providers.

Students on this course are required to undertake a placement in an individual setting to develop social and community work skills, as well as the knowledge and understanding necessary to achieve high performance in the global health and social care environment. The delivery of units will be tailored to encourage students to share their own expertise with others and build on prior level 3 learning and work placement opportunities.
Where can I work with this qualification: family support work roles, resource officer and personal assistant roles, community development work, public health and community support work, care planning roles, advocacy, social services supervisory or lower management roles, counselling and rehabilitation support roles.

Prior students generally progress to the level 5 HND in Social and Community work practice many with the aim to complete an MA in Social Work.

Mandatory modules include:

  • Law, Policy and Ethical Practice in Health and Social Care
  • Demonstrating Professional Principles and Values in Health and Social Care practice
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Whole Person Approach
  • Fundamentals of Evidence-based Practice

Specialist optional units:

  • Select three additional units to make up to 120 credits of study

Compulsory work placement

It is a requirement that students on this course must complete at least 225 hours' of work experience, covering both social care and community care settings.

Nottingham College is proud to have been awarded the Teaching Excellence Framework Bronze Award for high quality student experience and outcomes. You can read more about this on the Office for Students website.

How to apply for this course

Entry onto this course is via UCAS.

  • Institution code: N30
  • UCAS code: SCW1

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Would you like more information? Email our HE team.

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Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Social and Community Work


1 year

Level Level 4
Entry requirements

You’ll need a minimum of 48 UCAS points from:

  • At least two A Levels at A2
  • BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Access to HE Diploma

Other combinations of qualifications and experience will also be considered, as will Level 3 qualifications not currently listed on the UCAS tariff.

We would expect students to be working at (or to demonstrate competency at) Level 2 or above in English/literacy and maths/numeracy.

Mature applicants with relevant professional experience and/or qualifications are welcome to apply.

Teaching & assessment

Course work, controlled assessments, case studies.

There are no examinations.


The Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma are recognised as meeting admission requirements to many relevant social and community work-related courses, for example:

  • BA/BSc (Hons) in Social Work
  • BA (Hons) in Social and Community Work
  • BA (Hons) in Youth Work
  • BA (Hons) in Community Development
  • BA (Hons) in Working with Children, Young People and Families
  • BA (Hons) in Social Policy
  • BA/BSc (Hons) in Health and Social Care
  • or similar, subject to the institution's own entry requirements.

Possible career options include:

  • Family support work roles
  • Resource officer and personal assistant roles
  • Community development work
  • Public health and community support work
  • Care planning roles
  • Advocacy
  • Social services supervisory or lower management roles
  • Counselling and rehabilitation support roles

About the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The TEF is a national scheme run by the Office for Students (OfS) that aims to encourage higher education providers to improve and deliver excellence in the areas that students care about the most: teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies.

Learn more about the TEF