Pearson BTEC Level 4

Higher National Certificate in Leadership and Management (RQF)

Entry Requirements:

Applicants must be aged 18 and above. The awarding body has not set any defined entry requirements. The college makes admission decisions based on students’ potential to complete the programme. Applicants will benefit most from this programme if they hold one or more of the following:

  • A BTEC Level 3 qualification in business or another related Level 3 equivalent qualification
  • a GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent) and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as Maths and English.
  • An Access to Higher Education Diploma from an approved further education institution
  • An international equivalent to the above qualifications
  • Relevant work experience

Mature students may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector. Prospective students will be interviewed to discuss their relevant experience and intention for the course they have applied to.

English Language Requirements:

  • International students must fulfil the UKVI requirements by providing a valid SELT (Secure English Language Test)
  • All students will need to demonstrate that their English Language level is equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B2.

Additionally, applicants need to have a good level of Numeracy and ICT skills.

Course Structure and Information:

The Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a Level 4 qualification made up of 120 credits. It is studied full-time over a period of twelve months.

It lays the foundations of learning by providing a broad introduction to business and different business functions. Students will gain a wide range of business knowledge tied to practical skills gained through research, independent study, directed study and workplace scenarios. The students will develop transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, research, and analysis, which are highly valued in higher education and the workplace. By the end of Level 4, students will have sound knowledge of the basic concepts of leadership and management. They will be competent in a range of subject-specific skills as well as general skills and qualities relevant to key areas of business. The course also develops and strengthens core skills while preparing the student for study at Level 5 or to enter employment with the qualities necessary for job roles that require some personal responsibility.

The Higher Nationals in Leadership and Management programme support students in developing their academic and employability skills and strengths their problem-solving skills, independent skills, interpersonal, commercial and business skills that employers are looking for.

The units below will be studied for this programme:

Core Units

Unit Credit


Unit 1 – The contemporary Business Environment



Unit 2 – Marketing Processes and Planning



Unit 3 – Management of Human Resources



Unit 4 – Leadership and Management



Unit 5 – Accounting Principles



Unit 6 – Managing a Successful Business Project (Pearson-set)



Unit 7 – Operational Planning and Management



Unit 8 – Digital Business in Practice



*No optional units for this qualification

Teaching, Learning & Assessment:

This course will be delivered on a full-time basis, and days of study will vary for different cohorts, and students will be informed at the initial stage of the application process. The mode of delivery will be traditional face to face teaching. However, under unavoidable circumstances, the course may be delivered via blended learning or online delivery. Group and individual tutorials support will be provided throughout the course. Students will participate in sessions related to developing their academic skills, professional skills and overall development. Sessions for the course are delivered and designed with specific activities to assist students in developing knowledge based on their individual learning style and goals. Employment engagement is embedded within the teaching and learning structure.

Teaching, learning and assessment will reflect an appropriate balance between broadening and deepening academic knowledge and developing practical employability skills.

Students will undertake a variety of assessments, both formative and summative, throughout the course. A variety of assessment methods may include presentations, debates, discussions, research on case studies and practical tasks. These assessments will enable progression and the identification of any support needs. This course does not contain any formal examinations.

Module assignments are set by the college. However, the college will assess one compulsory Pearson-set unit targeted at particular skills. All assignments are mandatory and are targeted for industry-specific skills. Students will receive individual grades of a Pass, Merit or Distinction for each module. In order to gain the full qualification, all eight modules must be passed. Assessment grades are subject to internal and external verification.

student support:

An extensive induction programme will be provided as a first step to the introduction of the various support mechanisms available to students. Support will continue throughout the course, including the allocation of personal tutors for additional advice and guidance to facilitate students’ progression and successful completion of the course. Employability and enrichment activities are embedded within the course to enhance students’ overall personal, social and transferable skills.

Next Steps:

The skills gained as part of the Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate in Leadership and Management can provide students with a solid foundation in leadership and management. Alternatively, upon successfully completing the course, students wishing to progress within the college can top up to the level 5 Higher National Diploma in Leadership and Management.


Download a prospectus for an introduction to studying at the Empire College London.

Students’ Views

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