Jump directly to main content Jump directly to menu

HNC/D Digital Technologies (Higher Technical Qualification) – Data Analytics

The Level 4 units lay the foundation of learning by providing a broad introduction to digital technologies and to a range of digital technology specialist functions. This develops and strengthens core skills, while preparing students to study specialist subjects at Level 5 or to enter employment with the qualities necessary for job roles that require some personal responsibility.

Students will gain a wide range of knowledge tied to practical skills gained through research, independent study, directed study and workplace scenarios. Students are involved in vocational activities that help them to develop vocational behaviours (the attitudes and approaches required for a competence) and transferable skills. Transferable skills are those such as communication, teamwork, research and analysis, which are highly valued in higher education and the workplace.

After studying a Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Digital Technologies students will have sound knowledge of the basic concepts of digital technology. They will be competent in a range of subject-specific skills as well as general skills and qualities relevant to key areas of digital-technology-related business. 

Aims of the Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Certificate in Digital Technologies: 

The Level 5 units give students the opportunity to specialise in a digital-technology-related occupational area and to progress to degree-level study. The units prepare students to move on to specific areas of digital technologies at Level 6 or to enter employment with the qualities and abilities necessary for roles that require personal responsibility and decision making.

Students will be able to develop and apply their own ideas to their studies, to deal with uncertainty and complexity, to explore solutions, demonstrate critical evaluation and use both theory and practice in a wide range of digital technology situations.

After studying a Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Digital Technologies students will have a sound understanding of the principles in their area of specialist study and will know how to apply those principles more widely in the area of digital technologies. They will be able to perform effectively in their specialist area. 

Key Information

  • Course Level

    Level 5

  • Awarding Body


Apply or Enquire

This course includes the following core modules that all students complete:

Level 4 Year 1

Semester A

Core Mandatory   

  • Unit 1: Professional Practice

Specialist Mandatory   

  • Unit 4: Programming
  • Unit 3: Cyber Security
  • Unit 10: Database Design and Development

Semester B

Core Mandatory   

  • Unit 2: Innovation and Digital Transformation

Specialist Mandatory   

  • Unit 12: Data Analytics
  • Unit 6: Networking in the Cloud
  • Unit 5: Big Data and Visualisation


Level 5 Year 2

Semester A

Core Mandatory   

  • Unit 19: Business Intelligence
  • Unit 20: Internet of Things


  • Unit 22: Work-Based Learning in the Digital Economy

Specialist Mandatory   

  • Unit 29: Applied Analytical Models

Semester B

Core Mandatory   

  • Unit 21: Emerging Technologies

Specialist Mandatory   

  • Unit 30: Business Information Technology
  • Unit 28: Risk Analysis and Systems Testing


  • Unit 41: Digital Sustainability

Occasional changes to modules and course content may take place. Students will be notified when applicable.

Further details about this course are available in the course specification (https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-higher-nationals/digital-technologies-2023.html).

The primary way of delivering this programme is on campus, face-to-face. A mixture of lectures, workshops and seminars will be used to deliver the course.

Course materials and guidance for individual study will be provided through our Virtual Learning Environment.

Students are supported by tutorials to prepare for assessments and further their learning.

The assessment strategy ensures that the range of assessment instruments chosen gives students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the full range of knowledge, skills and competences required to achieve the course learning outcomes and possess the attributes sought in the industry.

A range of assessment methods are used on the course these may include (but are not limited to):

Research based

Research-based assessment aims to promote and develop student competencies related to research practice. Appropriate for meeting unit Learning Outcomes that require assessment of knowledge and understanding.

Practical based

A practical approach to assessment is aimed at linking knowledge and understanding to practical application, using real-life/simulated situations and activities. Appropriate for meeting unit Learning Outcomes that require application, demonstration and technical skills development.

Work based

Work-based assessment involves learning through work, learning for work and/or learning at work. It consists of authentic structured opportunities for learning that are achieved in a workplace setting or which are designed to meet an identified workplace need. This is an appropriate approach for students who are in work and who can achieve unit Learning Outcomes by completing work activities.

Problem based

Problem-based assessment actively engages student learning through the experience of finding solutions to solve open-ended problems. The required knowledge and skills are achieved in the process of solving authentic problems.

This is an appropriate approach to meet unit Learning Outcomes that require solutions, recommendations and improvements to meet complex problems.

Project based

Project-based assessment enables students to gain knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem or challenge in a real-life context. An appropriate approach for meeting unit Learning Outcomes that support a planned, individual or collaborative, approach to achieving a specific aim.

Investigation based

Similar to problem solving and project based, this learning enables students to ask questions,

30 UCAS points

Those who do not have a GCSE in math and English will be required to undertake a pre-entry assessment to ensure suitability for the programme.

We are committed to creating educational opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds and situations. If you have been out of formal education for some time, and/or you do not have the qualifications stated, we might still be able to consider your application and offer you a range of support. We are here to help. Please get in touch to find out more.

The Level 4 Higher National Certificate provides a solid grounding, enabling students to specialise, which students can build on if they decide to continue their studies.

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma allows students to specialise by committing to specific career paths and progression routes to degree-level study.

Once students have achieved the Level 4 Higher National Certificate or the Level 5 Higher National Diploma, they can develop their careers in the respective sector by:

  • entering employment
  • continuing existing employment
  • linking with the appropriate professional body
  • committing to continuing professional development, or
  • going to university.

Employability skills and competencies for student career success

The Pearson BTEC Higher National curriculum provides a clear line of

sight to employment, depending on which specialist areas students complete. The aim is to produce students who are equipped to thrive in the changing world of work, whether they leave with a Higher National Certificate or a Higher National Diploma qualification.

The table below shows the type of position that a student graduating at each

educational level might expect to start in, and some examples of the competencies


Levels of competency

Employability level at learning level – Level 4 Operational

General employment outcomes for graduates at level 4

Graduates can:

  1. perform key tasks
  2. understand processes and operations
  3. work effectively.

Examples of roles in different areas of digital technologies

  1. Cyber security specialist
  2. Software developer
  3. Data analyst
  4. Network technician
  5. Junior animator
  6. Software tester
  7. Business analyst.

Employability level at learning Level 5 Managerial

General employment outcomes for graduates at level 5

Graduates can:

  1. respond to digital transformation.

Examples of roles in different areas of digital technologies

  1. Risk analyst
  2. Lead developer
  3. Data analytics consultant
  4. Network engineer
  5. Network engineer
  6. Animator
  7. Business analyst
  8. Senior business analyst.

Employability level at learning level 6 Professional

General employment outcomes for graduates at level 6

Graduates can:

  1. set the context for digitalisation
  2. lead change.

Examples of roles in different areas of digital technologies

  1. Cyber security manager
  2. Technical architect
  3. Data specialist
  4. Systems engineer
  5. Systems engineer
  6. Animation director
  7. Programme/ project manager
  8. Programme/ project manager.

 Developing competencies for the workplace

Core competencies developed on the specialist pathways of the programme will support students in preparing for a range of employment opportunities in their chosen sector. These core competencies collectively summarise the key capabilities that are important across the sector, covering areas of relevant expertise and technical skills that would be required within the sector to successfully perform a job, as defined in current advertised job vacancies.

Core competencies are developed on programme within a balanced framework of cognitive (knowledge), affective (behaviours) and psychomotor (practical) learning outcomes to encourage a more vocational and practical approach to learning.

The table below shows how the core competencies developed in pathways on the Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals fit a typical job description in various sectors. The job descriptions used are based on jobs advertised at the time the Pearson specification was published.

Cyber Security

Typical job description

  • Core competencies gained through the Cyber Security pathway

Responsible for testing consumer, business and enterprise security solutions, reporting and maintaining the test results, and their consistency and accuracy.

  • Explore the nature of cybercrime and cyber threat actors.
  • Investigate cyber security threats and hazards.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of information assurance concepts applied to ICT infrastructure.
  • Investigate incident response methods to cyber security threats.

Software Development and Programming

 Typical job description

Working in a dynamic and agile environment, you will have constant exposure to new technologies and plenty of opportunities to grow your skills and learn from others. You will be involved in the full software development lifecycle, from rapid prototyping of new ideas to testing and continuous integration.

Liaising closely with the other developers, you will be part of a multi-disciplinary team, focused on delivering fantastic products and a great user experience for our customers.

  1. Core product development
  2. Working on internal tools to improve operational efficiency

Creating prototype applications in-line with the business product strategy and roadmap.

 Core competencies gained through the Software Development and Programming pathway

  • Describe different software development lifecycles.
  • Explain the importance of a feasibility study.
  • Undertake a software development lifecycle.
  • Discuss the suitability of software behavioural design techniques.

 Cloud Networking

 Typical job description

You will collaborate with colleagues from different areas of the business to gain a wealth of technical expertise and business knowledge.

With the support and guidance of experienced colleagues, you’ll be making use of your engineering mindset and will have real responsibility from the start – fixing live issues, building automated tests or even developing new features, all while making use of Agile working practices.

 Core competencies gained through the Cloud Networking pathway

  • Examine commonplace networking principles used in a cloud infrastructure to support communication.
  • Explain the operation of networking technologies within a cloud infrastructure.
  • Design a networking solution for a cloud- based system for a business use case.
  • Enhance network performance for a cloud- based system developed for a given business use case.

 Digital Communications Management

Typical job description

  • Design and write content.
  • Ensure content is user focused and consistently meets publishing standards.
  • Review, edit and publish content to strict deadlines using content management systems.
  • Work with colleagues to co-ordinate digital content production.
  • Produce and publish content for our digital channels and evaluate the impact.
  • Provide specialist advice to staff, on using digital communication channels effectively.
  • Develop excellent working relationships.

Core competencies gained through the Digital Communications Management pathway

  • Examine the key concepts and features of social media for different business activities.
  • Discuss the uses of social media and their impact on market and audience.
  • Plan a social media campaign for an organisation, based on client need, market and user research.
  • Implement a social media campaign plan for an organisation to meet business objectives.

 Business Analytics and Change Management

Typical job description

The data analytics team operates a world- class business information platform using Tableau, Alteryx and other tools to create a set of dynamic reports used by individuals across the firm, from individual teams to senior management.

In this role you will:

  1. Use analytical skills and business acumen to source, analyse and visualise a wide range of data
  2. Meet with a diverse range of stakeholders to scope requirements
  3. Use a range of analytical and statistical techniques to answer questions using data

Present findings and recommendations based on your analysis.

Accountable for the end-to-end change management lifecycle, from assessing change impacts, to planning business readiness, through to ensuring change is fully embedded within the relevant business areas, across our most complex initiatives. You will work cross- functionally, partnering with key stakeholders in other functions to successfully deliver in your role.

 Core competencies gained through the Business Analytics and Change Management pathway

  • Discuss the theoretical foundation of data analytics that determine decision-making processes in management or business environments.
  • Apply a range of descriptive analytic techniques to convert data into actionable insight using a range of statistical techniques.
  • Investigate a range of predictive analytic techniques to discover new knowledge for forecasting future events.
  • Demonstrate prescriptive analytic methods for finding the best course of action for a situation.
  • Explore how digital technologies impacts organisational change.
  • Evaluate how the use of digital technology impacts on an organisation’s strategy and operations to meet its needs.
  • Analyse the factors that may affect the future development of digital technologies in a specific industry and influence leadership decision making.
  • Present a new or emerging digital technology solution to manage a change initiative within a specific organisation.

Progression to university

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant digital technologies courses, for example:

  • BSc (Hons) in Artificial Intelligence
  • BSc (Hons) in Business Analytics
  • BSc (Hons) in Computer Science
  • BSc (Hons) in Cyber Security
  • BSc (Hons) in Data Science and Analytics
  • BSc (Hons) in Network Engineering
  • BA (Hons) in Social Media Management
  • BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering.
  • University recognition and articulations

A range of higher education institutions around the world that accept Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals as a qualification for entry to their undergraduate degree courses. Many universities allow advanced entry to the second or third year of the course. Agreements can include transferring learning credits from one course or qualification to the other, articulation and case-by-case admission.

Students should be aware that each university sets its own admission criteria and that those criteria can change. Before applying, students should understand the course entry requirements for the subject and year in which they want to study.

Financial Support

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan to cover living costs.

We also have a range of other financial support available.

Course Fees


We do not currently have fee information available for this course. Please contact us for further information.

Additional Costs

There may be some extra costs that you might need to make, or choose to pay, for example:

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the HE library, but you may wish to buy your own copies)
  • Software (you’ll have access to software from your module on Campus computers, but you may wish to buy your own copies)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Trips and enhancement opportunities

When undertaking workbased learning, you may be required to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check if you are not in possession of a current one or registered on the update service. This requirement varies on discretion of the employer.


Apply or enquire about this course

To find out more and apply for this course, please contact us via the telephone number below.

Call 0800 358 74 74

Information for EU Students

From January 2021, how you apply for a course will change. For more information, read the UK Government's guide for the UK points-based immigration system for EU students (pdf).

Visit our International pages for more information and contact details