+44 (0) 204 551 1997

Log in

Higher National Certificate in Applied Biology

Level 4

120 Credits

Notes: Can be taken as a solo course or, for employed individuals, as part of a Government Funded Apprenticeship

Duration: 18 Months

Delivery: Remote

Style: Part Time

Apprenticeship Compatible: Yes


£ 7,500 per person

*Free when included in full Apprenticeship
*Discounts may apply, contact us


This qualification will provide you with the essential subject knowledge needed to progress successfully into further study or into the world of work and is ran over a duration of 18 months via online delivered sessions.  .  You will undertake a core of learning in Applied Science as well as the opportunity to specialise in your desired Science related pathway. 

The HNC in Applied Biology covers the fundamental elements of biological systems including cell biology, immunology and infectious diseases and is the first step towards obtaining a higher level qualification in Science.

 The course is designed for those looking to progress into Science based roles or existing employees who would like to learn more about the theory behind what they do.



You are required to have a minimum of 2 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above in English and Maths. We will accept Level 2 equivalences for English and Maths in place of GCSEs.


Completion of the L3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship or L3 Science Qualification

Full Description

A Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Applied Biology in the UK is a vocational qualification designed to provide students with practical knowledge and skills in the field of biology with a focus on real-world applications. The specific content of the program can vary depending on the institution offering it, but here are some common topics and subjects you can expect to encounter in an HNC in Applied Biology:

1. Cellular Biology: You’ll study the structure and function of cells, cellular processes, and topics related to genetics and molecular biology.

2. Microbiology: This area may cover the study of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and their roles in various applications, such as food and environmental microbiology.

3. Physiology and Anatomy: You may learn about the structure and function of various organisms, including human anatomy and physiological processes.

4. Genetics: This may involve studying genetic principles, inheritance, and DNA technologies.

5. Environmental Biology: Topics related to ecology, environmental science, and conservation may be included in the curriculum.

6. Laboratory Techniques: Practical skills are a fundamental part of an HNC in Applied Biology. You’ll learn various laboratory techniques, including how to use scientific equipment, conduct experiments, and analyze data.

7. Health and Safety: Given the laboratory environment, you’ll learn about health and safety regulations and best practices.

8. Scientific Investigation and Research: You’ll gain experience in designing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions.

9. Communication Skills: Effective communication, both written and oral, is important in the field of biology.

10. Professional Development: Some HNC programs include modules on personal and professional development to enhance employability skills.

11. Environmental Impact Assessment: This may involve assessing the environmental impact of various activities and projects.

The HNC in Applied Biology is typically a one-year full time program and is considered a Level 4 qualification within the UK’s Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). The S&A Science Academy offer the course on a part time basis over 18 months. It is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in various sectors, such as laboratory technology, environmental management, and quality control. While an HNC can be a standalone qualification, successful completion can also serve as a foundation for further education and academic progression to an HND or a full bachelor’s degree in biology or related fields.

In Employment?

Interested in getting a formal qualification to help your career prospects?

You may be eligible to join a UK Government Funded Apprenticeship Programme.