Electrical Standby Systems SCQF Level 8

An in-depth introduction to electrical standby systems.


Why take this course?

This Unit has been developed to provide candidates’ with an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding about batteries, standby/emergency generators and UPSs (Uninterruptible Power Supplies).

On completion of the Unit the candidate should be able to:

  • Identify operation, characteristics and applications of electrical batteries
  • Outline principal operating features/main performance characteristics of standby/emergency generator sets.
  • Analyse construction, operation and performance characteristics of UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies)

What you will experience

Standby, or back-up, systems are very important in Electrical Engineering as they ensure the maintenance of electrical energy when other power systems fail.

In this Unit you will examine three types of back-up systems: namely batteries, generators and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies). Batteries come in many shapes and sizes and different battery types are more suitable for particular applications. In this Unit you will learn about the construction and principles of operation of basic batteries and the characteristics and applications of a range of different battery types.

The subject of standby generators is very large and it would be impossible to teach you all about them in one Unit. In this Unit you will learn about the construction and principle of operation of different types of standby generator, how generators are driven, the key performance characteristics of generators, and other technical requirements relating to generator operation including control, electrical protection, installation, safety and maintenance.

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) are used widely in industry and commerce. In this Unit you will learn about the basic function of this type of power supply. How they are constructed and operate, what their key performance characteristics are, how to ‘size’ them to supply different types of equipment and how software can be used to control some of their operations.

Assessment for this Unit will comprise of a two hour written test following the delivery of Outcomes 1 to 3.


female wearing blue overalls and protective glasses

Key facts

Mode of study
Distance Learning
Method of study

This course requires you to manage your workload independently, and will involve attendance at a campus or centre - often for assessment purposes only.

Subject area

Entry requirements

Candidates should have a knowledge and understanding of electrical machines and electronics. This may be evidence by possession of the following HN Units: DN4J 34 Electrical Machine Principles, DN46 33 Analogue Electronics: An Introduction and DN4E 34 Digital Electronics.

What you will need

Students are responsible for securing unit resources listed.

What you need to know

Additional costs

This course involves an additional SQA fee. Please see our Courses Explained page for further information on costs.

Anything else?

Please note that fee waivers may apply. Find out more about funding for part-time courses.

Next steps




This course requires some attendance at College, often for assessment purposes only. Please enquire about expectations for your specific course when booking.

Attendance is usually at the Aberdeen City Campus or Fraserburgh Campus.

Pre-entry guidance is required prior to booking a place on this course. Please contact Distance Learning Co-ordinators Sheena Thomson or Susan Smith by email, or phone 01346 586136 in the first instance for more information. When submitting your distance learning application form, please ensure you attach the additional information sheet listing qualifications and previous knowledge with your application. You may be required to attend College for assessment. Please check if this is a requirement for your course.

Duration Fees* Code
40 Hours over 6 Months £125.00
Paper applications only

Paper applications

You must submit a paper application form for this course and return it to us completed and signed.

Completed forms should be returned to the following freepost address:

The Student Information & Admissions Manager
North East Scotland College
Aberdeen City Campus

Should you have any problems with your application, please contact the Student Advice Centre:

Telephone: 01224 612330
Email: enquiry@nescol.ac.uk

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website: www.nescol.ac.uk, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.