High Level Engineering Software SCQF Level 7

The first of four engineering programming units in the HNC/D Electronics course.


Why take this course?

This Unit was developed for the HNC and HND Electronics awards, or may be taken as a stand alone HN Unit. It will introduce you to I/O programming in the context of the software engineering process. This process allows you to break down the overall programming task into manageable sub tasks. These smaller modules are then developed, debugged and tested using a high level language. The overall program is then constructed by integrating the modules one by one and testing as the program builds up. The final program is tested for functionality and each branch is exercised using appropriate test data.

Credit points and level: 1 HN credit at SCQF level 7: (8 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7)

What you will experience

You will study:

  • System design (partitioning of a software task)
  • Detailed design (stepwise refinement using pseudo code or flowcharts)
  • Coding in a High Level Language
  • Compiling and debugging
  • Preparing test data and verifying program function
  • Documentation

In addition you will learn and practise the following programming constructs:

  • Linear programming
  • Procedure/functions
  • Logical bit-wise operations

You will be presented with a variety of programs, but the emphasis will be on driving or controlling hardware interface circuitry. Hence you will also cover INPUT/OUTPUT ports, configuring them, writing to them and reading from them. The time allocated for this unit is 40 hours, but if you are new to programming then you will probably need to allow for double double this, as the practical activities can be time consuming. It is in your interest not just to pass the unit for qualification needs but to master it, as most electronics-related jobs and higher study will require you to have the skills and knowledge covered in this unit. The platform for this unit may be a micro-controller system or a standard personal computer with access to I/O ports.

Your assessment will involve assignments covering each of the four outcomes, and will be carried out in the context of the software engineering process. Class time allocated for this will be about 14 hours, however you will be expected to devote the same number of hours in private study for the assignments. The written assignments must conform to the standard set out by the lecturer. Outcome 4 must be submitted within 14 days of completion of the unit.

female wearing blue overalls and protective glasses

Key facts

Mode of study
Subject area

Entry requirements

Candidates should have a basic knowledge of electronics, logic operations and number systems. This may be evidenced by possession of a Higher in Electronics or the following National Qualification Units:

  • D134 11 Combinational Logic
  • E9LG 11 Computing in Engineering 1
  • D980 11 Programmable Systems

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



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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.

Please note that timetabling changes can often occur after the Part-time Course Guide is published, and as a result the printed version of the guide may not hold the most up-to-date information.

We therefore advise you that all start dates and times listed on the website are at all times accurate, and should be used as your main point of reference before booking your course.

This course is currently unavailable. Please contact the Student Advice Centre for more information.

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.