L4 Higher National Certificate in Public Services FT – September 2024

Funding information: Student Finance HE Loan available, course costs apply.
Duration: 1 year
Attendance: Full-time Provision

Course Overview

The Higher National Certificate (Level 4 HNC) is the first year towards achieving your undergraduate degree. The course is designed to introduce you to the world of higher education, developing the necessary skills, such as researching, referencing and study skills required to be successful. One of the main aims of this course is to introduce you to developing an understanding of the subjects.

The HNC in Public Services covers a range of units that will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the public sector and services, structures of the organisations, mental health impacts on the sector, and a wide range of topical issues happening in the country and the world today. With units that delve into terrorism, criminal behaviour and legal systems, will provide you with the foundations to build on as you progress higher. The course is assessed through a variety of methods, from essay writing to delivering professional presentations and formal discussions.

The Level 4 Higher National Diploma is the first step towards achieving the Higher National Diploma in Public Services, both of which are recognised by higher education providers, and lead towards topping your qualifications up to a full undergraduate degree. This course therefore meets admission requirements to many relevant public services-related courses, for example:

  • BA (Hons) Criminology
  • BA (Hons) Policing
  • BA (Hons) Public Services
  • BA (Hons) Public Services Management
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Social Sciences
  • BA (Hons) Leadership in the Public Sector
  • BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology
  • BA (Hons) Uniformed and Public Services
  • BSc (Hons) Public Services and the Community
  • BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue

Course Content

The following units have been carefully selected to ensure all areas of progression can be capitalised on:

  • Organisational Structures
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Equality, Diversity and Fair Treatment
  • Public Services in Contemporary Society
  • Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
  • Law and Legal Systems
  • Crime Reduction Strategies
  • Responding to Emergencies

Entry Requirements

You will need a Level 3 qualification in a Public Services related subject and English and maths at grade 4 or above at GCSE or Level 2 equivalent. Mature students with relevant experience will also be considered.

Assessment Methods

  • Practical assignments
  • written assignments
  • presentations
  • coursework


Successful completion of the HNC Public Services enables you to progress on to the HND which can lead on to a wide range of roles including: Youth work, Victim support, Community safety, Police volunteer schemes, Health administration jobs.