Courses at Ayrshire College

HNC Additional Support Needs

Campus Attendance Start Date

SCQF Level

Level 7


Full time, one year



Please note this course is NOW FULL

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Two Highers at grade C or above, preferably including English, or a pass in a relevant NC course at SCQF Level 6 or equivalent:

  • NC Social Care (SCQF Level 6)
  • NC Early Education and Childcare (SCQF Level 6)SVQ 2 or 3 Social Services and Healthcare or SQ Social Services: children and young people (or equivalent)
  • PDA Education Support Assistance
  • 2 SQA Higher Grade passes at C or above, preferably including Higher English
  • Applications are also invited from those without formal qualifications but who have relevant life and/or work experience

A place on the course is subject to an interview process and a satisfactory reference. Applicants will be required to become a member of the PVG scheme.

You will attend college 2 days a week plus 2 days placement. Please be aware that a placement is a mandatory component of this course. Placements are allocated to meet the requirements of the course.

What's Involved

This course can lead to a career within the care section and gives the opportunity to progress to further study. The HNC Additional Support Needs programme, which is a full time course, offers an integrated framework that includes studying at college with the experience in an additional support need setting.

Course Content:

  • Principles of Practice
  • Theoretical Approaches to Learning
  • The Effects on Human Development
  • Graded Unit
  • Learning Approaches

Practical placement with children or adults who have additional support needs.

Go Anywhere

The HNC may provide employment opportunities for those working or wishing to work as an ASN support worker or assistant:

  • within a mainstream school or college
  • within a specialised school
  • within a range of social service care settings
  • within a range of community and/or third sector settings
  • HND Additional Support Needs

HNC Additional Support needs provides a comprehensive awareness which will prepare Students for employment. You will be provided with underpinning knowledge and practical skills which support safe and effective cares which may lead onto a route to employment as an Additional Needs Support Worker or Practitioner.

Click here to read Katie's story and why you should study for a career in additional support needs here

Related News

Health, Social Care and Early Years



Are you a great listener? Are you happiest when helping solve people’s problems? A career in counselling can be very rewarding and you can really make a difference to people’s lives.  If you enjoy helping people with their problems and want to make a positive difference to their lives, this could be the perfect job for you.

To become a counsellor you will need to able to build trust and make people feel relaxed. You will need patience and sensitivity. It is essential to be non-judgemental and be able to work with people from all backgrounds.  Life experience is highly valued.  In most cases you would counsel clients on their own and face-to-face, but you could also work with couples, families or groups, or counsel people over the phone or on the internet.

This course will allow you to understand various types of behaviour, including addiction and substance misuse. You will develop counselling skills to equip you to work with people affected by a range of issues.

Career opportunities include, focusing on particular areas, such as bereavement, adoption, couples' therapy or anger management.  There are also many voluntary opportunities available across the counselling sector.  Voluntary experience can be highly valuable and can lead to further training or paid work.

Health and Social Care

If you want to develop your knowledge of health and social care, or want to work in a caring profession, we have a range of courses that will inspire and challenge you whilst providing you with the skills you need.

Placements are a key part of our courses and will help you develop your understanding of the theory as well as improve your employability skills.  Our Access to Nursing course enables adult returners to prepare for degree level courses. Students who complete these courses successfully are guaranteed an interview at university.

The scope of the health services offered by the NHS is huge and there is a continual need for qualified and experienced staff to help with the provision of these services.

The number of social care workers in employment has increased dramatically and this trend is set to continue.  There are many career options in social care eg you could start your career as a care home assistant, but end up as a manager in a care home service for adults, a qualified social worker or a community based support worker.  This sector allows for rapid career progressions and advancement.

Our range of courses in health and social care will provide you with employment opportunities including residential care, day care, community care, or working in hospital settings as well as in the community.

Early Education

Working with children, especially young children, is demanding. But it is also very rewarding. If you pursue a career in early education, childcare or playwork you can make a real difference to the quality of children's lives and to their families.  For children to get a good start, they need to be looked after and educated by people with the right blend of skills and personal qualities. This sector is expanding and demand for qualified staff is set to rise.

High quality early education, childcare and playwork help children to get the best start in life, promoting all-round development in their important early years.  Quality services for children help parents as well, allowing them to balance work and family life. In Early Education, you would be planning and supervising learning and play, promoting children’s learning development, and monitoring and assessing each individual child’s progress and needs.

Our courses in early education provide hands-on training for those wishing to become an Early Years Practitioner, Playworker, or Education support Assistant.  Registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is available to students who successfully complete Early Education and childcare qualifications.

Our Access to Primary Education (SWAP – Scottish Widening Access Programme) enables students to prepare for degree level courses in Primary Education or a wide range of relevant vocational courses at college.  Career prospects are good, and while it is mostly women who are presently employed, it is important that more men join the sector as young children need male role models too.  Opportunities include working in a nursery, playworker, classroom assistant or child support worker.


Our latest videos/ Pictures can be viewed on :

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LATEST Health, social care and Early Years VIDEOS:

Angela dustor

Students from around the College presented to the Board of Management. They told their stories and the impact the college had made on their lives. Angela talks about her NC and HNC Social Care course here.

debbie maclachlan

Students from around the College presented to the Board of Management. They told their stories and the impact the college had made on their lives. Angela talks about her NC and HNC Health Care course here.





You can read more Student Stories from Health, Social Care and Early Years by clicking here


Elizabeth Pollock 

"It does not matter what age you are or what barriers you have to overcome, Ayrshire College will provide the right support for you." Read more about Elizabeth's story here.

Elizabeth Pollock, HNC Counselling


Jacqueline Bendoris

"After working in residential children’s units for many years, I came to college to work towards becoming a paediatric nurse.  The experience has been fantastic, and with huge support from lecturers, the course has been a stepping stone for me. I’m now at university, and one step closer to my dream job."
Read more about Jacqueline's story here

Jacqueline Bendoris, HNC Care and Administrative Practice


"It’s very important for children to have female and male role models, to help them develop, but also, for different kinds of understanding, interaction and play.  I’m passionate that more men should be encouraged to work in the industry."
Read more about Paul's story here. 

 Paul McGuffie, HNC Early Education and Childcare  


At Ayrshire College we understanding how important it is for care organisations to have a highly effective workforce.  Our short course programmes are designed to enhance the trainee’s skills and knowledge to enable them to implement their learning into their day to day practices.  Our tutors encourage trainees to share workplace challenges without breaching client confidentially; where possible they will try identify potential tools, techniques or further training that may be useful.

Health Care, Social Care and Early Years Courses

  •        SVQ 2 Social Services and Health Care
  •        SVQ 3 Social Services and Health Care
  •        SVQ 4 Social Services and Health Care
  •        SVQ 4 Leadership and Management of a Care Service
  •        Medical Terminology
  •        Infection Control
  •        Dementia Awareness
  •        Emergency First Aid
  •        First Aid at Work
  •        Mental Health First Aid

We also offer a wide range of other short courses and evening classes that may be of interest to you.  Please visit our Business Centre page for more information.

Our Health, Social Care and Early Years are short courses are offered throughout our Ayrshire Campuses however we are happy to deliver these on your premises or customise the content for you.  Call our Business Solutions Team on 0300 303 0303 option 4 to discuss your training requirements.