• Early Years

    HNC Additional Support Needs

  • SCQF Level

    Level 7

  • Attendance/Duration

    Full time, one year

  • Start Date

    Aug 2022

Start Here

HNC Additional Support Needs (ASN) is a suitable qualification for people working or intending to work with children, young people and adults who have additional support needs.

A minimum of two relevant Highers, including English at Grade C or above and ideally National 5 Maths or Numeracy at Grade C or above, OR a relevant course at SCQF Level 6 (such as Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services Children and Young People) or equivalent such as: NC Higher Early Education and Childcare, NC Higher Health and Social Care, SVQ Social Services: Children and Young People (or equivalent), PDA Education Support Assistance.

The award prepares people to access a diverse range of progression routes to more advanced study or employment across the statutory services (Health, Education , Early Years and Social Work) and third sector agencies. Working in an ASN role requires patience and sensitivity however is very rewarding career.

The qualification allows registration with SSSC as a practitioner along with SVQ L3.

What's Involved

This course combines studying at college with hands on sector experience. Each week you’ll spend 2 days in college and 2 days on a placement which supports people with ASN, such as a specialist base within a mainstream school, a specialist school or a community/social services care setting.

Here’s more on what you’ll be doing:

  • You’ll develop knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles and philosophy of education and vocational needs for individuals with ASN. You’ll learn about current education and training, and support services available.
  • You’ll look at learning theory for supporting the development of individuals with ASN. You’ll examine the effects of disruption to the learning process in terms of cognitive, physical or social and emotional development.
  • You’ll explore in more detail the effects that ASN can have on aspects of development. You’ll investigate the effects of physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities, from birth to old age, and the associated difficulties.
  • You’ll look specifically at the nature and spectrum of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). You’ll learn about the support available for individuals with ASD, as well as therapies and interventions for improving the lives of people on the autistic spectrum.
  • You’ll learn how to manage the behaviour of learners with ASN. You’ll look at behaviour related to specific ASN, including learning disability and mental health issues.
  • You’ll look at potential communication problems which may be experienced by individuals with ASN and examine strategies and services to support them.

Go Anywhere

When you successfully complete this course, you’ll have the choice of:

  • Moving onto HND Additional Support Needs at eg Glasgow Clyde, West Lothian or Fife College

Seeking to start your career in the care sector you will be eligible to apply for role as an ASN Support Worker or Assistant within:

  • Early years sector
  • Residential Child Care Worker
  • a mainstream school or college
  • a specialised school
  • a range of social service care settings
  • a range of community and/or third sector settings
  • Learning Disability Nursing Degree at Caledonian University
  • BA Learning Difficulties/Disabilities Fife College/Abertay University


Take the next step in Early Years: Meet Alex McNamara. He started on our PDA Education Support Assistant course before progressing to HNC Additional Support Needs.

PDA Education Support Assistant student, Emily Kennedy, tells us what her job involves, and how the course has led to the first step in her new career.

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2022

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