HNC Additional Support Needs: Supporting the Individual is designed to provide you with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge required to become an effective professional in the area of learning support, working with children, young people or adults in an educational setting, such as a nursery, school, college or specialist educational provision. 

This course is intended to provide a progression route for those who wish to continue to study in the area of additional support needs (ASN). You will undertake a placement for two days per week between September and June to give you practical experience in working in this sector. Placements can be in a range of settings and are physically demanding, fitness to practice will be discussed before any placement commences.

Successful completion of the course will also enable you to seek employment and register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) at Practitioner level. Visit the SSSC for more information about registration requirements.

  • Within the practical placement, you will have the opportunity to apply your learning within an educational setting supporting individuals with additional support needs. This will enable you to develop an understanding of your professional role in relation to supporting children, young people or adults with additional support needs, educational practice, national guidelines and social policy, such as Curriculum for Excellence; Health and Social Care Standards, My Support My Life; Codes of Practice, etc.
  • Further skills developed include: problem solving, practical ways to support children and adults with additional support needs and increased academic writing skills.
  • One year full-time.
  • ASN: principles of practice
  • ASN: theoretical approaches to learning
  • ASN: the effects on human development
  • ASN: workplace practice
  • ASN: Graded Unit 1
  • Other optional units

One of the following:

  • Two Highers at Grade C or above, 1 of which should be English.
  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Social Services (Children and Young People) or Health and Social Care SCQF Level 6 PLUS Higher English grade C or above. 
  • Another qualification at SCQF Level 6 in a related subject such as Social/Health Care, Humanities, or Social Sciences.
  • Relevant industry experience and/or other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.


  • You will also require a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course.

  • HND: Additional Support Needs: Managing and Supporting the Services SCQF Level 8.
  • It is possible to progress on to a degree at university from this course - see our HE and Degree Pathways guide for more information.
  • Educational assistant within special education.
  • Support worker in training/residential environments for people with learning difficulties/disabilities.
  • Learning support assistant.
  • Students are required to purchase stationery and textbooks at an approximate total value of £150 and have access to the internet and ICT equipment to complete online study and submit assessments. 
  • You may be required to take part in an informal conversation as part of the application process. This group/individual conversation may be an information session, a portfolio discussion, or a skills based exercise.
  • PVG scheme membership (can be acquired through the college).