Electrical Installation Design SCQF Level 8

An in-depth introduction to the design process for electrical installations.


Why take this course?

This Unit has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of the design of electrical installations. If you already have some working knowledge of electrical installations, some of these design concepts may be familiar to you. If, on the other hand, this is your first contact with electrical installations and their design, the Unit should provide you with an understanding of the design methods and their relationship to the relevant British Standard, current BS 7671.

What you will experience

A key factor in any Unit related to the use of electrical energy is safety, and this emphasised in the design of an electrical installation. The design of an electrical installation must provide for the safety of the persons using the electrical equipment in the facility and must also protect the facility itself against the risk of fire. In order to achieve this, the ‘Wiring Regulations’ current (BS 7671) set out various requirements relating to the methods of installation of cables, conductors and equipment and to the protection of circuits against overheating should faults occur. An important addition to this is also the protection of persons against the risk of electric shock.

Outcome 1 deals at length with the terminology used in relation to overcurrent protection and an analysis of the devices used to protect circuits against currents above the expected value for that circuit. It considers the factors to be taken into account when choosing the most appropriate overcurrent protection device.

Outcome 2 considers the requirements for earthing the installation as one method of reducing the risk to persons of electric shock. It outlines the requirements of current BS 7671 in relation to an analysis of shock prevention and considers how this is achieved in practice.

Outcome 3 analyses the factors to be considered when selecting cables for given load and environmental conditions. The cable must have a sufficient cross-sectional area to carry the circuit current and the type of cable and its method of installation must be such that it will not suffer damage or degradation during its normal lifetime. The requirements of current BS 7671 are also very important in the choice of cables for given conditions and emphasis is placed on these requirements.

Outcome 4 brings together all the strategies and concepts developed in the previous Outcomes and allows you to carry out a simple design exercise. You will be given a limited specification for part of an installation and asked to select the cable sizes, types of cable, switchgear, earthing arrangements and installation methods and to produce documentation to support your work. This design exercise will be assessed and will give you the confidence to undertake installation design under practical working condition.


female wearing blue overalls and protective glasses

Key facts

Mode of study
Distance Learning
Method of study

This course requires you to manage your workload independently, and will involve attendance at a campus or centre - often for assessment purposes only.

Subject area

Entry requirements

Candidates should have a broad knowledge and understanding of the design of electrical power distribution systems, the installation of electrical wiring systems, apparatus and cabling and the testing of electrical installations. This may be evidenced by possession of Electrical Installation Units from the National Certificate(s) in Electrical Engineering.

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




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.

Duration Fees* Code
40 Hours over 6 Months £125.00
Paper applications only

Paper applications

You must submit a paper application form for this course and return it to us completed and signed.

Completed forms should be returned to the following freepost address:

The Student Information & Admissions Manager
North East Scotland College
Aberdeen City Campus

Should you have any problems with your application, please contact the Student Advice Centre:

Telephone: 01224 612330
Email: enquiry@nescol.ac.uk

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.