Materials Selection SCQF Level 7

Developing your understanding of material properties and testing.


Why take this course?

This can be a mandatory Unit within HNC/HND Mechanical Engineering Group Award, or may be part of another Group Award or single HN unit. It is designed to provide you with a good knowledge and understanding of material properties and testing, allowing you to apply basic material selection concepts to a range of components. It also gives you the opportunity to examine materials and components with the aim of establishing basic properties.

Credit points and level: 1 HN credit at SCQF level 7: (8 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7)

What you will experience

You will study a range of material groups including metals, polymers, ceramics, natural, and composites materials. You will also develop essential knowledge and skills in the principles of material and component testing, which will be reinforced by two or more practical testing methods. By the end of the Unit you will be expected to justify your selection of materials for particular components; selected from a set range of components and materials. 

The formal assessments for this unit consist of an assessment paper covering outcomes 1, 2 and 3 lasting 1 hour 30 minutes and two laboratory assignments covering outcome 4. Laboratory reports will be written up in your own time. The assessment paper for outcomes 1, 2 and 3 will be conducted under closed book conditions in which you will not be allowed to take notes, textbooks etc. into the assessment. You will sit this assessment paper at the end of the unit.

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

Ideally you should have a basic knowledge and understanding of different material types, and of basic material testing techniques - this may have been achieved through completion of the following NQ Units:

  • Basic Engineering Materials
  • Engineering Materials: Properties and Treatments
  • Materials: Effects of Force and Protection

What you will need

Students are responsible for securing any 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 and additional information form for this course and return them 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

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:, 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.