Hydrogen: an Introduction for Technicians (SCQF level 7) PDA

Course code 009J

What is special about this course?

This course is aimed at anyone already employed in, or looking to pursue a career in, the energy sector, who wishes to gain a nationally recognised award. 

The modules cover the safe handling of hydrogen gas, and the operation and design of the systems used to produce, store, transport, convert, and consume hydrogen as an alternative fuel in a range of renewable energy sectors. You will also learn about the science behind what makes hydrogen suitable as an alternative fuel.

This PDA is the only nationally recognised qualification in Scotland dedicated to hydrogen, and is delivered by highly skilled and knowledgeable staff. The award has been designed in close consultation with the Scottish hydrogen sector, so you can be sure that the content is relevant, up to date, and in accordance with industry needs.

Special features

  • The only dedicated Hydrogen PDA in Scotland
  • Developed in partnership with leading employers and sector bodies in hydrogen developments
  • Taught by staff with extensive experience in hydrogen research
  • Suitable for both work-based & college-based candidates
  • Practical assignments can be completed on-site for work-based candidates 
  • Flexible study options

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above, PLUS National 5 Maths, Science and English OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above, PLUS GCSE Maths, Science and English 
  • Alternatively NC or HNC in a related discipline such as: Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Engineering Systems; Manufacturing Engineering; Measurement and Control Engineering
  • SVQ in Engineering Discipline such as Mechanical, Manufacturing or Electrical Engineering
  • Mature learners with suitable relevant work experience may be accepted for entry at the discretion of the centre

Year 1 - PDA

You will study the following core modules:

  • Safe hydrogen gas handling (SCQF level 6)
  • Operating principles of a hydrogen facility (SCQF level 7)
  • Design principles of a hydrogen system (SCQF level 8)

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video-conference lectures and tutorials and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • For candidates in employment, practical assignments will be undertaken on-site with supervisory staff providing oversight
  • For college based candidates, practical assignments will be simulated in labs and/or workshops

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time (structured): 5 months @ 7.5 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): up to 1 year

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Outer Hebrides

Start date

  • September
  • January
  • Flexible start dates are available - for information on these, and how to apply for them, please contact UHI Outer Hebrides


For information on costs of this course please contact the campus where you wish to study.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Hydrogen plant operation and maintenance
  • Engineering technician
  • Supervisory positions

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress from PDA Hydrogen: an Introduction for Technicians (SCQF level 7) to the following courses:

  • PDA Renewable Energy Systems
  • HNC Engineering Systems (subject to satisfactory interview)
  • SVQ Level 3 in Engineering Maintenance (sponsor required)
  • Other Engineering awards in Higher Education

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Hydrogen: an Introduction for Technicians (SCQF level 7) PDA

Please note that UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland will be changing their names to become UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023 or Jan/Feb 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.