College & university qualifications explained
SRUC offers many different academic levels of courses, and you can progress from one to another to create your own learning pathway.
National Certificate (NC)
NC’s are vocationally focussed and they can equip you with the practical skills needed for work. After completing an NC, you can progress to HNC/HND study or into the world of work.
Professional Development Award (PDA)
PDA's are designed for those who would like to broaden their knowledge and skillset in a career they are already working in.
Higher National Certificate (HNC) / Higher National Diploma (HND)
HN courses are undergraduate courses which, when studied full time, take less time to complete than a degree. They often prepare you for a specific career and will provide you with the practical experiences and theoretical knowledge you will need for the world of work.
After studying for HN qualifications, students can either progress into university or move into employment.
A full time HNC lasts for 1 year and after completion, you can progress to an HND, 2nd year at university or into employment.
A full time HND lasts for 2 years and after completion, you can progress into 3rd year at university or into employment.
Undergraduate degrees are studied for 4 years full time. Alternatively, you can choose to leave after your third year, and you would receive a degree without honors. Degrees at SRUC are awarded in collaboration with our University partners; the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.
At SRUC, you can choose to study full-time or part-time for your degree, depending on the course.
After completing a bachelors degree, you may decide that you would like to further your education and study for a postgraduate degree. This is a good way to further your specialist knowledge or advance your career. At SRUC, we offer Masters (MSc) and Postgraduate Diplomas (PgDip) courses in collaboration with our University partners; the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.
Postgraduate courses can be taught or research degrees, to be studied full-time, or part-time distance learning, depending on the course.
Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
Many of our courses have a qualification in the course title, for example Higher National Certificate (HNC), followed by a level from The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), such as Level 7.
The SCQF interactive framework helps make the relationships between qualifications and the level reached clearer for employers, universities and colleges. Visit the SCQF website for more information.
Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQ's) are work-based qualifications and vary from levels 1-6. The qualifications combine studying with working, and evidence is submitted for the qualification, rather than formal written exams. The amount you need to attend college will vary depending on the course.
To study an SVQ, you must be employed or be able to secure a work placement.
City & Guilds
These are vocational courses, however, unlike SVQ’s, you don’t need to be currently employed.
SRUC’s entry requirements are given in terms of current Scottish qualifications, but we accept a wide range of qualifications as comparable. Entry requirements for each course differ, to find out more information on this head to the specific course page or request a prospectus.