NC Creative Industries at SCQF level 5

NC Creative Industries at SCQF level 5

The National Certificate (NC) in Creative Industries at SCQF level 5 develops creative and technical skills relevant for employment within the creative industries and for progression to further learning. Topics covered include: digital media, general media, computer games development, music, drama/theatre, writing, visual communication and languages.

National Certificates are designed for full-time delivery over one year (part-time over two years) in further education colleges and are aimed at SCQF levels 3–6, usually as a precursor to Higher National Certificate and Diploma courses.

This qualification is widely available in colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

NCs bridge the progression gap from school attainment to Higher National and other study. They are suitable for school leavers and those seeking a route back into study at non-advanced level. They are trusted qualifications having been developed by practitioners with the support of the sector skills councils.

Although primarily envisaged as a full-time course, the NC in Creative Industries at SCQF level 5 can be offered on a part-time basis.

Much of the creative content for this NC could be enhanced through online learning, particularly with regard to creative industries which use electronic media such as gaming and social networking.

The qualification also offers opportunities to develop college partnerships.

Who does this qualification suit

The framework for this NC is designed to accommodate school leavers, adult returners who desire a change of career, and individuals who wish to further an existing interest in the creative industries fostered at an introductory level.

Those already at work in the creative industry sector at trainee level, who do not have a formal qualification, may benefit from the programme. Self-employed people who wish to expand and/or update their knowledge of the creative industries may also benefit by electing to take specific Units as continuing professional development.


The National Certificate in Creative Industries at SCQF level 5 is open to everyone but is particularly aimed at attracting young people, who may be recent school leavers, and mature adults re-entering education. Ideally, applicants should have a genuine interest in the creative industries that can be nurtured and developed over the course of the programme.

Access to this award will be at the discretion of the centre. It would be beneficial if candidates possessed one of the following:

  • three subjects at SCQF level 4 (while subjects such as Media Studies, Art & Design, Digital Media, and  ICT may have an obvious relevance, all subjects at SCQF level 4 will be considered)
  • equivalent qualifications from other countries, providing the competences can be identified and are appropriate. Where English is not the first language of the candidate, it is recommended that potential candidates possess English for Speakers of Other Languages, or equivalent, qualifications
  • a portfolio or digital evidence showing the applicant’s aptitude (accompanied by a personal statement). Centres may wish to offer places on the basis of interview


The National Certificate in Creative Industries at SCQF level 5 will give learners a platform from which they can progress to further and higher education. This may include progressing on to an SCQF level 6 NC in a specific subject specialism (for example, Acting and Theatre Performance, Art & Design, Media Studies) or to a HNC, HND or degree programme. In addition, successful candidates will be better equipped to work at an introductory level in the creative industries.


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

This NC is designed to increase the ability of candidates to create a portfolio through which they will gain the confidence to evaluate and critique their own work.

Each Unit is individually assessed and candidates will be expected to submit work to meet specified deadlines. Deadlines should be essential element of the delivery of the award, reflecting the importance placed on them within the creative industries generally.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

Group Award Code: GF87 45

This National Certificate in Creative Industries has six mandatory Units at SCQF level 5, and 16 optional Units at SCQF levels 5 and 6 (72 SCQF points) at SCQF level 6.

For further information on the Units and structure of the qualification please refer to the Group Award Specification.

Arrangements Documents

Return to NQGA Creative Industries subject page