HNC/HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology

HNC/HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC and HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology give learners the opportunity to develop the practical skills and underpinning knowledge of architectural technology, as well as the use of CAD for the production of 3-dimensional architectural models and 2-dimensional drawings.

The qualifications cover areas such as architectural CADT principles and practice; residential design; form, order and composition; and CAD user systems.

Optional units include statutory control of buildings; building information modelling; and digital collaboration practices.

The Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology qualifications are available through colleges. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete and an HND takes two years.

Why deliver this qualification

Higher National qualifications have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry — so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

There is a wide choice of optional units which will enable centres to offer courses tailored to meet local needs.

This HN provides progression routes to further study (see Progression). 

Who does this qualification suit

The qualifications are aimed at learners wishing to pursue a career working in the construction sector as an architectural technician/technologist, or wishing to upgrade and/or broaden their existing skills set. This could include:

  • school leavers
  • learners studying related subject areas such as engineering, construction and design related disciplines at NC level
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • people changing direction/seeking a career change
  • part-time learners wishing to broaden skills and knowledge


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, learners would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • NC or HNC in a related discipline — this could include but is not limited to the NC Computer Aided Design and Technology, NC Built Environment, NC in an Engineering discipline or HNC Construction
  • at least one Higher level pass, with appropriate supporting passes at Standard Grade Credit/National 5 or equivalent in appropriate subjects —Maths, English, Product Design, Graphic Communication and/or a science subject would be desirable
  • SVQ in Construction or Engineering related discipline

Different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.


Learners who achieve an HNC Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology can progress to the HND.

The HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology can provide progression to degree-level study.

Employment opportunities exist within the architectural engineering and construction (AEC) sectors as CAD technicians and junior designers.


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

Centres without devolved authority require 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 Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

How to assess

Each individual unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for each unit.

Assessment support packs will be developed in 2016 for mandatory units within the HNC and HND.

Qualification content and delivery tools


Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

HNC Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology

Group award code: GL5D 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology at SCQF level 7 consists of seven mandatory units (80 SCQF credit points) and two optional SQA credits (16 SCQF credit points).

HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology

Group award code: GL5E 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology at SCQF level 8 consists of 16 mandatory Units (176 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional units (64 SCQF points).

Group Award Specification

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material


Information about the qualification(s)

Group award specification


HNC/HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology


G90K 15 and G95E 16


December 2008


HNC/HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology Arrangements Document

This group award has been replaced and has entered into its lapsing period. The finishing date for this qualification is 31/07/2019 (HNC) and 31/07/2020 (HND).

Centres should note that when a group award is entered into its lapsing period, the following will apply:

  • the group award will be deleted from the relevant catalogue
  • the group award arrangements document will remain until the qualification reaches its finish date at which point it will be removed from SQA’s website and archived
  • no new centres may be approved to offer the group award
  • centres should only enter candidates whom they expect to complete the group award during the defined lapsing period of 3 years (HNC) and 4 years (HND)

Useful links

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