NC Music at SCQF Level 6

NC Music at SCQF Level 6

The National Certificate (NC) in Music at SCQF level 6 provides candidates with appropriate skills and knowledge in music performance, business, and technology. The NC is designed to meet the needs of candidates who wish to develop a foundation for progression to further study and to provide skills and knowledge appropriate to the music industry.

The Units allow opportunities for personalisation and areas for specialism. Candidates can follow different routes and can acquire skills and knowledge in particular fields depending on their needs and interests.

National Certificates (NCs) are designed for full-time delivery over one year (or part-time over two years) and are available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

The NC has the flexibility to allow for a number of different modes of delivery which can be tailored to suit an identified range of progression pathways. Study can be tailored to suit the pace and style of the candidate and it opens up the possibility of interdisciplinary working.

This qualification accommodates a diverse range of musical styles/genres and instruments. A number of Units are available at a range of levels. For example, a performing musician may complete the Unit Performing Music on One Instrument or Voice at SCQF level 5, 6 or 7. This allows centres and candidates to tailor the NC to suit their candidates’ particular abilities.

Who does this qualification suit

The NC in Music can appeal to a wide variety of potential candidates, including school leavers, adult returners or those working in the music industry. It is designed as a starting point for those interested in working in the music industry or as Continuous Professional Development for those already employed in the industry. This qualification can open up the possibility of continued study for candidates.


Access is at the discretion of the centre, though candidates should have an interest and some experience of music making and/or composing. Relevant work experience would also be acceptable.

It would be beneficial to have previous experience of a Music Course or Units such as Standard Grade Music or National Courses in Music: Performing or Music: Performing with Technology at Intermediate 1 or 2.

Some candidates may have relevant qualifications from school, such as Standard Grades at General or Credit level, which suggest that they could succeed at SCQF level 6. Others, particularly adult returners, may have suitable life or work experience which qualifies them to tackle Units at SCQF level 6.


The NC in Music allows candidates to progress to the HNC/HND Music programme. Given the high level of commonality between this NC and the NC in Sound Production, it is possible for successful candidates to progress to the HNC/HND Sound Production programme and HNC/HND Music Business programme.

The majority of successful candidates may progress to the HN Music or Music related programmes. However, candidates may go on to find employment performing as a band member, session musician or orchestral player, composing, in music promotion, management or teaching.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

The structure and Unit content allow for integrative and cross assessment. An integrated and linked delivery approach in centres will provide more meaningful learning experiences and promote an increased coherence between the Units.

Examples include the Music: Aural Skills Unit which lets candidates acquire skills in aural analysis. This Unit could link closely to Music: Literacy. Others include integrating Music: Organising A Community-based Musical Activity with a practical Unit such as Music: Live Performance.

The assessment strategy aims for a balanced approach, as well as complementary and supplementary methods of assessment which reflect the nature of the subject area. The majority of assessment is practical based.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award Code: G978 46 (72 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

Arrangements Documents NC Music at SCQF level 6 (230 KB)

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary NC Music at SCQF level 6 (759 KB) 


To achieve the NC in Music, candidates must complete seven mandatory Units and five optional Units.

Mandatory Units

Music: An Introduction to the UK Music Industry — F58J 12
Music: Aural Skills — F58L 11
Creative Project — F58F 12
Appreciation of Music — F58M 12
Music: MIDI Sequencing — F5DV 12

and any two Units from the following:
Performing Music on One Instrument or Voice — F3F4 12
Music: Live Performance — F5E5 12
Music: Composing — DV45 12
Music: Compositional Techniques — F5E9 12

Any other information

A number of the Units from this framework appear in the Music and Sound Production National Progression Awards (NPAs). Depending on the choice of Units, a candidate completing this NC may also potentially complete these NPAs:

NPA in Music Performing (G9L6 46)
NPA in Music Business (G9KN 46)
NPA in Sound Production: Recording (G9L4 46)
NPA in Sound Production: Live (G9L5 46)

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) are available for all mandatory Units and selected optional Units.

Unit Specifications

Unit Specifications can be accessed by entering the appropriate Unit code or title into the NQ Unit Search facility or site search engine.


Qualification Verification Summary Reports

2017 QVSR Music HN (167 KB)