HNC/HND Technologies in Business

Higher National Qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

The HNC Technologies in Business is designed to address the business need for multi-skilled individuals possessing the IT, business and inter-personal skills required for the digital economy.

The HND Technologies in Business is designed for learners who wish to pursue a business career in the digital economy. The award provides the essential and highly sought after mix of technology and business skills that enables progress to further academic and professional qualifications before embarking on a career in a diverse range of business areas within the public and private sector.

The awards consist of a core-and-option structure. The composition of mandatory units together with a wide range of options encompassing IT, software and systems, infrastructure, business and languages is designed to appeal to a wide range of potential learners.

These qualifications are available through colleges, training providers and some universities. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete and an HND takes two years.

This subject will not have alternative assessment guidance for session 2023-24. You should refer to the Group Award/Unit specifications for detailed delivery and assessment information. For general support on delivery and assessment see the HNVQ assessment guidance 2023-24.

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.

The unit-based structure supports flexibility. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

The HNC and HND awards will prepare learners for entry to a wide range of positions. Depending on their area of specialisation, they could develop a career in the following areas:

  • IT management
  • project management
  • business analysis
  • technology consultancy
  • data management

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

The HNC and HND Technologies in Business are suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • two National Qualifications at Higher level (including at least one from Computing Science, Business Management, English or Mathematics) and three relevant National 5 qualifications or equivalent
  • National Certificate in Computing with Digital Media at SCQF level 6
  • Other appropriate National Certificates at SCQF level 6
  • SVQ/CBQ at Level 3 in a relevant area
  • Different combinations of National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies 
  • Other equivalent qualifications or experience plus
  • good communication and analytical skills  

Progression and employment

Learners who achieve an HNC Technologies in Business can progress to the HND in Technologies in Business.

Learners who have achieved the HND Technologies in Business may be able to progress to some university degree courses. Please see the group award specification for more information. 

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.

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment support packs will be available for this qualification.


HNC Technologies in Business

Group award code: GN5N 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Technologies in Business at SCQF level 7 consists of eight mandatory units (64 SCQF credit points) and four optional units (32 SCQF credit points).

HND Technologies in Business

Group award code: GN5P 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Technologies in Business at SCQF level 8 consists of 16 mandatory units (128 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional units (112 SCQF credit points).