fe HND Biotechnology - SQA

HND Biotechnology

HND Biotechnology

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

The HND in Biotechnology at SCQF level 8 will prepare candidates for employment at technician or professional level in research and industrial laboratories.

Learners develop a range of contemporary vocational skills relating to the use, support and development of biotechnological, chemical, therapeutics, diagnostics, agriculture, veterinary and environmental systems.

This qualification provides the student with a sound academic basis for progression to further studies in biotechnology-related disciplines.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and some universities. Typically, an HND takes two years.

Why study this qualification

The HND in Biotechnology is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

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


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

  • an SVQ at Level 2 or 3 in a relevant area
  • relevant work experience
  • one science Higher and not fewer than three Standard Grade 3 passes, including Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology or Human Biology and Mathematics.
  • National Qualification in an appropriate Science and Maths programme, such as Access to Science. Candidates should preferably possess some Units at Higher level
  • qualifications comparable to the above, gained through other awarding bodies, such as GCSE, City & Guilds, Edexcel

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

Employment and progression

Learners who achieve a HND in Biotechnology (G7YC 16) can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HND in Biotechnology allows direct entry to most third year programmes.

Higher National qualifications also provide the knowledge and understanding required for related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).

Typical job opportunities include posts in:

  • industrial research and development laboratories
  • quality assurance laboratories
  • college, university and research institute laboratories and local authority laboratories
  • supervision and control of production processes in a wide range of industrial sectors including: chemical; bio-medical; pharmaceutical; food processing; textiles; bio-technology; and soft drinks, brewing and distilling

The health care industry offers a wide range of technician posts including (following further training): perfusionist; phlebotomist; cytoscreener; immunology research technician; biotechnology research technician; forensic science technician.

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