HNC/HND Building Surveying

HNC/HND Building Surveying

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

The HNC in Building Surveying (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as building maintenance technology, inspection and services in large buildings, construction materials and specifications, construction technology (industrial/commercial superstructure and substructure), building measurement, and cost studies.

The HND in Building Surveying (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC and covers construction site surveying, construction technology (domestic construction), conversion and adaptation of buildings, structural mechanics, Scottish law for construction, statutory control of buildings, and surveying historic buildings.

At both levels, candidates will gain contemporary vocational skills including study, research, analysis, planning and organisational skills. They will also learn to take responsibility for their own learning and develop abilities to be flexible and to work co-operatively with others.

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.

Alternative assessment guidance

The following optional guidance can be used to support delivery and assessment as an alternative to the approaches outlined in the Group Award / Unit specification.

Optional assessment guidance 2023-24

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. This qualification was developed in partnership with Chartered Institute of Builders.

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

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 HNC programme is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • school leavers
  • learners progressing from a lower level award in Building Surveying or  a closely related discipline
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects

The HND programme is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • school leavers
  • learners progressing from an HNC in Building Surveying or HNC Built Environment or a closely related discipline
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre

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

Progression and employment

Learners who achieve an HNC Building Surveying can progress to the HND in Building Surveying.

HNCs and HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HNC in Building Surveying allows direct entry into the second year of most degree programmes, and the HND in Building Surveying allows direct entry to most third year programmes.

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

  • HNC Building Surveying supports the learning within SVQ 3 and SVQ 4 Construction: Technical Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks
  • HND Building Surveying support learning in the SVQ 4 Construction: Technical Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks


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.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.
Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

Group Award code: GJ5J 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Building Surveying at SCQF level 8 consists of 27 mandatory Units (216 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional Units (24 SCQF points).

For further information on the structures and units of these qualifications please refer to the Group Award Specification document.

Group Award Specification

Construction Graded Units: reduction of evidence requirements