HNC Landscape Management

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

The HNC in Landscape Management (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as constructing hard landscape features, the design process and composition, fundamentals of landscape surveying, plant recognition, and planting design for parks, gardens and public spaces.

This qualification will give learners the knowledge, understanding and practical skills required to work in the landscape management sector.

This HNC is 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.

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). 

The HNC Landscape Management 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:

  • appropriate groupings of National Units
  • an SVQ at Level 3 in a relevant area
  • relevant work experience

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

Progression and employment

Learners who achieve an HNC Landscape Management can progress to the HND in Landscape Management, HND in Garden Design or HND Horticulture.

HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HND in Landscape Management allows direct entry to some third year programmes.

The HNC will provide the knowledge and understanding and practical skills needed to work at a junior level in the sector.

Higher National qualifications also provide the knowledge and understanding required for related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). For example, SVQ Level 3 in Landscaping. 

What you'll learn?

The HNC Landscape Management will give you the knowledge and understanding and the practical skills you will need to work in the horticulture sector.

You will gain a broad knowledge of horticulture and landscape, and of employment sectors in horticulture. You will develop a familiarity with the main theoretical concepts and terminology, an outline knowledge of areas of specialism, and a growing appreciation of the evolving nature of knowledge and understanding of horticultural science and practices.

You will be introduced to research processes, and gain a clear understanding of the social relevance of horticulture and landscape. You will also develop you skills in problem-solving, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

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

Centres without devolved authority will have 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 Guide to Approval.

Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment support packs are available for this qualification from  SQA's secure website.

HNC in Landscape Management

Group Award code: GJ9M 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Landscape Management at SCQF level 7 consists of 6 mandatory Units (48 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional Units (48 SCQF credit points).

For further information on the Units and Structure of this qualification please refer to the Group Award Specification.

Group Award Specification (0.97 MB)