NC Sound Production

NC Sound Production

The National Certificate (NC) in Sound Production at SCQF level 6 provides candidates with appropriate skills and knowledge in sound production, music business and performance through a mix of mandatory Units and a wide range of optional Units. The framework has been deliberately kept broad so that candidates can follow different routes and can acquire skills and knowledge in particular fields depending on their needs and interests.

The NC is designed to meet the needs of those who require a foundation for progression to further study or potential employment.

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 in Sound Production appeals to a wide variety of potential candidates. Within the framework there are valuable opportunities for personalisation, choice and areas for specialism. The framework also offers the possibility of interdisciplinary working.

There is sufficient flexibility to allow for a number of different modes of delivery which can be adapted to suit an identified range of progression pathways.

A number of Units are available at different levels, such as Sound Engineering and Production and Music: MIDI Sequencing which are available at levels 5 and 6. This allows centres and candidates to tailor their NC to suit their particular abilities.

Who does this qualification suit

The NC in Sound Production is aimed at school leavers, adult returners or those working in the music industry. It is a starting point for those interested in working in the music industry or as Continuous Professional Development for those already employed in some capacity.

It is developed to accommodate a diverse range of musical styles/genres and instruments and could be the start of continued study.


Access is at the discretion of the centre, though candidates would benefit from previous experience of a Sound Production Course/Units or National Courses in Music: Performing with Technology at Intermediate 1 or 2.

Candidates would also be expected to have an interest and some experience of sound production. Relevant work experience would also be acceptable.

Some of the Units indicate prior attainment which would be useful. Some candidates may, for example, have relevant attainment such as Standard Grade at General or Credit level which suggests that they can successfully embark on a qualification at SCQF level 6. Others, particularly adult returners, may have suitable life or work experience which indicates that they will be able to tackle the Units.


The NC has been designed to allow candidates to articulate onto the HNC/HND Sound Production programme. Given the high level of commonality between this qualification and the National Certificate in Music, successful candidates could also possibly articulate onto the HNC/HND Music programme and HNC/HND Music Business programme.

The majority of those achieving the NC are likely to progress to HN Sound Production or HN Music related programmes. Successful candidates could possibly find employment in studio engineering, live sound engineering, sound design or technical support.


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 content of the NC in Sound Production have been developed to allow for integrative and cross assessment. The use of an integrated and linked delivery methodology provides more meaningful learning experiences and promotes an increased coherence between the Units.

The assessment strategy aims for a balanced approach to assessment 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: G977 46 (72 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

Arrangements Documents - NC Sound Production at SCQF level 6 (116 KB)

Framework - NC Sound Production at SCQF level 6 (43 KB)

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary - NC Sound Production at SCQF level 6 (774 KB) 


The Course comprises seven mandatory Units and a further five Units selected from Option Groups A and B, a minimum of three which must come from Group A.

Mandatory Units

Music: An Introduction to the UK Music Industry — F58J 12
Sound: Understanding the Signal Path — F58G 12
Creative Project — F58F 12
Appreciation of Music — F58M 12
Music: MIDI Sequencing — F5DV 12
Sound Engineering and Production — F58H 12
Digital Media: Audio Editing — F1KT 11


Any other information

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) are available for all mandatory Units and selected optional Units. These are available to download from SQA’s secure website.

A number of the Units from this framework appear in Music and Sound Production National Progression Awards. Depending on the selection of Units, a candidate completing this NC may also potentially achieve:

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)


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

A number of the Units have accompanying Assessment Support Packs (ASPs). Please contact your SQA Co-ordinator to access these. 

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

2017 Qualification Verification Summary Report HN Music Technology (162 KB)