HND Arboriculture and Urban Forestry

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HND in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC Arboriculture and Urban Forestry and covers areas such as managing sites for biodiversity, woody plant biology, woodland ecology, forestry policy and law and forest design.

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

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.

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 and HND Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 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
  • 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 2 or 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.


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

  • SVQ in Arboriculture at SCQF Level 6
  • SVQ in General Woodland and Forestry Treework at SCQF Level 6


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

HND Arboriculture and Urban Forestry

Group Award code: G93M 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Arboriculture and Urban Forestry at SCQF level 8 consists of 25 mandatory Units (200 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional Units (40 SCQF points).

Group Award Specification

Title: HND Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 
Code: G93M 16
Date: October 2008 (Version 2 January 2015)
Download: HND Arboriculture and Urban Forestry Arrangements Document