HNC/HND Advertising and Public Relations

HNC/HND Advertising and Public Relations

The HNC Advertising and Public Relations enables candidates to develop vocational strengths and a sound academic background to allow them to progress to employment or Higher Education. Employment could be in a range of relevant and/or related advertising, PR and media roles in organisations/companies in both the private and public sector including advertising agencies; media buying organisations; PR consultancies; design, sales promotion advertising and direct marketing organisations; and sales departments; internal PR operations; internal advertising departments and internal marketing departments of larger organisations.

On completion of the HND in Advertising and PR, candidates will be equipped to gain employment in a wide range of advertising, PR and media roles at a trainee manager or executive level along the lines of market research, advertising, Public Relations (PR), selling, media, event management and customer service in organisations/companies in both the private and public sectors as outlined in the HNC paragraph above. There are also progression routes to a range of related degree courses and/or qualifications with professional bodies such as CIM; CAM and CIPR

Update Letters


Why deliver this qualification

The HNC and HND in Advertising and PR have been designed to provide candidates with the skills and competences which will allow them to pursue a range of opportunities in employment, higher education and professional development.

Unit options allow candidates to prepare for a career, or further studies, in a number of related areas, eg marketing, public relations, sales administration, advertising, market research, event management, media, copywriting.

Some features of the HNC/D are:

  • it provides skills, knowledge and capabilities needed for employment
  • candidates can progress to higher education or professional qualifications
  • it enhances career prospects in all areas of advertising, PR and marketing

Who does this qualification suit

The HNC/HND in Advertising and PR are suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • candidates progressing from suitable NQ awards
  • adult returners to education
  • candidates in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects


Access to the HNC and HND in Advertising and PR is at the discretion of the centre. The following recommendations are for guidance only:

  • appropriate groupings of National Units, for example those focussing on advertising and PR, media studies or creative technology
  • any two National Qualifications at Higher level (preferably including English) together with three Standard Grade passes at 3 or above
  • an SVQ at level 2 or 3 in a relevant area
  • different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, Vocational Qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable
  • relevant work experience (which could be established through a written application or one-to-one interview etc)
  • for candidates where English is not their first language it is recommended that they possess English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) level 5 or a score of at least 5.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Candidate Information

HNC Advertising and Public Relations

The HNC Advertising and Public Relations enables candidates to develop vocational strengths and a sound academic background to allow them to progress to employment or Higher Education. Find out more

HND Advertising and Public Relations

The aim of the HND is to give candidates opportunities to develop actual skills to enable them to obtain a career with Advertising agencies (both full service and above the line), Media Buying Organisations and Public Relations and Marketing Consultancies etc or to progress to Higher Education (eg degrees in advertising, marketing, media, communications etc) and/or Professional qualifications. Find out more


The HNC/D in Advertising and PR offers candidates a wide range of articulation routes to Year 1 or Year 2 of Degree courses. Whilst the range of Degree courses on offer can change from year to year, entry usually depends on a satisfactory UCAS reference and the grade received for the Graded Units. Typical relevant Degree courses include

  • BA in Public Relations and Marketing and BA in Public Relations and Media from Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh
  • BA in Marketing (plus other combinations) from Strathclyde University, Glasgow
  • BA in Marketing and BA in Media and Communications from Glasgow Caledonian University
  • BA in International Marketing (plus other combinations) from West of Scotland University, Paisley
  • BA in Communications with Public Relations from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
  • Range of combined Degrees, eg in Business Studies; Advertising; Marketing and Communications from University of Ulster

Furthermore, there are also progression opportunities to qualifications from a range of professional bodies such as:

  • Advanced Certificate and/or Diploma in Public relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
  • Introductory Certificate in Marketing; Professional Certificate and/or Diploma in Marketing or Professional Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
  • Diploma in Marketing Communications; Diploma in Digital Marketing or or Diploma in Managing Digital Marketing from Communication and Marketing Foundation (CAM) 
  • Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) qualifications


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

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Specific information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment are contained within each Unit and in the Arrangements Document.

Candidates will also be assessed in relation to a Graded Unit(s) towards the end of their programme. The purpose of the Graded Unit is to assess the candidate’s ability to retain and integrate the knowledge and skills gained in the mandatory Units, and to assess that the candidate has met the principal aims of the Group Award.

The Graded Units are:

Advertising and PR: Graded Unit 1 — FN3H 34
Advertising and PR Graded Unit 2 — FN3G 35

Further information on the availability of assessment exemplars and support packs can be found at the SQA subject homepage for HNC/HND in Advertising and PR

Where can you take this course?

Group Award Specification

Title: HNC and HND Advertising and Public Relations
Code: GC84 15 and GC85 16
Date: Version 21 (July 2018)
Download: HNC and HND Advertising and Public Relations Arrangements Document (771 KB)

Related links