fe HNC/HND Visual Communication - SQA

HNC/HND Visual Communication

HNC/HND Visual Communication

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

The HNC in Visual Communication (SCQF level 7) provides an opportunity for learners to prepare themselves for a career within the creative industries, for example in areas such as graphic design, illustration, and new media. The qualification develops knowledge and skills in visual communication, through in-depth study of the design industry.

The HND in Visual Communication (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete and an HND takes two years.

This qualification is available through colleges.

Why study this qualification

The HNC and HND in Visual Communication 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


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • SQA National Units and Qualifications in relevant areas at Higher level
  • GCSE A level in Art and Design-related subjects and other relevant GCE awards

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

Employment and progression

Learners who achieve an HNC in Visual Communication (GG3E 15) can progress to the HND in Visual Communication (GG3F 16).

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

Higher National qualifications also provide the knowledge and understanding required for entry to related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).