HND Hospitality Management

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

The HND in Hospitality Management (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC Hospitality Operations and covers more managerial-level topics including finance, accommodation management, managing food and beverage operations, and managing human resources in a hospitality context. It also includes a period of practical work experience.

This qualification is available through colleges. Typically, an HND takes two years to complete.

Centre and Student Surveys

We are inviting centre staff and students to take part in short surveys to share feedback on the HN Hospitality qualifications:

Centre Survey: Hospitality Qualifications

Student Survey: HN Hospitality

The surveys will be available until 30 June 2024.  The information you provide will help us review and evaluate these qualifications, allowing us to ensure they remain relevant to future needs.

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 and/or employment.

The HND Hospitality 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 SCQF level 5 or 6  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

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

Higher National Qualifications also provide the knowledge and understanding required for related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) ¿ for example, SVQ in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership.

What you'll learn?

HND Hospitality Management helps candidates to gain an understanding of both supervisory and managerial roles within the hospitality industry, and the skills required for such roles. Candidates will learn to apply and integrate these skills and expand their knowledge across different hospitality management areas such as: the management of accommodation, accounting, human resource management, management of hospitality organisations, and management of food and beverage operations. Candidates will also gain an understanding of the structure and organisation of the industry, and its influence on the economy.

Candidates will develop knowledge and skills in the main operational areas, such as food and beverage service styles and techniques, and food hygiene and control systems. There are a significant number of optional Units to choose from, allowing candidates to develop their knowledge in other areas or to specialise in a chosen area relevant to future (or current) employment or progression within Higher Education.

Candidates will also be able to develop their planning, analysis, study, research and critical and evaluative thinking skills.

Centres interested in offering this qualification 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. The specific delivery requirements are set out in the Group Award Specification (Arrangements Document).

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.

Qualification content and delivery tools


HND Hospitality Management

Group award code: GR1G 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Hospitality Management at SCQF level 8 consists of 16 mandatory units (168 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional units (72 SCQF points).


This group award has been replaced and has entered into its lapsing period.

The finishing date for this qualification is 31 July 2024.

Centres should note that when a group award is entered into its lapsing period, the following will apply:

  • The group award will be deleted from the relevant catalogue.
  • The group award arrangements document will remain until the qualification reaches its finish date at which point it will be removed from SQA's website and archived.
  • No new centres may be approved to offer the group award.
  • Centres should only enter candidates whom they expect to complete the group award during the defined lapsing period of three years (HNC) and four years (HND).

HND Hospitality Management

Group Award code: GF4R 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

This HND in Hospitality Management consists of 16 mandatory Units (176 SCQF credit points) (22 HN credits) and the limited option sections comprise a minimum of 16 SCQF points (2 HN credits). A further 24-48 SCQF points (3-6 HN credits) from the optional Unit groupings are required depending on Units selected in the limited option groupings. Learners must achieve 30 credits (240 SCQF credit points) to gain this qualification.

For information on the structure of this qualification, please refer to the Group Award Specification (arrangements) document.