HNC/HND Professional Dance Performance

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC in Professional Dance Performance (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as choreography, audition preparation, company working and the contextualisation of dance. It focuses primarily on practical learning and development in a variety of dance disciplines.

It also develops learners' communication, self-evaluation, interpersonal, presentation and analytical skills, as well as professional attitudes which enhance employment prospects.

The HND in Professional Dance Performance (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC and it is also designed to develop and advance dance performance thorough working knowledge of the processes involved in preparing for audition.

This qualification is available through colleges and training providers. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete and an HND takes two years.

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.

There is a wide choice of optional Units which will enable centres to offer programmes of study tailored to meet local needs.

This HN provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

The HNC and HND Professional Dance Performance 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:

  • Relevant Units from an appropriate SQA NQ programme, eg Higher Dance: Classical, Higher Dance: Jazz, Higher Dance: Contemporary, Higher Dance: Alternative, Higher Dance: Choreography
  • Higher Dance Practice Course
  • Higher Dance Course ¿ available from August 2014
  • National Certificate (NC) in Dance ¿ available from August 2014
  • Relevant industry experience

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

Formal academic achievements will not be enough for entry. You may be expected to undertake a formal audition, in which you may be required to participate in a ballet class, jazz class and a commercial dance class.

If you have suitable work experience, you may be accepted for entry.

Progression and employment

Learners who achieve an HNC Professional Dance Performance can progress to the HND in Professional Dance Performance (GH06 16).

HNCs and HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study.

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have 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 Guide to Approval.

Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Assessment support packs will be available for a number of Units.

HNC Professional Dance Performance

Group Award code: GH05 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Professional Dance Performance at SCQF level 7 consists of seven mandatory Units (80 SCQF credit points) plus further Units or Unit from the optional section equivalent to 2 SQA credits (16 SCQF credit points).

HND Professional Dance Performance

Group Award code: GH06 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Professional Dance Performance at SCQF level 8 consists of 14 mandatory Units (168 SCQF credit points) plus further Units from the optional section equivalent to 9 SQA credits (72 SCQF credit points).

Qualification Verification Summary Reports were formerly known as Internal Assessment Reports.