HNC/HND Fashion Business

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC in Fashion Business (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as fashion merchandising, public relations and retail buying. The HND in Fashion Business (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC and also covers fashion forecasting, marketing research and corporate store image.

This qualification also covers areas such as fashion show management, e-commerce, developing skills for personal effectiveness and sales planning.

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

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 HNC and HND in Fashion Business 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
  • any two National Qualifications at Higher, together with three passes at National 3 or above
  • 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.

Progression and employment

Learners who achieve an HNC in Fashion Business can progress to the HND in Fashion Business.

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

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

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

Centres without devolved authority must 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.

Each individual unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for each unit.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

HNC in Fashion Business

Group award code: GM14 15

HNC in Fashion Business at SCQF level 7 consists of 8 mandatory units (80 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional units (16 SCQF credit points).

HND in Fashion Business

Group award code: GM15 16

HND in Fashion Business at SCQF level 8 consists of 17 mandatory units (192 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional units (48 SCQF credit points).