SQA Advanced Certificate/Diploma Art and Design

The SQA Advanced Certificate and Diploma in Art and Design (SCQF levels 7 and 8 respectively) covers areas such as observational drawing, developmental drawing, the creative process, portfolio production, and art and design presentation.

This qualification is available through a growing number of colleges and universities around the world. Typically, an SQA Advanced Certificate takes one year to complete and an SQA Advanced Diploma takes two years.

Why deliver this qualification

SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas 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 flexible delivery. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

Who does this qualification suit

Who does this qualification suit?

The SQA Advanced Certificate and Diploma in Art and Design is suitable for a wide range of learners 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 decided by the college, university or learning provider. As a guide, they will look for:

  • school-leaving qualifications equivalent to RQF/CQFW  level 6
  • a centre-devised test which shows the learner's ability to study at SQA Advanced Certificate/Diploma level
  • relevant work experience


The SQA Advanced Diploma in Art and Design can provide advanced entry to degree-level study. For further information please refer to the SQA university agreements.

Offer this qualification

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

Centres without devolved authority 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.

How to assess

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply. 

Qualification structure

SQA Advanced Certificate in Art and Design

Group award code: GN0P 47 (96 SCQF credit points)

SQA Advanced Diploma in Art and Design

Group award code: GM8M 48 (240 SCQF credit points)

For information on the structure of this qualification, please refer to the group award specification.

Group award specification

Unit Specifications