HNC Stringed Instrument Making and Repair

HNC Stringed Instrument Making and Repair

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC in Stringed Instrument Making and Repair (SCQF level 7) is a vocationally-specific qualification that is designed to develop a professional approach to stringed instrument making and repair through the use of woodwork machinery and jig making, and contemporary workshop practices that are found in the industry.

This qualification covers areas such as instrument inlay and sound hole cutting techniques, manufacture of instrument body components, jig making and wood machining.

This qualification is available through colleges. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete.

Why deliver this qualification

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.

Who does this qualification suit

The HNC Stringed Instrument Making and Repair is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • learners who have successfully completed the National Certificates in Stringed Instrument Making and Repair at SCQF levels 5 and/or 6
  • school leavers with an interest in pursuing a career in this field and with an appropriate selection of qualifications at National 5 or Higher
  • 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:

  • completion of NC Stringed Musical Instrument Making & Repair at SCQF level 6 — centres may choose to offer entry to holders of NC Stringed Musical Instrument Making & Repair at SCQF level 5 where experience can be demonstrated
  • relevant work experience

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


Those who complete the award could gain employment as repairers in music shops, instrument manufacturers and importers. There could also be opportunities to work for bands and orchestras as a technician. The skills that are gained could be used to move into other industries such as furniture making.


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 (510 KB).

How to assess

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.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

HNC Stringed Instrument Making and Repair

Group Award code: GM4D15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Stringed Instrument Making and Repair at SCQF level 7 consists of four mandatory units (48 SCQF credit points) and four or five optional units (48 SCQF credit points).

Group Award Specification