HNC Fashion Make-up

Newly launched in 2018, HNC Fashion Make-up recognises the growth and diversity of the fashion make-up industry.

Higher National Qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Fashion Make-up (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge, skills, and sound understanding along with practical expertise in all aspects of fashion make-up, thereby enabling candidates to work confidently and competently within this industry.

This qualification covers areas such as essential make-up skills, runway and editorial make-up and hair skills, make-up and hairstyling for a photoshoot, eyelash enhancements, and eyebrow artistry.

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

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.

The wide choice of optional units enables centres to offer courses tailored to meet local needs.

The HNC in Fashion Make-up 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:

  • a National Certificate in Make-up Artistry at SCQF level 6
  • occupationally relevant skills and experience
  • an SVQ at SCQF levels 5 or 6 in an appropriate subject

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

Progression and employment

The HNC in Fashion Make-up allows progression into an HNC/HND in Make-up Artistry. Learners who successfully complete the qualification may progress to employment within the fashion, or commercial make-up industry.

Higher National Qualifications also provide the knowledge and understanding required for related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs); for example, the SVQ in Beauty Therapy: Make-Up at SCQF levels 5 and 6.

Centres without devolved authority are required 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.

Centres interested in offering this qualification require to come forward for approval and should contact SQA's Business Development Team for guidance.

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.

Group Award code:  GP17 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Fashion Make-up at SCQF level 7 consists of seven mandatory units (80 SCQF credit points) and two optional units (16 SCQF credit points).

Group Award Specification for: HNC Fashion Make-up (510 KB)