HNC Media and Communication

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC in Media and Communication (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as

research skills, writing for the media, analysing and delivering oral presentations, editing and proofreading, and law and the media. This qualification covers areas such as how the Scottish creative economy works, the role of the media in the Scottish creative economy, and how to promote yourself and your skills to secure work in the creative economy; it also includes a practical project.

This qualification is available at some colleges in Scotland. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete.

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 of these qualifications supports flexibility. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

There is a wide choice of optional units within the qualifications which will enable centres to offer programmes tailored to meet local needs.

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

The HNC Media and Communication 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 or want to work on a freelance basis


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications could include:

One from:

  • C824 76 Higher English, SCQF level 6
  • C827 76 English for Speakers of Other Languages, SCQF level 6
  • C832 76 Higher Gaidhlig, SCQF level 6
  • FA1W 12 Communication (NC) and FA58 12 Literature 1
  • F3GB 12 Communication (Core Skill), SCQF level 6
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6


  • other suitable Higher or SCQF level 6 qualification


  • other relevant qualifications or 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 Media and Communication can progress to the HND in Media and Communication (GR4D 16).

The HNC and HND in Media and Communication can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HNC in Media and Communication allows direct entry into the second year of relevant degree programmes, and the HND in Media and Communication allows direct entry to relevant third year degree programmes.

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.

Trainers, assessors and internal 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 for each unit.

There are also Support Notes provided in each unit regarding delivery and assessment.

HNC Media and Communication

Group Award code: GR4C 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Media and Communication at SCQF level 7 consists of 7 mandatory units (56 SCQF credit points) and optional units amounting to 40 SCQF credit points.

HNC Media and Communication mandatory units

4 code 2 code Unit title SQA credit SCQF credit points SCQF level
J2JR 34 Communication: Analysing and Delivering Complex Oral Presentations 1 8 7
J2HH 34 Editing and Proofreading Text 1 8 7
J2LD 34 Introduction to Working in the Creative Economy 1 8 7
J3J2 34 Law and the Media 1 8 7
J1NC 34 Research Skills 1 8 7
J1S4 34 Writing for the Media 1 8 7
J4DX 34 Graded Unit 1 1 8 7

G9C0 15 HNC Creative Industries: Media and Communication

This group award has been replaced and has entered into its lapsing period.

The finishing date for this qualification is 31 July 2023.

Centres should note that when a group award is entered into its lapsing period, the following will apply:

  • The group award will be deleted from the relevant catalogue.
  • The group award arrangement document will remain until the qualification reaches its finish date at which point it will be removed from SQA website and archived.
  • No new centres may be approved to offer the group award.
  • Centres should only enter candidates whom they expect to complete the group award during the defined lapsing period of three years (HNC) and four years (HND).