National Certificate (NC)

NCs are vocationally focussed and they can equip you with the practical skills needed for work. After completing an NC, you can apply to progress to HNC/HND study or into the world of work.

Professional Development Award (PDA)

PDAs are designed for those who would like to broaden their knowledge and skillset in a career they are already working in. 

Higher National Certificate (HNC) / Higher National Diploma (HND)

HN courses are undergraduate courses which, when studied full time, take less time to complete than a degree. They often prepare you for a specific career and will provide you with the practical experiences and theoretical knowledge you will need for the world of work.

After studying for HN qualifications, students can either progress onto a degree course or move into employment.

A full time HNC lasts for 1 year and after completion, you can continue into year 2 or a related HND or degree, or leave to find employment. 

A full time HND lasts for 2 years and similarly, after completion, you can apply to progress into year 3 of a related degree or exit into employment. 

Undergraduate degree (BA/BA (Hons), BSc/BSc (Hons))

Undergraduate degrees are studied for 4 years full time. Alternatively, you can choose to leave after your third year, and you would receive a general degree. Degrees at SRUC are awarded in collaboration with our University partners; the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.

At SRUC, you can choose to study full-time or part-time for your degree, depending on the course. In many of our degree courses, if you choose to leave early, you can exit with the related HND. Likewise, we offer advanced entry into our degree courses for those already holding a related HN or similar qualification.

Postgraduate degree (MSc/PgDip)

After completing a bachelors degree, you may decide that you would like to further your education and study for a postgraduate degree. This is a good way to further your specialist knowledge or advance your career. At SRUC, we offer Masters (MSc) and Postgraduate Diplomas (PgDip) courses in collaboration with our University partners; the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.

Postgraduate courses can be taught or research degrees, to be studied full-time, or part-time distance learning, depending on the course.

Work-based learning 

Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQ's) are work-based qualifications and vary from levels 1-6. The qualifications combine studying with working, and evidence is submitted for the qualification, rather than formal written exams. The amount you need to attend college will vary depending on the course.

To study an SVQ, you must be employed or be able to secure a work placement. SVQs combined with other relevant certificates form a Modern Apprenticeship (MA).

Find out more about work-based learning.

City & Guilds

These are vocational courses, however, unlike SVQ’s, you don’t need to be currently employed.

Entry requirements

SRUC’s entry requirements are given in terms of current Scottish qualifications, but we accept a wide range of qualifications as comparable. Entry requirements for each course differ. To find out more information on this, head to the specific course page in the course catalogue , or over to the prospectus - page 100 has information on how English and Irish qualifications compare, for example.