Our HND is a full-time, pathway-specific course partially funded by SAAS (Scotland), suitable for all disciplines. A 2-year course encompassing our HNC as its first year. Curated and delivered by professionals and accredited by Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) it is available in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Both centres boast state-of-the-art teaching & rehearsal rooms, MAC suites, recording studios and a team of dedicated tutors. Our unique draw has always been supporting students with their chosen pathway and this year we are thrilled to be offering Hip-Hop for the first time.

Curated for, and by, modern musicians.

All our tutors work in music and the course is delivered by and written by professionals. With that comes community, common goals and an immediate industry focus you won’t get elsewhere. Get serious about your music with our HND.

Keen to get ahead?

Plus if you’re keen to get ahead, we have a Fast-Track option available for 2021: Fast-Track your way through the first year of the course – complete the HNC part of the course in just 7 months – and be ready to start the HND in August/September 2021!

hnd higher national diploma scotland
  • Undertake a key role in a band
  • Engage in a recorded music performance
  • Gain experience as a session musician
  • Compose and perform your own music
  • Collaborate with others to create original music
  • Develop and refine your lyric writing skills
  • Develop and refine your song writing and lyric skills
  • Improve your live performance and production
  • Gain experience as a hip-hop artist
Course Details

The 2 year course (HNC as year 1) includes pathway-specific tuition with professional musicians. Students will gain a comprehensive knowledge of the music industry and get the opportunity network, and to perform and organise gigs in collaboration with other musicians. Students will get the chance to compose, arrange and record their own music using industry standard software, and get exclusive access to our Higher Education enrichment programme and masterclasses.

Course Units

Year 1 (HNC)

Music History 1
Creative Industries Infrastructure
Music First Study 1: Instrument
Live Performance Skills
Music: Instrumental Accompaniment (Glasgow)
Songwriting 1
Graded Unit 1: Music
Music Theory 1
Professional Practice
Stagecraft for Musicians
Working in Creative Industries
Music Second Study 1: Composition
Music Sequencing (Edinburgh)

Year 2

Music First Study 2: Instrument
Graded Unit 2: Music
Music Industry Digital Communication
Music: Live Performance Skills 2
Music: Session Skills
Music for the Visual Arts
Music and Image for Video
Music Research Project
Instrumental Instruction: An Introduction
Music Second Study 2: Composition
Entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries
NEW: Hip-Hop and Rap pathway option


Many of our students are now working in music, find out more on our alumni page. There are countless career opportunities for musicians including performing, writing and recording music, releasing music on streaming platforms, teaching, radio & TV production and more. During the HND, besides industry networking, students will gain transferable skills like communication, personal development and teamwork. Students can progress to a BA (Hons) top-up at Level 6.


So many of us have lost out on gigs and opportunities this year, and while things are difficult, a music qualification might just be the edge you need. Those after something a little different from a music qualification look no further than our fast-track HNC scheme.  The partially SAAS funded HNC in Music (at Edinburgh only) is specifically designed to help musicians get ahead and give them an edge in a competitive industry, and could be the perfect opportunity for those musicians feeling a little lost this year.

Through our Fast-Track scheme you can get a qualification in just 7 months, fast-tracking your way to the start of a HND starting in Autumn 2021 – your ticket to getting a full degree in just one third of the time. With the sector facing some of its biggest ever challenges, this might just be the ideal time to expand your skill set, and develop your expertise. Because if not now… When?

  • Level: 4 & 5
  • Length: 2 year
  • Fees: Partially SAAS Funded
  • Study Locations: Edinburgh • Glasgow

Audition & Interview

Our qualifications require a successful audition and interview to enrol onto a course, but don’t be nervous! The auditions are on a 1-1 basis to assess your future potential to see what you can do, rather than what you can’t. It’s a great chance for you to see the centre, meet our fantastic tutors and ask any questions. You’re coming to us to learn and improve your skills, so we appreciate everyone has their strengths.

In these uncertain times, our centres are still taking applications and arranging auditions. Auditions are now carried out virtually using a combination of video calls and digital portfolio submission. Our admissions teams at Edinburgh and Glasgow will be delighted to guide you through the application process.

Entry Requirements

If you’re talented and passionate about what you do, then you deserve to be recognised. Everyone has different life experiences and we look to recognise potential and welcome everyone from different backgrounds. So, if you do not have a Higher English or Music we will still accept your application. If your application is accepted you will be asked to perform and speak to one of our members of staff during an interview and audition. Providing individuals are well-rehearsed and are passionately invested in learning and improvement, they’ll be in with a shot. Our approach is proudly different than the norm and we will continue to have an open and inclusive mindset to our courses.

How To Apply

Application for this course is via the application form below