Qualifications explained

Glasgow Clyde College offers different levels of qualifications, accredited by organisations including the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and City and Guilds (C&G). You will see various qualification levels mentioned within this site.

We have many different subjects for you to choose from, and we also have a number of different levels of course for you to study. The different levels of course are known by various abbreviations, but the principles behind them are quite simple. This is a short guide to explain the different level of qualifications available, and what completion of each level of course can lead onto.

National Qualifications (NQ)

These courses will prepare you for entry to HNC and HND course and can also be training programmes linked to particular occupations. They can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis. NQ programmes are offered at more than one level; from National 1-5 through to Higher.

National 4 - 5 and Highers
National Qualifications, known as ‘Nationals’, have replaced Access 1-2, Standard Grades and Intermediates 1-2.
Individual subjects can be studied at National 4 - 5 and at Higher level. This can lead to progression to HNC/D and degree courses or employment. Day and evening classes are available as part-time or full-time courses.
Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma (HNC / HND)
HNCs and HNDs are highly-regarded by employers and are also accepted for entry to many university degrees, often directly into the second or third year. Both qualifications comprise Higher National units.
Higher National Certificate (HNC)
This type of course is usually studied over one year, on a full-time basis, but it can also be studied part-time on a day release basis. The course is made up of a group of units designed in conjunction with industry sectors to prepare people for employment, to progress onto second year of a Higher National Diploma (HND) or even progress onto a degree course at university.
Higher National Diploma (HND)
Many students, having completed an HNC year, will go on to study for an HND. This will usually take a further year to complete studying full-time. Completion of an HND is often seen as the equivalent of studying the first 2 years of a degree course and can, in some cases, lead to direct entry to third year of a Scottish university degree programme.
Professional Development Awards (PDA)
These part-time courses offer professional training at different levels relating to specific vocational areas for those with a knowledge or experience of that occupation.
Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ)
SVQs are awarded for learning and experience in the workplace. They may be offered as part of a full-time course where there is a work placement or where assessment is in your place of work.
Professional Qualifications
Glasgow Clyde College offers a variety of qualifications certificated by professional and other awarding bodies. The College is an accredited CISCO Local Networking Academy, offering a range of CISCO qualifications. The College is also a Microsoft IT Academy and offers many other professional qualifications. Examples include courses validated by the Institute of Linguists, The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland, COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland), the Construction Industry Training Board and the National Council for the Training of Journalists. These are usually completed as short courses, or on a part-time basis during the day or evening.
Other Awarding Bodies
City & Guilds, is a nationally-recognised awarding body. Visit City & Guilds for further information.
The Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) awards a range of full-time and part-time courses in Holistic Therapies. Visit VTCT for further information. 

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) qualifications


Scottish Charity No. SC021182

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