Next Generation Higher National update

Regular readers will know that SQA has been working on the next generation of Higher National Qualifications in three subject areas – Computing, Engineering and TV. My team has spent the last 18 months developing two “next gen” qualifications in Computing — HNC Computing and HND Data Science.

We had hoped to pilot these prototype qualifications this month (August) but the exceptional circumstances in colleges last year prevented that. We’re hoping that things are better this year and there are volunteers to pilot these new awards from August next year (2022).

The developments are being done in two phases. Phase 1 involves Computing, Engineering and TV, and phase 2 involves additional subjects. I’ve highlighted the Computing qualifications in the list below.

Phase 1

  • HNC Computing
  • HND Computer Science
  • HND Data Science
  • HND Networking and Infrastructure
  • HND Software Development
  • HNC Engineering (Engineering Systems)
  • HNC Engineering (Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Systems, Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Instrumentation and Control)
  • HND Engineering Systems
  • HND Television
  • HND Radio

Phase 2

  • HNC Social Sciences
  • HNC Fitness and Exercise (HND 2023/24)
  • HNC Accounts (HND 2023/24)
  • HNC Childcare Practice
  • HNC Social Services

In addition to these SQA-led developments there will also be local (college) developments.

We’re looking for centres to pilot these qualifications (from August 2022). The application process (and application form) is described on this webpage. Centres must apply by 24 September and a decision about which centres are involved in the pilots will be made by 29 October.

There’s also a new SQA Academy course about the new Higher National awards, which explains more about the background, aims and plans for the future.

Please contact the NG-HN team for general enquiries about this work or contact Helen for specific enquiries about Computing.