Qualifications Explained

Photography Digital Studio Lecturer talking to student with camera

What is the SCQF?

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) is Scotland’s national qualifications framework.

This Framework helps people of all ages and from all walks of life to gain access to education and training at a level that is suitable for them.  This level can then be built on, the Framework can help you plan your learning and guide you on the progression routes to take.

It doesn't matter who you are or the level you are at, you can use the Framework to develop and progress your learning or training experience.

What are SCQF Levels?

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework has 12 levels.

These levels range from National Level 1, which is started at school, and go right up to Level 12 and gains you a Doctoral Degree.

The video below explains the SCQF Levels and Credits mean.

What SCQF Levels does Kelvin offer?

We offer SCQF Levels from Level 1 up to Degree level (Level 10), in some subjects.

Qualifications Explained

National Certificate (NC)

A National Certificate (NC) is sometimes suitable for students at entry level with no formal qualifications. They cover a broad range of subjects to suit your skills and interests and include Standard Grades, National Units, National Courses and Group Awards. At Glasgow Kelvin College we offer a wide range of NC courses which can, in some instances, provide access to higher level programmes such as an HNC or HND.

Higher National Certificate (HNC)

A Higher National Certificate (HNC) takes one year to complete. Successful completion of an HNC allow applicants to apply to a HND programme (in the same subject). It may also be possible to progress to Year 1 or Year 2 of a university degree programme with suitable grades from an HNC.

Higher National Diploma (HND)

A Higher National Diploma (HND) takes one year to complete and is only undertaken after successful completion of the relevant HNC. It is a valuable higher level qualification which can lead to employment. Alternatively graduates on some courses can transfer to the second or third year of a university degree course.


A degree is a course of higher education academic study leading to a qualification such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc). They are sometimes known as 'undergraduate' or 'first' degrees.

A bachelor's degree is designed to give learners a thorough understanding of a subject. 'Ordinary' bachelor's degrees normally take three years while bachelor's degrees with honours take four years.

SCFQ Table

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework