Course code 103W
What is special about this course?
Nurture your musical passions and pursue a dynamic career in popular or traditional music performance. Develop your understanding of the music industry and enhance your instrumental skills, with modules in first study instrument or composition, live performance, theory, graded units, and music business.
Take the HNC as the first year of our BA (Hons) Popular Music, or use the HNC or HND to access the second or third years of the BA (Hons) Popular Music or BA (Hons) Applied Music.
- You will have opportunities to perform your music locally and further afield
- You can study full time or part time to suit your personal and professional circumstances
- With locations across the Highlands and Islands, choose the one that best fits your lifestyle and music, studying at UHI North, West and Hebrides (Benbecula, Alness, or Fort William campus); UHI Perth; or UHI Shetland
We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.
- 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above Or
- 1 A level at grade D or above Or
- NC Music
- Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply
- You will be asked to attend an audition and interview. You should prepare and perform a piece that demonstrates your skillset on your instrument or voice and, for writers, this can be an original composition or song. As a guideline, grade 4/5 is a rough equivalent of performance level for this course. However, consideration will also be given to musicians with similar experience that have not participated in graded repertoire.
- The interview will give you the opportunity to see our campus, meet staff and learn more about the course, including the resources and learning opportunities we offer to support your development.
- NC Music
Year 1 - HNC
Mandatory units are:
- Music first study: instrument or Music first study: composition
- Music: live performance
- Music theory
- Music: graded unit
- Music business for musicians
Option units may include:
- Keyboard skills for music production
- Music: session skills
- Digital audio workstations
- Creative project
- Music: second study composition
- Recording techniques for musicians
- Music: research project
- Music business: start-ups
- Music history
- Music second study: composition
- Music: instrumental instruction
Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus.
How will I study my course?
- Part-time (unstructured)
- You will study by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, and practical work in the music studio.
How long will my course last?
- Full-time: 1 year
- Part-time (unstructured): 2 years, 40 hours teaching per SQA unit plus some self-study time.
Where can I study my course?
- North, West and Hebrides - Alness; Benbecula (full-time study only); Fort William (full-time study only)
Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.
UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.
Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.
What can I do on completion of my course?
This course will provide training to help you prepare for a future career in the music industries, in roles such as: live performer, session musician, producer, songwriter, composer, lecturer, teacher, or peripatetic instructor.
I come from the Isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides and have recently moved back home to study on the HNC Music course at UHI Outer Hebrides on Benbecula. Coming from an island, deeply enriched in culture and tradition has played a huge role in my love for traditional Scottish music of piping and Gaelic singing in particular.
I am so fortunate to have grown up here where my interest and love for traditional music began. I am surrounded by the everyday traditions and culture of the island and of course, the beautiful scenery and am planning on continuing my studies by progressing onto the BA (Hons) Applied Music course next year.
Chloe Steele is studying on the HNC Music at UHI Outer Hebrides .
For a lot of young musicians being in a studio and having access to recording equipment is new and the experience of live performance - so much to learn about playing along with other people and being part of a team. As the only traditional musician playing pipes and whistles, it was quite a challenge to blend in musically with the others, who were maybe rock-and-roll based - but I made it work and it was a very good experience.
Our lecturers, both professional trad musicians, always shared their practical experience and that means a lot.
Being a musician is one of the things I want to achieve, and I think being able to study here has given me a massive steppingstone towards that.
Calum MacAskill studies HNC Music at our UHI West Highland campus.
Apply for Music HNC
- Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.
We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.