Music HND

Course code 003W

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.

Special features

  • Opportunities to perform your music locally and further afield
  • Study full- or part-time to suit your personal and professional circumstances
  • Develop your skills on your chosen instrument through one to one lessons with your tutor
  • Develop a range of practical skills including recording techniques, instrumental tuition, session skills and stagecraft


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to HND Music Year 1 (HNC Music):

  • 1 Scottish Higher at Grade C or above
  • 1 A level at Grade D or above
  • NC Music
  • You will be invited to interview / audition to assess your musical ability

Direct entry to HND Music Year 2:

  • Successful completion of HNC Music plus an interview and audition to assess your musical ability
  • You should have your own instrument and be able to maintain it well. For those who play instruments such as Drums or Piano / Keyboard, these are available on campus at UHI North, West and Hebrides (Fort William campus)
  • We have a fully equipped recording studio and PA system available for use within the music department

Year 1 - HNC

Year 1 of this course is the HNC Music.

Year 2 - HND

You will study the following units:

  • Music: first study instrument OR Music: first study composition
  • Music: online promotion
  • Music: graded unit 2

Optional units may include:

  • Music: instrumental tuition
  • Music: session skills
  • Music: stagecraft for musicians
  • Digital audio workstations
  • Music: live performance
  • Music: history and analysis
  • Music: theory

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will work by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, plus practical work in the music studio

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 2 years @ 40 hours per week (HND only: 1 year @ 40 hours per week)
  • Part-time: 4 years @ 20 hours per week (HND only: 2 years @ 20 hours per week)

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Fort William campus

Start date

  • September


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?

Once you have completed this course, you might like to consider a career as a freelance performer, music instructor or a session musician.

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to consider progression into year 3 of the following courses:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Music HND

  • 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.