Acting and Performance HNC

Course code 014W

What is special about this course?

Do you have experience in performance? Or have you always wanted to pursue your interest but never taken it further? Now is your time. Develop your skills in voice, movement, acting, and stage craft with our HNC. Be part of performances in the community and in our versatile performing arts studio, collaborating with students on the BA (Hons) Drama and Production to trial run your performances in scratch performance nights, work in teams, share leadership opportunities, and take part in innovative and creative approaches to working in rehearsal and performance.

Special features

  • Opportunities to take part in performances on campus and in the community
  • Experience of integrating acting, movement and voice skills and production
  • Collaboration with students on the BA (Hons) Drama and Production programme for scratch performance nights
  • A sound foundation to gain the knowledge and practical skills needed to both present yourself for auditions, and also subsequent work in the industry as a freelance operator


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

Entry requirements

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above including English OR
  • 2 A levels at grade D or above including English, PLUS
  • Four National 5s at grade C or above, or equivalent
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis

Access routes

  • NC Acting and Performance
  • NC Creative Industries with at least National 5 in English
  • NC Musical Theatre
  • UAL Level 3 Diploma in Performing and Production Arts (SCQF level 6)

Year 1 - HNC

You will study the following mandatory units:

  • Acting 1: developing skills (S1, S2)
  • Acting and performance: group award graded unit 1 (S2)
  • Movement 1: developing skills (S1, S2)
  • Production 1: developing skills (S1, S2)
  • Voice 1: developing skills (S1, S2)

Option units are:

  • Shakespeare in practice (S1)
  • Theatre histories in performance (S1)
  • Acting for camera (S1)
  • Creating drama scripts (S2)
  • Devising theatre (S2)

Please note that option units available vary depending on study location; for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured) - available at UHI Inverness only

You will learn through a combination of practical workshops, lectures and tutorials, and participate in live performances on campus and in the community.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness
  • Moray - (full-time only)

Note: At UHI Moray the course is delivered in collaboration with Out of the Darkness Theatre Company. All practical work will be undertaken at their premises, but you will register and have access to all facilities and have support from UHI Moray.

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


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.

Additional costs

UHI Inverness students are expected to wear appropriate black clothing for movement and performance.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this course you may choose to seek a career in acting, community theatre, community arts or stage management. The HNC Acting and Performance course is also a great stepping stone into teacher training.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of the HNC (gaining grade A or B in the Graded Unit), there is the opportunity to progress to the second year of the BA (Hons) Drama and Production.

Is there more information available online?

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I didn’t consider any other universities, UHI offered a brilliant course at commuter distance which meant I could stay in work while studying. It offered a good blend of independent and supported learning. I developed my directing skills, to work on my personal relationship with a cast and how to lead a group to the best of their abilities. 

Our course leader was incredible, the conversations in her class were an amazing and safe space to learn and challenge each other in and she was great at caring for us all individually as well. My favourite thing about studying at UHI was the friends I made that have turned into colleagues. 

Rachel studied Drama and production at UHI Inverness. 

Apply for Acting and Performance HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

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.