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  • Mark Westbrook

What is a HND Acting and Performance?

If you've finished school and you're wondering about where to train for a career in acting, you may have been considering doing a HNC/HND Acting and Performance.

HNCs and HNDs are a brilliant practical alternative to university, and make a very good way of preparing for applying to Drama School acting courses.

HNCs and HNDs in Acting and Performance are considered undergraduate qualifications, like a BA or BSc, but they take one or two years. Unlike academic qualifications, they are often work-related and so highly practical.

What's an HND?

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is qualification designed to help people to do a job. You can get them in Child Care, Performing Arts, Tourism, Hairdressing - all sorts of practical job skills areas. A Full HND takes two years to complete full time. Most HND courses are done in local colleges, although some like the 2 Year Professional HND Acting and Performance at Acting Coach Scotland are done privately. It is possible think of a HND as equivalent to the first two years of university.

What's an HNC?

A HND is a full-time Higher National Certificate and takes one year to complete. HNCs often cover the same areas as a HND but at a lower level. For instance, at Acting Coach Scotland, we offer a foundation acting course which is at the HNC Acting and Performance level.

What Are the Benefits of an HND or HNC Acting and Performance?

Unlike many traditional academic degrees, these courses are focused on helping people to learn to act for a living. They are much more practical than most degree programmes. HNCs tend to be 2-3 days per week and HNDs tend to be 3-4 days per week - although at private colleges like Acting Coach Scotland, our HND is a full time Monday to Friday 10-6 commitment like the real world.

HNDs in Acting and Performance include things like Acting Technique, Voice, Movement, Production, Shakespeare and Acting for Camera training. The big difference between a private HND and a local college HND Acting and Performance is that in a private course, you will get many more hours and a lot better opportunities. Our 2-Year Intensive Professional HND Acting and Performance at Acting Coach Scotland has over 30 public performances including a full run at the Edinburgh Fringe. Most local colleges couldn't do that and so only have a few small scale public performances.

How Should I Choose my HND Acting and Performance?

Obviously the provider should have a great reputation. Many drama teachers will suggest your local college because they trust it and they can rely on it. However, with the range of private providers currently cropping up all over the country, it's worth considering that private options might be for you too. The real question is which course will most prepare you to work in the acting business?

Mark Westbrook

Head of Acting Programmes

Acting Coach Scotland

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