Creative industries

If you are looking to carve out a career in the creative industries, then where better to study?  Shetland's creative island community and environment will inspire you as you study under the tuition of practising artists, designers and musicians. We offer courses in textiles, art and design, fine art, music and film.

Browse our full course list.

School pupils are given the opportunity to spend some of their time studying at the college on one of our Skills for Work or Vocational Pathways courses. They have a choice of Contemporary Art Skills, Sound Engineering or Video Production.

The NC Art and Design Portfolio Course provides an opportunity for students to develop their creative skills and has a proven track record of helping students gain entry to nationwide higher education art and design courses.

If you are thinking about studying NC Art & Design the course prospectus will give you a really good idea what the course involves. You can also view excerpts from a student sketchbook. Mhairi Chaff was an NC Art & Design student in 2012-13.


For students wishing to continue their studies the BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles degree is a well established, vibrant programme which aims to help students harness their talents and sustain a career in the textiles sector. The rich design and textiles heritage of Shetland makes it a ideal location to study! We are accepting applications for a new BA (Hons) Fine Art degree which is due to start in September 2016. More information can be found in the press release.

Our art, design and textiles studios are modern and well equipped with a selection of Shima knitting machines, and weave and print facilities.  You will also be allocated your own creative desk space.  We also have a brand new Apple Mac suite to enable you to develop design concepts using the latest technologies and software programmes.

Staff are highly qualified and all come from creative backgrounds.  Teaching is supplemented by visits from design and creative professionals and we keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends by encouraging live projects and participation in professional exhibitions and gallery projects.  We also organise fact-finding trips to other cities and countries of culture for inspiration.

Our music courses have been put developed in partnership with Shetland Arts and are delivered in Mareel, the islands' creative industries centre. Students studying NC Creative Industries: Music, HNC Music or BA (Hons) Applied Music have access to world class facilities and custom-built teaching spaces. These include a recording studio, a multi-media production and teaching lab, rehearsal spaces and a fantastic venue for musical performance. From September 2016 students will also be able to study NC Creative Industries: Film or BA (Hons) Contemporary Film Making in the Highlands and Islands.

Below is a video produced by our 2014-15 Vocational Pathways: Video Production students. The single 'Bonfire' was released by the student record label, Battery Park Records, and features HNC Music Student, Eve Maguire.



Simon Clarke
t: 01595 771278


Facilities at a glance

Facilities at a glance

  • Textile facilitation unit
  • Apple Mac design suite
  • Video conferencing suites
  • Knit, weave, print and ceramics facilities
  • Individual studio space
  • Well-stocked library
  • Recording studio, multimedia production facilities and performance auditorium at Mareel

Why study?

Why study?

Good reasons to study in our Creative Industries section

  • Modern, well-equipped studios and specialist workshops
  • Individual tuition within small groups
  • Tuition by practising artists, designers and musicians
  • Excellent library facilities with up-to-date art, textile and music theory stock
  • Live briefs to work with industry and design professionals
  • Opportunity to develop numeracy, IT and literacy skills
  • Use of industry standard creative software
  • Be part of a creative island community