Sound Engineering (National 4) Vocational Pathways

What is special about this course?

A recording studio based course delivered by Shetland Arts in Mareel designed to develop practical and creative sound engineering and production skills; enabling students to use computer based Digital Audio Workstations to record live music and mix audio.


Entry requirements

This Vocational Pathways course is open to Secondary 3 pupils.

The course is based on the SQA Creative Industries National Progression Award and comprises 4 modules. The Creative Industries are one of the largest growth areas of the UK economy and job market.

1: Creative Industries Basics

  • Identify a range of creative industry sectors
  • Identify and describe a range of job roles and associated skills within a chosen sector
  • Review own employability skills and attitude

2: Practical Skills Development

  • Develop a range of practical skills
  • Review your own practical skills development

3. Pre-production

  • Plan a creative production
  • Identify roles and associated pre-production key tasks and skills
  • Carry out pre-production tasks appropriate to the agreed brief

4. Production

  • Contribute to a production in response to an agreed brief
  • Evaluate the production against the brief

How will I study my course?

  • Day release
  • Vocational Pathway

Students will use a variety of recording equipment and techniques to create a multi-track recording and produce an edited stereo mix to a professional standard. An element of live performance is included although the ability to play and instrument or sing is not

  • Technical - operation of audio recording equipment and music recording, editing, mixing and mastering techniques.
  • Creative - selecting and rehearsing musical pieces to record and the use of sound effects and production techniques.
  • Transferable - research skills, employability self reflection, group work, project management and evaluation.

How long will my course last?

1 Year

Part time - alternative Fridays for 13 weeks, 9.00am to 3.00pm.

For Secondary 3 pupils.

Where can I study my course?

    • Mareel

Start date



For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic and Career: This course will provide you with potential employment opportunities and progression routes to further study in a range of Creative Industries courses at Further Education institutions throughout the UK, including NC Music at Shetland UHI.

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

“You will learn all the ins and outs of Pro Tools, one of the most useful and innovative pieces of music production software on the market today. [It is] such a great opportunity to learn the ropes of the computer-based side of music. You also get a chance to mingle and mix with some of Shetland’s aspiring young musicians”

“The course will equip students with skills and techniques required to produce professional quality recordings here at Mareel. Many previous students have gone on to study music at college and university or find work in the industry” - Fraser Mouat, lecturer

Vocational pathways courses are offered through local schools early in February when a booklet is distributed to all secondary 2 pupils.

Please contact your Pupil Support Teacher if you are interested.


We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Shetland. UHI Shetland operates 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 age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.