SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Diploma in Audio Technology 
88262  Diploma in Audio Technology 
Academy of Sound Engineering 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Diploma (Min 360)  Field 04 - Communication Studies and Language  Information Studies 
Undefined  360  Not Applicable  NQF Level 06  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 1141/23  2021-07-01  2024-06-30 
2025-06-30   2030-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 


The purpose of the qualification is to provide and develop a learner with relevant and appropriate intellectual competencies and practical skills in Audio Technology. The Diploma: Audio Technology also addresses the following complexities of a rapidly evolving industry:
  • To provide learners with knowledge and the necessary theoretical, practical skills, experience and expertise demanded by the novice sound engineer.
  • To equip learners with the skills necessary for careers in the audio industry.
  • To equip learners for sustainable and profitable careers in the audio industry.
  • To equip learners with the means to develop technical proficiencies and promote creative and artistic implementation of technological principles, techniques and methodologies.
  • To alleviate the skills shortage within the sector.
  • To create opportunities for learners to build individual portfolios of work and gain relevant work experience, before graduation, in order to increase the likelihood of job placement.


    There is a severe skills' shortage within the audio technology sector, which has been brought about by the convergence of media technologies and the worldwide trend of the integration of audio applications into consumer services such as internet and cell phone communication and the proliferation of media-rich consumer devices such as iPads and smart-phones. There is also an increase in the demand for high quality, well crafted "produced" audio technology for other industries, such as film, television, radio communication, conferencing, building installations and journalism, and wherever aural communication takes place there is a potential job for the audio technician or sound engineer in the board room, shopping centre, hotel, art gallery, telecommunications company or in the home of the consumer.

    The shifts in technology and a rapid evolution in consumer access to this technology has brought about radical changes in the methods and workflows involved in media creation as well as an increased demand for well-trained audio technicians. The new changes in the industry have made huge strides by moving away from analogue audio technologies to embracing the new digital audio technologies. The audio technology training industry has also experienced an unprecedented growth during the last decade. As training qualifications were developed and offered over this period, consumer awareness of career options in the field became increasingly widespread and demand increased.

    The Diploma: Audio Technology is a necessary response to the demands of the industry and to keeping South Africa competitive in this changing global landscape. The increasing success of South African music artists overseas, the expansion of South Africa's broadcasting networks, viz., eTV, SABC, MNET, CNBC, SowetoTV, Top TV and the current introduction of new technologies such as Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT), High Definition Television (HDTV) and surround sound broadcasting to Africa are witness to the need for new and relevant qualifications to keep South Africa competitive in this changing global landscape. 

    It is assumed that the learner registering for this qualification is competent in:
  • The language of instruction of the provider.
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Computer literacy NQF Level 3.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    Recognition of Prior Learning is offered after a thorough interview with the learner by a registered Recognition of Prior Learning assessor. Evidence such as DVDs or CDs of productions that the Recognition of Prior Learning applicant learner has been involved in, or other portfolios of professional experience gained on audio industry relevant projects, may be submitted in lieu of projects or assignments.

    Practical assessments and examinations may also be used to assess the skills of the Recognition of Prior Learning applicant learner to determine whether the learner has acquired the requisite skills to satisfy the required outcomes.

    Previous qualifications such as Diplomas, Certificates, Short courses and Degrees from other institutions are evaluated and compared with the outcomes of this qualification.

    Access to the Qualification:

    Learners will be admitted to this qualification on the basis of the following:
  • National Senior Certificate with appropriate subject combinations and levels, as gazetted for admission to a Diploma.
  • An equivalent qualification, and prior learning demonstrating an appropriate level of competence.
  • A Higher Certificate: Audio Technology. 


    The qualification comprises compulsory and elective modules totalling 366 Credits. The modules are made up as:
  • Compulsory modules at NQF Levels 5, 6 and 7, totalling 341 Credits.
  • Elective modules at NQF Levels 6 and 7, totalling 25 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 5:
  • Academic and Communication Skills, 8 Credits.
  • Basic and Applied Mathematics for Audio Technicians, 12 Credits.
  • Computer skills, 12 Credits.
  • Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), 15 Credits.
  • Capturing Sounds, 10 Credits.
  • Processing Sounds, 9 Credits.
  • Electronics, 12 Credits.
  • Sound Practical, 18 Credits.
  • Industry Practice, 9 Credits.
  • Music, 18 Credits.

    Total: 123 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 6:
  • Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), 32 Credits.
  • Capturing Sound, 9 Credits.
  • Processing Sound, 15 Credits.
  • Electronics, 12 Credits.
  • Sound Practical, 18 Credits.
  • Industry Practices, 21 Credits.
  • Entertainment Business, 15 Credits.
  • Principles of Project and Business Management, 18 Credits.
  • Marketing, 9 Credits.

    Total: 149 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 7:
  • Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), 10 Credits.
  • Processing Sound, 30 Credits.
  • Sound Practical, 24 Credits.
  • Industry Practice, 5 Credits.

    Total: 69 Credits.

    Learners must complete industry-focussed modules chosen from the lists given below, for at least 15 Credits from NQF Level 6 and at least 10 Credits from NQF Level 7, to a minimum total of 25 Credits.

    Elective Modules at NQF Level 6:
  • Audio Post Production I, 10 Credits.
  • Broadcasting I, 10 Credits.
  • Live Sound Reinforcement I, 10 Credits.
  • Music Recording I, 5 Credits.

    Minimum total Credits at NQF Level 6: 15.

    Elective Modules at NQF Level 7:
  • Audio Post Production II, 10 Credits.
  • Broadcasting II, 10 Credits.
  • Live Sound Reinforcement II, 10 Credits.
  • Music Recording II, 5 Credits.

    Minimum total Credits at NQF Level 7: 10. 

    1. Use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to complete a basic recording project.

    2. Discuss the legal and general contractual principles applicable to the music industry.

    3. Analyse and synthesise various sounds that occur in a range from everyday life to the weird and wacky special effects used in cartoons.

    4. Demonstrate production skills for radio.

    5. Demonstrate the generation, distribution and transmission of analogue and digital video signals.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    This qualification addresses all the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Demonstrate the basic skills required to use a Digital Audio Workstation application.
  • Create project sessions with the appropriate track settings.
  • Demonstrate basic selection, navigation and editing techniques.
  • Describe and demonstrate basic mixing techniques.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Identify and describe the various music copyrights and the results of royalty streams.
  • Discuss the administration of royalty streams by copyright protection societies in various markets.
  • Evaluate the current state and challenges facing the music industry, both locally and internationally.
  • Identify and discuss the key elements required for the formation of a binding contract.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Create and emulate various everyday sound effects and musical instruments using sound synthesisers.
  • Execute field recordings for use in advertisements, films and documentaries and manipulate these with sound synthesisers and samplers.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Demonstrate and apply general DJ techniques such as:
    > Accessing on line information whilst on air.
    > Conducting an on-air interview from a remote studio.
  • Demonstrate and evaluate time management for an on-air event.
  • Demonstrate mixing techniques and level management.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Describe the component elements of video in relation to signal generation and processing.
  • Compare the similarities and differences between analogue and digital video signals in relation to distribution, storage and transmission.
  • Explain video resolution, data rates and data compression in a broadcast scenario.
  • Describe the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the various coding techniques in relation to the viewers' experience.

    Integrated Assessment:

    There is no single assessment method that can adequately demonstrate the range of competencies required for this qualification. Holistic and wide-ranging assessments methods are needed. These include:
  • Written and computer based examinations.
  • Problem-solving assignments and exercises.
  • Case studies and research projects.
  • Audio Technology practice in simulated and in situ contexts.
  • Portfolios of evidence of work-place experience.
  • Practical audio production projects resulting in the production of audio artefacts such as CDs or DVDs.
  • Electronic construction projects.
  • Practical assessments of musical and aural skills.

    These should assess the extent to which learners can function competently and effectively in a professional audio production environment. They should measure the extent to which the learner has integrated the knowledge and skills acquired through the qualification, to a specialised field of audio technology, such as audio post production, broadcasting, live sound reinforcement, or music recording. In other words, assessments should measure applied competence. 

    The Diploma Audio technology was compared with qualifications from London, Scotland and Singapore. London and Scotland for their history in the early audio operations, Singapore was chosen because of being part of the leaders in technology.

    Alchemea College - London: Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering.
    The duration of this Diploma is 1300 Guided Learning Hours separated into:
  • 300 hours of lectures in classroom.
  • 1000 hours of individual, supervised practical time.

    Part 1:
    Studio Assistant Certificate and covers the fundamentals. This module provides solid foundations for the more advanced parts of the course.

    Part 2:
    This part teaches candidates the basics of running a recording and mixing session successfully.

    Part 3:
    This introduces students to the fields of Audio Post Production for Film and Television and Electronic music production. This final part of the course builds on the technical knowledge acquired in the previous parts and aims to consolidate the student's skills and knowledge thus preparing them for the workplace.
    The Practical Course Work includes:
  • 2 x live to stereo recordings.
  • 2 x multi-track recordings.
  • 2 x programming exercises (1 in Logic and 1 in Pro Tools).
  • Sampling Project.
  • Audio Editing Exercise.
  • Sound to Film Project (including 5.1 mix).
  • Radio Show Production.
    This qualification compares favourably with about 25% of Diploma Audio Technology; but its content covers most of the modules in Diploma Audio technology. It differs from Diploma Audio Technology qualification in terms of the duration, while Diploma Audio Technology is a 3 year Diploma, Diploma in Studio Sound Engineering is a 36-weeks course.

    National University of Singapore, School of Engineering-Singapore: Diploma in Audio-visual Technology (N76).

    Entry Requirements:
  • English Language.
  • Mathematics (Elementary/Additional).
  • Science (with Physics, Chemistry or Biology component).
  • Computer Studies.
  • Design and Technology.
  • Fundamentals of Electronics.
    In addition, candidates with hearing deficiency or severe vision deficiency should not apply for the course. Those with colour appreciation deficiency may be considered, subject to an in-house test.

    Level 1.1:
  • Electrical Technology.
  • Engineering Mechanics.
  • Engineering Mathematics 1.
  • Multimedia Authoring.
  • Computer Programming.
  • Sports and Wellness.
  • Idea Jumpstart.
    Level 1.2:
  • Analogue Electronics and Applications.
  • Digital Electronics and Practice.
  • Engineering Mathematics 2.
  • Music and Music Technology.
  • Fundamentals of Audio and Acoustics.
  • Audio Electronics and Electrical Practical Skills.
  • Communication and Contemporary.
    Level 2.1:
  • Audio Technology.
  • PC Networking.
  • Engineering Mathematics 3A.
  • Digital Audio.
  • Computer-Aided Drawing.
  • Digital Photography Graphics.
  • Idea Blueprint.
  • Any 1 Interdisciplinary Studies module.
    Level 2.2:
  • Video Technology.
  • Media Transmission Systems.
  • Video Production.
  • Music Production.
  • Audio Video Mini Projects.
  • Idea Launchpad.
  • Any 1 Interdisciplinary.
    Level 3.1:
  • Stage Lighting.
  • Video Conferencing and Streaming Technology.
  • Live Sound Technology.
  • Audio Effect Processing.
  • World Issues: A Singapore Perspective.
  • Any 1 Interdisciplinary Studies module.
    Level 3.2:
  • Six-month Local/Overseas Internship.
  • Project Design and Development.
    Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) modules at Ngee Ann help students become more versatile and competitive by expanding their knowledge and skills beyond their core disciplines. Areas covered include communication, entrepreneurship, lifeskills, media and the arts, and science and technology.

    This qualification compares favourably with Diploma Audio Technology in terms of content, entry requirements and duration. 

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Diploma: Sound Technology, Level 6.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • This qualification does not articulate vertically. 

  • Moderation falls under the jurisdiction of the internal Quality Assurance Committee, or Academic Board and is administered by the Academic Manager.
  • Moderation of examination marks serves to ensure that required standards are consistently met. Moderation by qualified individuals other than the primary examiner is carried out by random selection of completed examinations papers. 

    Assessors must:
  • Be experienced and be subject matter experts.
  • Be competent in planning and conducting assessments.
  • Be competent in design and development of assessments.
  • Have an appropriate Degree in the field of study. 

    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2015. 



    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. Academy of Sound Engineering 

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.