two students writing in their books studying


We're here to guide you on finding out what qualifications are available in Scotland and who offers them. 

What qualifications there are

There are lots of different types of qualifications at all levels in Scotland which are available to find on our Learn and Train search.

Some of these qualifications include: 

  • access courses 
  • Nationals, Highers, Advanced Highers and Scottish Baccalaureates which you normally sit at school
  • 3 different types of apprenticeships
  • Skills for Work which combine study in school or college with learning at work
  • National Certificates and National Qualifications which you normally sit at college
  • Scottish Vocational Qualifications which include work-based learning
  • SQA wider Achievement awards which recognise the life and work skills you have gained
  • Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas which you normally sit at college
  • Degrees, Masters Degrees and PhDs which you usually study at university

General entry requirements

Applying to college courses (NC level, SCQF Level 5 or 6)

You can also apply to college courses with some National 4 or 5 qualifications.

Applying to HNC (SCQF Level 7) or HND (SCQF Level 8) courses

  • ​​​​​​​You would usually require some National 5 qualifications and 1 or 2 Highers or a relevant NC qualification. 
  • Some HNC or HND courses allow entry to the 2nd or 3rd year of a degree.  

You should check progression pathways with individual college or university.

Applying to a Degree course (SCQF Level 9 or 10)

You would normally need either:

  • 4 or 5 Highers plus some national 5 qualifications
  • a relevant HNC or HND


Adjusted entry

Some universities offer Adjusted Entry where they may accept lower grades than those specified. If you expect to gain 3 Higher passes (grades A to C) and one of the following applies to you, you should still apply if you:

  • have been in care
  • have taken part in a university preparation programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, ASPIRE North (or similar)
  • are a carer
  • come from a school or area where few people go to university or you're the first in your family to go to university
  • have experience disruptions in home and family life that impacted your learning, such as multiple moves or family disputes