Discover some of the options for post-16 qualifications here


A levels

These are usually a two year study period with most students choosing three or four subjects. There’s a wide range of subjects to choose from and it’s an opportunity to look in more detail at a particular subject to help your career or university plans.


Scottish Highers

Scotland’s main qualification for getting into university, and students choose four or five subjects from a range of over 60. Highers are split into different units of study and you’ll need to pass them all to get the qualification, as well as passing a course assessment.


Advanced Highers

Following on from the Highers, these are Level 7 qualifications, a grade up from the Higher, but are most often studied in parallel. They can help with extra credits when it come to your university studies and in some cases can replace the first year of a degree.



These combine academic subjects with a wide range of activities and studies to help you develop your skills. The International Baccalaureate is available across the world, whilst those studying in Wales and Scotland have their own dedicated versions.


Extended Project Qualification/Interdisciplinary Project/Core Maths

These are studied in parallel with A-levels, and Core Maths involves 3 separate maths qualifications.


Cambridge Pre-Us

These are a range of 26 subjects with a two-year study period and a final exam. Pre-Us can be combined with A-levels and other qualifications.



These can be retaken to make sure you have a grade C/4 or above in GCSE English or maths, and other subjects are available as well.


National 5s

These are required by most universities, whilst recognising that the more flexible Scottish system can allow these to be bypassed. They do realise the flexibility of the Scottish examination system allows you to bypass these qualifications.