Higher Education/UCAS

Most people interested in going on to university apply through UCAS during S6. Occasionally S5 pupils will apply but for this, you need to be very clear about what courses you want to go for and also about having a good chance of achieving the necessary entry requirements. PSE classes in S6 will help and support you through the application process. The main website to use as a starting point for university information is www.ucas.com

If you are interested in careers in medicine, veterinary medicine or law you should register with Access to the Professions as soon as possible – using this link. Ideally you should register with them from early in S4.

If you are interested in studying a visual creative subject like art, design, architecture at university, you should register with ACES Access to Creative Education in Scotland. ACES are a project for students S4-S6 that will help you explore your options and apply for the course that is right for you. For more info and to register check here 

If you are interested in studying at a conservatoire,  there may be different deadlines for your UCAS application, especially when applying to study music. Check for info on deadlines and the application process here 

Info on applying to  Royal Conservatoire of Scotland here 

If you are attending Musselburgh School and are interested in Higher Education you may get some support from LEAPS look out for more information during PSE and in assemblies.

Here is a short video to remind you about some of the things you need to consider and do to prepare well for HE applications:

Whether you are in S5, or at the start of S6, it is really important you do some background research and preparation so that the application process works as smoothly as possible for you. Some courses will need you to have some related work experience. Others will need a lot of detailed and varied specific work experience. All university applications can benefit from having life and work expeirence and extra curricular activities to help add to your personal statement. An ideal time to get some more experience is during the summer break between S5 and S6 and this can be planned out well in advance.

Most university courses require you to have good Higher results – usually between 3 and 5 good Highers as their minimum entry requirement. The subjects required will vary from course to course.

It is really important that you make sure you ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK INDIVIDUAL COURSE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL UNIVERSITY WEBSITES to ensure you have the most up to date information. 

If you are not sure you can achieve these entry requirements but want to continue your studies beyond S6, you should consider HNC/HND courses – which can be a good alternative route into a degree, as well as a useful qualification in their own right. HNC/HND courses are usually run at colleges and for most of them you apply individually to the specific college.

HNC/HND courses usually require 1-3 Highers as entry. You can find out more about HNC/HND’s on www.planitplus.net It is also important to consider applying to HNC/HND courses as a possible back up plan to your university applications.

The ELRAH website www.elrah.ac.uk helps explain how an HNC/HND can lead on to degree level courses.

SCQF Framework shows how different Scottish qualifications compare. Link here


Make sure you attend Open Days for any universities that you are seriously considering.  You may need to book your place for these online – so plan ahead for this. A list of Open Days and University Websites and contact phone numbers is Higher Education Open Days 2019

UCAS annual  Higher Education Exhibitions: bring together representatives from higher and further education institutions in Scotland and elsewhere. They can offer advice as well as information of a variety of courses and learning pathways. This year’s exhibition in Edinburgh : Tue 17 September 2019 – 09:30 to 15:00

For more information and to book check UCAS  ,

or speak to your Guidance Teacher.

Those interested in applying for courses in Medicine, Vet medicine and Dentistry should check for Open Days for applicants to Medicine etc 2019

Entry tests for courses in Medicine, Vet Medicine and LawUKCAT LNAT 2019

Information on funding for HE is available on www.saas.gov.uk

Here is the UCAS How to Guide for Personal Statements

Give yourself plenty of time to work on your personal statement, as this is a key factor in universities deciding on possible offers of places.

There are lots of other help videos for UCAS applicants on www.ucas.tv
e.g. how to choose the right course.

Part of your research and planning should also include looking at career options and types of jobs related to your chosen degree. Check ideas Prospects  here 

The HE-Websites-27p6nsl-179jhbk (1) hand-out has links to other websites you may find useful.

Finally, you should find out what UCAS Clearing is , especially before your exam results come back in August . Link to Clearing here 

If you need more help with looking at university to see if it is a good option for you – or you need any help with the planning or application process, you can come along to a  careers drop in session in the school library during lunch break most Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays and see how we can help. No appointment required for these sessions or ask your guidance teacher for a meeting with us.

Striving for Excellence, Caring for All