Further education

Scotland's colleges offer courses to develop skills and knowledge for work, continued study or general interest.

Students can choose from a wide variety of courses – academic and vocational. There's also flexibility in how they study, including full-time, day release, evening, block release or on an open learning basis.

Entrance requirements

Entrance requirements vary but most courses require some previous education qualifications. However, for people with very little previous educational attainment, special programmes are available, together with extended learning support arrangements.

Transition arrangements for students with additional support needs will need to be considered with all the relevant agencies. You should discuss support needs as soon as possible as part of the additional support for learning transition discussions.

Courses and qualifications

Courses are available at a range of levels including:

  • National Certificate modules or clusters of modules
  • General Scottish Vocational Qualifications
  • National Qualifications including project-based national courses and cluster units
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Degrees.

You can find out more about the qualifications on offer by visiting the Scottish Qualifications Authority website, or calling 0845 279 1000.

Colleges in Scotland

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) website provides information on colleges throughout Scotland, including links to college websites.

Financial help

Eligible full-time students resident in Scotland – including EU resident students – pay no tuition fees. Some part-time students may have their fees waived. If students are taking a course at HNC level or above they should apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for help with funding.

Colleges also give financial help to students on certain courses. This can help towards maintenance costs, travel and study expenses. To find out more, contact the college and visit the Scottish Government's Funding for Learners web page.

The Education Maintenance Allowances scheme helps students who meet the eligibility criteria (see their website for details).

Related links

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
UCAS is the UK organisation for processing applications for entry to full-time undergraduate courses, HNDs and university diplomas. Search the database of thousands of courses.