Your guide to education in Scotland

Students love studying in bonnie Scotland! With excellent schools and wonderful surroundings, Scotland is a really desirable place to live and study.

Some people find the education system a little bit confusing – so let us explain it to you!

Primary education

Students in Scotland attend primary school from the age of 5-11. Throughout primary school, pupils will sit standardised national assessments to track their progress

Secondary education

Students in Scotland attend secondary school – or high school – from the ages of 11-16. Most students study around ten subjects at this time, including a combination of compulsory subjects (including English, Maths and Science) and optional subjects (such as Music or Gaelic).

At the age of 16, students sit their National exams (sometimes called Nationals or Nat 5s).

Students aged 16+ study Highers and Advanced Highers, sitting exams in both years. Usually, students study 4-5 subjects of their choosing at this stage.

Tertiary education

Students aged 18+ may choose to go on to university, or further vocational studies. There are many highly-respected universities across Scotland, including St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as many more.

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