Secondary education study results

Subjects are offered courses at various levels, the National Qualifications (since 2013-2014). In lower secondary education, there are 3 subject levels:

  • National 1
  • National 2
  • National 3

In upper secondary education, there are 4 subject levels:

  • National 4
  • National 5
  • Higher
  • Advanced Higher

Information on all levels can be found on the website of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Schools assess the National 5 courses, the Highers and Advanced Highers with letter grades from A to D:

  • A = 70-100% (good to very good);
  • B = 60-69% (more than sufficient);
  • C = 50-59% (sufficient);
  • D = 40-49% (just sufficient).

A score below 40% is a fail (indicated on the transcript as 'no award').

Valuation of study results

Check out more information (in Dutch) about the valuation of study results achieved.

Secondary education documents

The SQA issues the official diploma (see Secondary education | examining board). On the diploma. the subjects that the student has passed are stated, with the exam results.

Higher education study results

The assessment scale used in Scottish higher education runs from A through D or E. There is no national standard for awarding grades. Many Scottish universities apply this system, with D being the lowest satisfactory score.

Scottish credits

In Scotland 1 SCQF credit point stands for 10 contact hours. You can find more information about Scottish credits in the PDF: Ready Reckoner for SQA Qualifications in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Higher education documents

Higher education diplomas:

  • always state the name of the degree or certificate;
  • do not always state the name of the degree programme.

It is important to check the information concerning the programme and the subjects taken. Usually you can find this information in:

  • a list of subjects, the academic record (transcript);
  • a diploma supplement; or
  • a Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

In the list of subjects from a recognised degree programme:

  • 'awarding institution' features the name of the institution that granted the degree;
  • 'teaching institution' features the name of the institution that taught the programme.

Please note: these can be 2 different institutions. See also Collaboration with partner institutions.

Diploma supplement

The international diploma supplement has not yet been implemented everywhere. The British version of this is the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

You can find more information about the Diploma Supplement (DS) on the Europass website, including examples of diploma supplements.

Checking diplomas online

If you have doubts about a diploma, you can ask the Scottish higher education institution where it was obtained to verify its authenticity. In most cases however this does require written permission from the graduate concerned. There are also a number of other possibilities for verifying diplomas online:

  • Via the Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) website, you can check whether a given institution is government-recognised, free of charge. You can also use the website to find more information on name changes of and mergers between educational institutions since 1990. It is also possible to purchase additional information, such as to check which diploma was awarded to a particular student.
  • For information on professional qualifications, you can consult professional bodies and registers such as those for teachers, nurses or engineers.