Curriculum for Excellence


The University of the Highlands and Islands fully supports Curriculum for Excellence and endorses its aims to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they will need if they are to flourish in life, learning and work, now and in the future.

Standard Grades/National 5s

Our standard entry requirements do not generally include standard level qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).  However, some courses do have a requirement for standard level English or maths, and where this is the case we will consider the new national qualifications as suitable for entry.  Where we currently state a requirement for a subject at standard grade credit or Intermediate 2, we will consider N5 as equivalent. Full information on entry requirements can be found for each course in our prospectus and on our website.

Higher Qualifications

The university does not use UCAS Tariff points, and accepts a wide range of qualifications. The university minimum for entry is normally expressed in Highers but equivalent qualifications will always be considered and prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply.

For most courses there is no requirement for Highers to have been achieved in a single diet and a higher qualification spread over 2 years will be acceptable as consideration for entry (please see specific entry requirements for our humanities degree). 

We are committed to promoting fairness in admissions and all applicants will be considered on their individual merit and ability to successfully achieve, regardless of the route taken during their senior phase of studies.

The university will normally view Higher Human Biology and Higher Biology as two separate qualifications for the purposes of entry to our programmes. For programmes where this is not the case, this will be specified in the summary information on the individual course page.

Foundation Apprenticeships

The University of the Highlands and Islands warmly endorses the introduction of Foundation Apprenticeships and these qualifications will be considered as acceptable qualifications to support application for entry to our degree and other higher education programmes.  For course-specific information please see the published entry requirements on individual course pages.

Advanced Higher and Scottish Baccalaureate Qualifications

We recognise the value of Advanced Highers and the Scottish Baccalaureate with regard to the skills gained and the preparation for university study, however they do not form part of our standard entry requirements for first year entry.

Applicants offering Advanced Highers/Baccalaureates will be considered on an individual basis for direct entry to year two where requested.

Wider Achievements

The University of the Highlands and Islands prides itself in the flexibility of its admissions processes and our willingness to consider each applicant as an individual.  Wider achievement, especially of experiential learning in the workplace that clearly maps against the learning outcomes of more formal qualifications can be considered as part of our RPL processes.