A Scottish Baccalaureate is a group award consisting of a coherent group of current Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications, in addition to an Interdisciplinary Project.

Scottish Baccalaureates offer increased subject specialisation, enabling candidates to develop knowledge, skills and qualifications in expressive arts, languages, science or social sciences, and other transferable skills, which will enhance progression opportunities and offer added breadth and value.

They are intended to:

  • provide candidates with valuable opportunities to make connections with the wider world of learning and work
  • broaden the student experience and provide opportunities to further apply or extend subject knowledge and further develop generic skills, attitudes and confidence
  • raise the status and value of learning and to motivate students in their last year of school, S6 (sixth year)
  • encourage greater coherence in study in S5 and S6 (fifth year to sixth year).

Separate QIPs are provided for Highers, Advanced Highers and the Interdisciplinary Project.


Pass or Distinction for the Scottish Baccalaureate.

See separate QIPs for more information on grading on the Higher, Advanced Higher and Interdisciplinary Project component awards.


To gain the Scottish Baccalaureate, candidates must achieve a Pass in each of the component Units and a grade C or above in each of the course assessments of the contributory Higher and Advanced Highers, as well as a Grade C or above in the Interdisciplinary Project.

Separate QIPs are provided for Highers, Advanced Highers and the Interdisciplinary Project

Further information

Many candidates in S6 receive unconditional offers from Scottish HEPs based on their Highers results in S5.

Several Scottish HEPs make offers based on the achievement of a Scottish Baccalaureate, including entry directly into second year of an undergraduate degree.

Some young people use them to gain entry to HEPs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scottish Baccalaureates in S6 are not the standard uptake across Scotland. Local timetabling decisions and size of school may create variations in the pattern of provision; this may affect whether Scottish Baccalaureates are offered and taken at a centre. However, Baccalaureates are usually conducted through partnerships between schools, colleges, HEPs and employers, as appropriate.

The practice of making unconditional offers to candidates in S6 affects uptake and retention of Advanced Highers and Scottish Baccalaureates.

More information on each Scottish Baccalaureate is available at: www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/34638.1567.html

SQA’s website is: www.sqa.org.uk

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) website is available at: www.scqf.org.uk