Scottish Interdisciplinary Project

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Interdisciplinary Project
  • Scotland

The Interdisciplinary Project is a mandatory part of the Scottish Baccalaureate or can be taken as a standalone Unit.

It is intended to broaden the student experience, provide opportunities to apply or extend subject knowledge in relevant contexts, and to develop the generic skills, attitudes and confidence necessary to make the transition into further and higher education, and/or employment.

The Interdisciplinary Project offers increased subject specialisation, enabling candidates to develop knowledge, skills and qualifications in expressive arts, languages, science or social sciences, which will enhance progression opportunities and offer added breadth and value.

The Interdisciplinary Project is 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).

A separate UCAS profile is provided for the Scottish Baccalaureate.

Education context

The Interdisciplinary Project is taken in a number of state and independent schools and some tertiary colleges in Scotland.

The Interdisciplinary Project encourages collaboration between schools, colleges, HEPs and employers, with candidates often experiencing different aspects of their study in two or more of these environments.

It is envisaged that much of the Interdisciplinary Project work will take place outside the familiar school setting, in collaboration or partnership with HEPs, colleges and employers.

The Interdisciplinary Project is usually taken in S6.

The Interdisciplinary Project is intended to ensure that candidates are capable of extending their knowledge and development of cognitive skills, autonomous learning, research skills and problem solving through interdisciplinary curiosity.

Candidates do not have to take the Scottish Baccalaureate to sit the Interdisciplinary Project, but most currently do.

Awarding organisation
  • SQA

The Interdisciplinary Project is a Unit of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

All Interdisciplinary Projects are developed to common policies and templates to ensure the consistency of standards, validity and reliability across subjects.

The Interdisciplinary Project can be taken by candidates as a discrete qualification outside of a Baccalaureate.

Subject areas
  • Expressive arts
  • Languages
  • Sciences
  • Social sciences
  • SCQF Level 7

SCQF Level 7 qualification (sitting across level 3 and 4 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales).

SCQF Level 7 is the starting level for Scottish higher education.


A, B, C for the Interdisciplinary Project.

Grading for the Interdisciplinary Project is based upon five pieces of assessment evidence.


Assessment of the Interdisciplinary Project (IP) is undertaken internally by the centre, based on five pieces of mandatory evidence:

  • the candidate’s project proposal
  • project plan
  • record of the presentation of his/her project findings or product
  • evaluation of the project
  • evaluation of his/her generic and cognitive skills development.

The pieces of evidence are submitted to SQA’s rigorous IP quality assurance procedure:

  • internal quality assurance by centres – managed and participated in by centres and their partners
  • centre submission of proposed grades and materials for verification
  • pre-forum central verifier event – managed by SQA and attended by external verifiers (EVs) and supporting SQA officers
  • quality forums – managed by SQA, each chaired by an EV and attended by centre representatives and supporting SQA officers
  • post-forum procedures – which involve EVs finalising their verification decisions and reports and may require further dialogue with centres and their partners.
Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

A holistic judgment will be made by assessors across all five pieces of mandatory evidence required for the unit.

In order to pass (grade C), candidates must meet grade C criteria for each of the five pieces of evidence.

To achieve a grade B, candidates must achieve at or exceed grade C criteria for each piece of evidence and some aspects must meet grade A criteria.

To achieve an A, all pieces must meet the additional grade A criteria.

Resit arrangements

Candidates have the opportunity to improve upon only the project proposal and planning stages within the Interdisciplinary Project prior to their final assessment.

A full resit would involve a new project entirely and would be unlikely to occur, given that the IP is generally taken in S6.

Guided/notional learning hours
notional hours: 160 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

16 SCQF credits points

UCAS Tariff points

Scottish Baccalaureate Interdisciplinary Project

Grade Points
A 28
B 24
C 20


Key issues for UK HE admissions

SCQF Level 7 qualification (sitting across level 3 and 4 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales).

SCQF Level 7 is the starting level for Scottish higher education.

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 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.

The practice of making unconditional offers in S6 can affect Interdisciplinary Project uptake and retention.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

The Interdisciplinary Project is developed throughout much of S6 and results are submitted to SQA at the end of March.

Results are published in early August.

Qualification date
This is a current qualification. (The Interdisciplinary Project was developed to support Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).)
Reporting and certification information

217 candidates passed the Interdisciplinary Project at grades A-C in 2014.

For more details of entries and pass rates by year and qualification (see Scottish Baccalaureate), including by stage, along with grade distributions are available at:

Further information

The Unit specifications for each Interdisciplinary Project are available at:

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) website is available at: