Foundation Apprenticeship
Laboratory Skills SCQF Level 6

Combining work-based and classroom-based learning in laboratory science.


Why take this course?

This 2 year programme combines classroom-based study with work-based learning to prepare you for entry to the workplace or full-time Further or Higher Education. The course is funded by Skills Development Scotland.

Some of mankind’s biggest advancements happen in a lab.  From the invention of antibiotics, cancer treatments to gene therapy, science has changed our world.  In Scotland over 19,000 people work in the life sciences sector – working for universities, schools, colleges, industry and NHS.  There’s a wide variety of jobs to choose from and more skilled people are needed.

If you like science, have a curious mind and an eye for detail a career in a lab may be for you.  You would do tests, sampling and support scientists and their research.

Find out more about this course from Skills Development Scotland

What you will experience

The Foundation Apprenticeship in Laboratory Skills is for pupils in S5 and S6.  In S5 you will complete a National Certificate at SCQF level 6 in Applied Sciences.  Some of the units you will study include:

  • Fundamental Chemistry
  • Mathematics for Science
  • Laboratory Safety

You will also undertake work-based learning, mostly in year 2 (6th year of school) during which you will attend an extended work experience with an industry partner equivalent to a day a week.  During that time you will develop essential skills for the workplace and be assessed on your performance in areas including:

  • Following Health and Safety Procedures for Scientific Technical Activities
  • Maintain Effective and Efficient Working Relationships for Scientific or Technical Activities
  • Carry out Simple Scientific or Technical Tests using Manual Equipment
  • Prepare Compounds and Solutions for Scientific or Technical use.
male using science equipment in a lab

Key facts

Subject area

Entry requirements

This course is suited to school pupils who expect to continue at school until the end of S6 and who are on track to achieve passes in related National 5 awards in S4.  Pupils would benefit from studying any of the Higher Sciences in S5 and S6 alongside other school based qualifications.

What you need to know

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

At University

This course will prepare you to access a range of university degrees. 


The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

For more information about job opportunities, salaries and employment rates in this industry, visit the Career Coach website.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.