Foundation Apprenticeships

A Foundation Apprenticeship is a qualification for school pupils that combines College-based learning and work-based learning.

Foundation Apprenticeships (FA) are available as a subject choice at school, and forms part of a pupil’s school timetable. These courses are typically delivered at NESCol by lecturers who are subject specialists in their industry. Alongside this college-based learning, pupils will have the opportunity to interact directly with employers in the form of a work placement or industry led project.

View all of our Foundation Apprenticeships


Pupils in S4, S5 and S6 can choose to study an FA at SCQF Level 4 (equivalent to a National 4) and Level 5 (equivalent to a National 5).

Pupils in S5 and S6 who are able to work at Higher level can choose to study an FA at SCQF Level 6.

At NESCol we offer Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 4 in:

We offer Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 5 in:

We offer Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 6 in:

How to apply

Pupils should arrange to meet with their Guidance Teacher at school who will help them complete an application form. The application must be approved by both parents/carers and the school. A pupil statement will be required as part of this application, where pupils should write between 300-500 words outlining why they want to study the FA and what makes them a good candidate for the course.

Studying a Foundation Apprenticeship

An FA requires the same level of effort as other school subjects. Pupils will be expected to prepare and reflect on tasks studied before, during and after lessons, just like other school subjects.


There are so many advantages to studying a Foundation Apprenticeship. Pupils choosing an FA will:

Real experience

Gain real work experience and industry knowledge — this can enhance a college, university, job or modern apprenticeship application.

Learning environment

Experience learning in a further/higher education environment before they leave school.

Transferrable skills

Gain industry-based skills and transferrable meta-skills in confidence, communication, problem solving, resilience and many more.

Industry standard facilities

Learn in industry standard facilities at NESCol campuses and experience hands on learning in College and with employers.

Continuous assessment

Experience task-based learning and continuous assessment rather than a final exam.

Informed choice

Gain a taster of an industry they want to work in and be better informed to make choices for their future.


Be supported throughout their course by NESCol, employers and their school.

Get a qualification

Gain a qualification recognised by colleges, universities and employers.

Progression to further study or work

SCQF Level 6 Foundation Apprenticeships are accepted as entry requirements for all Scottish colleges and universities as the equivalent of one Higher at grade B or above. However, an FA at Level 6 may count as more than one Higher.

Get in touch

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