Information for School Pupils

As a Senior School pupil you have a huge range of options available to you when it comes to employment, training, further education and higher education.

If you don’t feel ready to leave school yet, don’t worry, you can get the best of both worlds! Did you know that as a school pupil in the senior phase, you can choose to study a course at College and stay on at school for another year?

North East Scotland College has teamed up with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council to ensure that you can access a wide range of College courses as part of your school timetable. These courses include City & Guilds Awards, National Certificates, Skills for Work Awards, National 5s, Foundation Apprenticeships and more.


Once you have made a decision about the course you’d like to enrol on, you can apply along with your Guidance Teacher at school.

The application process is an online system that can be accessed by school staff. Your Guidance Teacher, Careers Adviser or a Depute Head will usually make the application on your behalf. You will be expected to support this process and provide an explanation as to why you want to take the course you have chosen.

After your application is submitted, your school will be sent an email to confirm the application. Your school will be able to follow the progress of your application, ask a question or withdraw your application if necessary.

Full-time courses

Exceptional Entry

It can be a big decision, deciding whether or not to come to College. Exceptional Entry is for young people whose date of birth requires them to remain in school until the winter break and is a fantastic option for those who are ready to leave school, and take the next step in their education.

If your 16th birthday falls between 1st October and 28th/29th February, you would be eligible to start certain full-time, non-advanced courses at North East Scotland College from August, even though you are still officially a school pupil.

Between August and the winter break in December, your school would be regularly informed of your attendance and progress, but to all intents and purposes you would be a full-time student at North East Scotland College. If however you found that College wasn’t quite right for you, you still have the option of returning to school anytime over that period.

View all Full-time courses

You should discuss your application for Full-time Exceptional Entry with your school Guidance Teacher or a Careers Adviser in the first instance. They will be able to help you browse our course options in order to find a course that might interest you.

You can also come into College to discuss your options with one of our Student Advisers. You can arrange a pre-entry guidance appointment by getting in touch with the Student Advice Centre. You are welcome to take a parent or carer with you to an appointment.

You can apply for a full-time course on our website. You will find information on all of our courses, along with an application form which you can submit online.

Please note that your school will be asked to provide consent for you application to be considered.

Your application will not be processed until we have obtained confirmation that your school is in agreement with your application for Exceptional Entry to College. As soon as your school confirms, your application will be processed just like all other applications. You may be invited to attend an interview before being offered a place on your chosen course.

Because Exceptional Entry means that you are under the age of 16, your parent or carer will be required to complete a parental consent form, authorising you to enrol at College. This form will be sent out to them in a separate letter, and you will not be allowed to attend College until it has been returned.

If you start attending College but change your mind, and decide that you don’t want to continue, your education is still the responsibility of your local authority until your legal school leaving date. Therefore, you will be required to return to school until you are legally permitted to leave.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships are for Senior Phase pupils. Starting in S5, this two-year programme combines course work and extended work experience to lead to industry-recognised qualification at SCQF Level 6 (the same level as a Higher).



In the first instance, you should discuss your options with your Guidance Teacher at school.

If you have any general questions, please contact:

Telephone 01224 612393

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