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Curriculum for excellence

What is it?

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) represents a different approach to learning and teaching in Scottish schools and in the way education is delivered in nursery, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, the workplace and the community.

How is it different?

It takes a new approach to what, how and where young people learn, through more flexible learning paths, with the aims of raising standards, improving knowledge and developing skills. This provides a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum for the education of those aged 3 to 18.

What does this mean for Universities?

The changes within Scotland’s schools will soon produce university applicants who may have had different educational experiences from previous cohorts. The first cohort of CfE applicants will present with new qualifications such as National 4 and National 5. These will reduce both Standard Grade (General and Credit) and intermediate 1 and 2 in 2015. However, most students with these new qualifications will be applying for 2016 entry. This has implications for the University in terms of both admissions requirements and also how learning and teaching is delivered. As a University we need to work closely with students and schools to address both these issues.

We are well-placed to respond to such a change given the experience we have from a diverse student population, which includes students from around the world with various school level and college qualifications. However, there will be great challenges for us to ensure pupils are not disadvantaged with the implementation of CfE or through the choices that are made in school whilst engaging with the CfE.

What do we need to do?

We have already made public our statement on the admissions policy and this has been sent out to all school and can be found at Curriculum for Excellence.

We still need to ensure that we are aware of any changes that may occur within individual subject areas and the implementation of new qualifications and their assessment. Work with schools, parents, SQA, QAA, Education Scotland and Universities Scotland will help us to identify the challenges and the opportunities as well as inform our prospective applicants of the essential requirement needed to study for a degree at St Andrews.

Further information is available here: CfE Context and Proposals (PDF, 98 KB)

External links

General enquiries

Professor Sibylle Scheipers
Pro Dean (Postgraduate Taught)
+44(0)1334 462084