Entry requirements for academic courses
Find out about entry academic and physical requirements for our courses and the wide variety of alternative qualifications and experience we accept.
Our aim, like yours, is to find a course that is right for you. We are as flexible as we can with our entry requirements, while aiming to ensure that each student is able to achieve the required academic standard to be successful.
Maturity, work experience, and motivation are recognised as alternatives to formal qualifications wherever possible. SRUC also accepts a wide range of access-level and non-standard qualifications.
General minimum entry requirements
The minimum academic entry requirements for each course are outlined on the individual course pages. Entry requirements have been given in terms of Scottish qualifications, though a wide range of qualifications are accepted as comparable. In certain circumstances you may be invited for interview to discuss your application further with SRUC staff.
Literacy and numeracy
In all courses except those defined as 'access courses' applicants are required to demonstrate evidence of basic literacy and numeracy skills. Courses at SCQF Level 4 and most courses at SCQF Level 5 require National 4 passes in English and Maths or equivalent. Some SCQF Level 5 courses and all courses at SCQF Level 6 or above require National 5 (Grade A-C) in English and Maths or equivalent. SRUC also recognises National 4/5 and Higher ESOL in lieu of English where students have been attending school in Scotland.
Returning to learning
We recognise that some mature applicants may not meet all of our minimum entry requirements in terms of formal qualifications, but do have enough knowledge and experience to succeed on their chosen course. If you feel that you can offer relevant experience in place of qualifications please contact us to discuss your application.
SRUC’s entry requirements are given in terms of current Scottish qualifications, but we accept a wide range of qualifications as comparable. You can find specific examples below and you can download our comparable qualifications table for an easy overview.
- Degree courses which require 4 Scottish Highers at BBCC require 3 A-Levels at BCC
- Degree courses which require 4 Scottish Highers at BBBB require 3 A-Levels at BBB
- HNC/D courses which require 2 Scottish Highers at CC require 2 A-Levels at DE
Irish Leaving Certificate:
- Degree courses which require 4 Scottish Highers at BBCC require 4 Irish Leaving Certificate subjects at Higher Level at H3, H3, H3, H3
- Degree courses which require 4 Scottish Highers at BBBB require 4 Irish Leaving Certificate subjects at Higher Level at H2, H2, H3, H3
- HNC/D courses which require 2 Scottish Highers at CC require 2 Leaving Certificate subjects at Higher Level at H3, H4
Please contact SRUC’s Admissions Team for guidance and advice as to the acceptability and equivalence of alternative qualifications, such as BTEC Certificates/Diplomas, SVQs, NVQs, National Certificates, Scottish/ Welsh/ European/ International Baccalaureate, other international qualifications, SWAP, or other access courses.
International students can visit the relevant Study requirements page for more information.
Physical demands of SRUC courses
Many of SRUC’s courses are very practical and physical in nature. If you have any disability or health condition that may impact on your ability to undertake some of these or similar activities, please contact us in advance of your application so that we can investigate any reasonable adjustments to course content, assessment or facilities.
Examples include managing and working large and heavy machinery, working outdoors, bending and digging, building and carrying, construction and other manual activities, walking medium to long distances, handling knives or other implements, and handling and working with potentially dangerous equipment or chemicals. Some courses have specific physical/practical standards which you must meet, for reasons of health and safety, in order to be offered a place on the course.
Horse Care and Equine Studies applicants may need to be a competent rider and also be physically able to handle and care for the horses. We recommend you undertake as many horse-related practical activities as possible before starting the course.
Golf applicants may need to meet specific handicap requirements.
Veterinary Nursing and Veterinary Medicine courses can be both physical in nature and emotionally demanding. Those with additional needs should note that the reasonable adjustments we are able to make for these courses are limited to those that will enable you to practice as a Veterinary Nurse or Vet. Disability guidance on the recruitment of veterinary students and information on fitness for student veterinary nurses or veterinarians can also be found on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website.
Prospective students are invited to attend our open days. It is particularly important that students with disabilities make use of this opportunity. This way you can assess your capabilities with the facilities available and the physical environment of the campus. Some courses are offered at more than one campus and it may be that one campus is more suitable than another. Please also take the opportunity to contact the Student Support Team at your chosen campus as soon as possible.
Applicants to whom an offer is to be made on the basis of current or predicted academic achievement and other information provided during the application process, and who declare a disability at application, will be contacted to discuss their individual needs. Please refer to Student Support for additional information.
You might be required to undertake a mandatory Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check if the course requires a placement where you are expected to work with protected/vulnerable groups. Applicants who are eligible for an offer of admission will be given information regarding the PVG scheme with their offer. A list of courses requiring a PVG check is available from the Admissions Team.
Disabled people and reasonable adjustments
A person who has a disability is defined as a disabled person for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
SRUC proactively considers barriers which certain groups of students may face, and seeks to eliminate or reduce them as part of our duty to make anticipatory and individual reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities. These barriers could be removed by making changes to provisions, criteria or practices, physical features and auxiliary aids for students.
SRUC tries to anticipate the needs of disabled people and will make reasonable adjustments to the ways that competence standards are assessed, so that disabled students are not put at a substantial disadvantage.
Prospective students are encouraged to let SRUC know if they have a disability, even if they are not sure, so that they can be supported and the required reasonable adjustments can be made wherever possible. If students do not meet the course competence standards required and the mode of assessment of their course of choice, staff will support them to consider other pathways.
Find out more about studying at SRUC
During our online open days you can talk to course tutors and students and find out why studying at SRUC is such a unique experience.
We've created a Virtual Experience platform for students where you can find great videos and examples of what it’s like to study our courses, along with campus and facility tours.