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

Options include:

If your child is applying to take a School College Links Programme course whilst continuing at school, it is important that they are supported by you in fully engaging with the course. Career education opportunities are available at a wide range of academic levels, and the courses offered by the College are highly valued by employers who actively recruit young people progressing from these courses.

Pupils applying for these courses should be aware that there may be a requirement for them to travel to another venue, the course timetable may extend beyond the school day and there will be an expectation for some self-directed study out with lessons, either for the College course or for lessons missed at school whilst attending College. 

How to Apply

In the first instance, pupils should discuss their application with their Guidance Teacher at school. All School College Links Programme course applications are carried out by school staff, who go through the online process along with each of their pupils who is interested in applying.

Back to top

Full-time courses

Exceptional Entry

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

Upon accepting an offered place, Exceptional Entry pupils will be provided with information regarding their induction to North East Scotland College. Enrolment will be completed at induction. 

Where it is the view of the College that a young person is not yet ready for full-time study due to non attendance or poor behaviour, he or she will be returned to school for the remainder of his/her compulsory education. This process will involve communication with the school.

As parent or carer, you must give permission for an Exceptional Entry school pupil/Winter Leaver to enrol on a full-time College course through completion of a consent form, which will be sent out along with your son/daughters offer of a place. Other than the consent form, the application process is exactly the same as any normal application for a full-time course at College.

Back to top

Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships are a new opportunity for Senior Phase pupils developed by Skills Development Scotland, in conjunction with Sector Skills Councils. They are offered by North East Scotland College in partnership with local industry partners. Combining contextualised work-based learning and classroom-based learning, these programmes have been designed to meet the needs of young people whilst being responsive to the needs of the regional labour market. 

Starting in S5, this 2 year programme combines course work and extended work experience to lead to an exciting new industry recognised qualification at SCQFLevel 6 (the same level as a Higher).  

This new national qualification will support access to College, University or the workplace, depending on what suits each individual. By taking part in this blended experience, pupils will be well-equipped with industry standard skills and core knowledge, whilst becoming better prepared to make the transition from school into whatever their chosen next step might be. 

Back to top

What you need to know

Behaviour and Attendance

It is important to remember that the College learning environment is considerably different from that of school. It is considered an adult learning environment, and the College is under no obligation to keep a student in the College if they are not attending regularly and behaving appropriately. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, and behave according to the College Students Code of Commitment.


North East Scotland College is committed to the welfare and safety of all students. We have a legal duty of care to all under 16’s attending College, and have effective Safeguarding procedures in place. Should there be any concern that a young person attending College is subject to any abuse or neglect, this will be immediately referred to the identified member of school staff and the school procedure will be followed. All staff at North East Scotland College are members of the PVG Scheme.

Where a student is under 16 years of age, but no longer enrolled with a school, concerns or disclosures about abuse or neglect will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Parents and carers should be aware that the College is an adult environment, and supervision differs to what is in place at schools. Young people attending College should therefore be encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety and wellbeing at all times.

Should you have any concerns or queries regarding Exceptional Entry, advice can be obtained from your child’s school guidance teacher, Careers Adviser or from the College’s Student Advice Centre.

Some useful information is also available via the 'Parents' section on the My World of Work website.

Back to top


If you would like more information, please don't hesitate to contact your child's Guidance Teacher in the first instance, or the Schools Liaison Team at North East Scotland College:

Schools Liaison Team
Telephone: 01224 612393
Twitter: @NESColLinks

Back to top