Skills for Work National 5
Laboratory Science SCQF Level 5

Build the skills required to pursue further training or employment in the science sector.


Why take this course?

The Laboratory Science Course is designed to introduce you to the knowledge and skills required for employment in a wide range of industries and services with laboratory science requirements. Examples include work in oil and gas, the NHS, food and drink manufacture, research institutes, water authorities, public analysts, education, and more!

Throughout the course you will undertake a broad range of advanced laboratory techniques, deploying modern analytical instruments and methods similar to those used in modern commercial laboratories. Within this course you will also explore a variety of industries and career opportunities, and evaluate and develop your own employability skills. The development of team working skills will also feature strongly in the program.

What you will experience

The course is made up of four units:

  1. Laboratory Science: Careers using Laboratory Science
  2. Laboratory Science: Working in a Laboratory
  3. Laboratory Science: Practical Skills
  4. Laboratory Science: Practical Investigation

During the course you will build a range of technical knowledge and skills on industrially relevant laboratory techniques, including:

  • Complex gravimetric and volumetric analytical methods;
  • Operation of a range of modern analytical instruments;
  • Microbiological methods;
  • Biochemical and DNA analysis;
  • Physics related measurements and equipment;
  • Develop an ability to assess health and safety relating to a range of laboratory activities;
  • Develop skills in recording, manipulating and reporting of scientific results;
  • Gain an understanding of career opportunities in science and how to develop your employability potential;
  • Become equipped for either further study or employment.

For the most part the course will involve learning through hands-on practical work. However, there will also be short lectures, computer simulations and activities, researching, group work and class visits. Throughout the course you will be offered an opportunity to review and identify how your skills are developing. You will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Good time keeping skills;
  • A willingness to learn;
  • An ability to work independently;
  • Planning and preparation skills;
  • An ability to establish/maintain good working relationships with others;
  • Problem solving skills.

To achieve the full qualification you must attend regularly and successfully complete all four units. Assessment will be carried out through a range of methods, including practical activities, reports and presentations.

On successful completion of the full group award your SQA Exam Certificate will show a National 5 qualification in Laboratory Science.

male using science equipment in a lab

Key facts

Subject area

Entry requirements

This course is suited to pupils wishing to develop practical Laboratory Skills that will be useful for a range of future careers.  It will support UCAS personal statements for those aspiring to degree studies as well as being beneficial for those planning to follow a Foundation or Modern Apprenticeship.

Pupils applying for this course should have achieved or be expecting to work towards an National 5 Science qualification. 

What you will need

You will need to bring pens, general stationary and a scientific calculator with you.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to:

  • Always be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course, you may be able to progress to one of the following full-time courses at North East Scotland College:

At University

Those with the qualifications to do so may choose to apply for further study at university level.


Those who wish to progress directly to employment may find entry-level job opportunities available, as well as Modern Apprenticeship opportunities.

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.