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Introducing SQA Advanced Qualifications

SQA’s Advanced Qualifications are internationally recognised higher education qualifications at certificate and diploma level (levels 4 and 5).

SQA’s Advanced Qualifications are internationally recognised higher education qualifications at certificate and diploma level (levels 4 and 5).

21 Mar 2022, 7:00

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Why deliver?

SQA Advanced Qualifications were developed in partnership with colleges, universities and industry and specifically designed to meet the requirements of education professionals and the skills needs of employers.

SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas are education pathways at levels 4 and 5, enabling students to progress on to further study or directly into employment.

Advanced Qualifications are recognised and valued by a network of university progression partners in the UK and beyond, allowing progression to a related undergraduate degree.

How do SQA Advanced Qualifications work?

SQA Advanced Certificates and SQA Advanced Diplomas are made up of unit credits (one credit represents approximately 40 hours of timetabled learning and 40 hours of self-guided learning and study):

• SQA Advanced Certificates are made up of 96 SCQF credit points, at SCQF level 7, and usually take one year to complete.

• SQA Advanced Diplomas are made up of 240 SCQF credit points, at SCQF level 8, and usually take two years to complete.

Who are they for?

SQA Advanced Qualifications are suitable for a wide range of learners:

• school leavers
• adult returners to education
• employees who wish to enhance their career prospects
• people who wish to start their own business.


Centres can choose from a wide range of subjects, with over 45 qualifications in 15 sectors, to meet local skills requirements or complement their existing provision. Subjects available include Business, Engineering, Computing and Finance.

Designed for delivery

Designed with industry to robust standards, SQA Advanced Qualifications allow flexible delivery and assessment, to meet local skills needs and prepare learners for their next step.

Supporting local skills needs

As well as a wide range of subject areas to cover a wide set of skills requirements, these qualifications have been developed with industry and employers. Learners get the practical skills needed to do a job and the theoretical knowledge an employer will expect them to have.

In addition to being industry relevant, some are also recognised by leading professional associations, including ACCA, CIMA, CIOB and IET.

A pathway to university

The Certificate/Diploma is a trusted, short-cycle higher education qualification equivalent to the first and second year of a university degree. SQA Advanced Qualifications enable advanced entry into many undergraduate degree programmes in SQA’s partner universities and higher education institutions.

SQA’s Diploma to Degree programme is a proven route for students to progress on to the second or third year of an undergraduate degree, following successful completion of an SQA Advanced Diploma. We have over 50 university partners in the UK and around the world who recognise the SQA Advanced Diploma for advanced entry and provide students with a quality learning experience.

Progression partners include Middlesex University London, Liverpool Hope University, Auckland Institute of Studies (New Zealand) and Northern Arizona University, providing learners with the opportunity to learn locally and study globally.

Learn more

You can find out more about SQA’s Advanced Qualifications offer, including viewing a full course list, by downloading a copy of the prospectus at: www.sqa.org.uk/advanced

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