Foundation Apprenticeships


Foundation apprenticeships - what are they?

FA student

A Foundation Apprenticeship is a Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level six qualification which was introduced across Scotland in 2014.

It provides a range of benefits that employers are looking for and opens up your options after you leave school. It normally starts in S5 and takes two years to complete.

In some cases you will be able to complete your course in one year, depending on the subject and your circumstances.

The Foundation Apprenticeship is recognised by industry and you will also work with a reputable local employer as part of your course.

Foundation Apprenticeship Pupil Testimonials

‘There is more of a focus on gaining skills for a career and opening doors to different employers. This will really help me when finding a job.’

‘Don’t be afraid to apply for a course. If it’s something you want to do, just go for it, you won’t regret it. Even if you do not know anyone else taking the course do not worry as you will meet new people. It’s a great opportunity.’

How do the work

Apply to college or University - progress into a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship - Gain Employment

Foundation Apprenticeships are for pupils making decisions about which subjects they will study in S5 and S6.

You spend time during your school week either attending college or accessing learning online. In addition to an academic qualification you will also gain work experience in a related business as part of your studies.

You will undertake work-based projects designed to supplement your school studies with real world experience and benefit from site visits to businesses and guest speakers from industry.

boy students

What is Work Placement?

A work placement is one of the most important aspects of the qualification, as it provides an opportunity to apply your learning with an employer in your chosen sector. This will vary depending on the course but will often take place in the second year of the Foundation Apprenticeship. It is the responsibility of your college to organise work placements. The college will try hard to get local employers in your chosen industry or area of interest but some travel may be required. All employers are vetted to ensure they are suitable and meet learner requirements. Placements are monitored to provide support and guidance throughout.

What is available?

The following Foundation Apprenticeship programmes are available in Argyll. See more information by clicking on the link:

- FA Business Skills
- FA Social Services (Children & Young People)
- FA Engineering

Recognition for University admission


Universities across Scotland recognise the Foundation Apprenticeship as part of their entry criteria. It is important that you check with individual universities and colleges for their specific entry requirements. There are already examples of pupils using their Foundation Apprenticeships to gain entry onto degree courses.

At the University of the Highlands and Islands we recognise Foundation Apprenticeships as part of our entrance criteria. Other Scottish universities currently recognising Foundation Apprenticeships include:

- Abertay University
- Edinburgh Napier University
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- Glasgow School of Art
- Heriott Watt University
- Queen Margaret University
- Robert Gordon University
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- Scotland’s Rural College
- The Open University
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Dundee
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of St Andrews
- University of Strathclyde
- University of the West of Scotland
- University of Stirling