PDA Laboratory Science at SCQF level 7

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 7 provides candidates with the competences required to carry out roles within a laboratory technologist environment, eg those undertaking laboratory analysis and technical activities. The competences meet the needs of both private and public sector organisations in the science industry.

This qualification is available through colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 7 has been designed to develop the vocational skills of those people who are employed in the science industry.

This qualification is designed to underpin the vocational part of the Modern Apprenticeship in Laboratory Science and will also provide underpinning knowledge to support the SVQ in Laboratory Science at level 3.

Who does this qualification suit

This PDA will be attractive to a diverse group of learners including the following:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners
  • graduates seeking technical skills
  • employed laboratory technicians/technologists (life sciences, NHS, chemicals, food and drink, etc)


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • One Science Higher and no fewer than three Standard Grade 3/Intermediate 2 passes, including Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology or Human Biology and Mathematics.
  • If candidates do not have Chemistry at SCQF level 6, they should complete level 6 chemistry bridging Units initially as an integral component of their Course.
  • NPA in Laboratory Science.
  • National Certificate at SCQF level 6.
  • National Qualification in an appropriate Science and Maths programme, such as SWAP Access to Science. Candidates should preferably possess some NQ Units at Higher level.
  • Qualifications comparable to the above, gained through other awarding bodies.


The PDA in Laboratory Science includes Units from the HNC/HND Science portfolio. Successful candidates could progress to an HND and then progress to third year of a degree.

For full progression routes, please see the Arrangement documents.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

The assessment strategy has been designed to encourage a more holistic approach to assessment.

Assessment will consist of a combination of practical assignments and open and closed-book tests. Evidence Requirements for each Unit are specified in the Unit descriptors.

Where can you take this course?

Group Award Specification

Title: PDA in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 7
Code: G9F0 47
Date: June 2016 (Version 4)
Download: PDA in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 7 Arrangements Document (598 KB)

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code: G9F0 47 (64 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 7


Candidates must complete four mandatory Units and four optional Units.

Mandatory Units

Quality and Health and Safety Systems in Science Industries — DF82 34
Fundamental Chemistry: Theory and Practice — DH2K 34
Chemical Engineering: Applied — F3X9 34
Mathematics for Science 1 — DN8D 33
OR Statistics for Science 1— DN8C 34

Qualifications Support Team (QST) - Action Grids