The Scottish Baccalaureate in Science

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The Scottish Baccalaureate in Science has been designed to provide a challenging and rewarding experience for candidates in fifth and sixth year of secondary school.

It is based on a coherent group of subjects at Higher and Advanced Higher level with the addition of the Interdisciplinary Project, which offers added breadth and value and helps to equip the candidate with the generic skills, attitudes and confidence necessary to make the transition into Higher Education and/or employment.

Baccalaureates News

Key Dates 2016/17

Key dates for centres for session 2016/17 are:

  • Application for Approval (IP1 form (636 KB)) should be submitted by end of September 2016
  • Understanding Standards event on 1 November 2016. More details and booking information can be found on the Understanding Standards page
  • Candidate entries should be submitted by November 2016
  • Results for the IP Unit should be submitted by 31 March 2017. All assessment and internal verification should be completed before the IP Unit result is submitted.  

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Mandatory Components

The Scottish Science Baccalaureate requires two, different eligible Science Courses, at least one of which must be at Advanced Higher level.

The mandatory components of the Science Baccalaureate are:

Scottish Science Baccalaureate mandatory components
Interdisciplinary Project Unit Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (16 SCQF points)
2 eligible Courses Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (64 SCQF points)
1 eligible Course Higher SCQF level 6 (24 SCQF points)

One of the above Courses must be Mathematics* (or Mathematics of Mechanics* or Statistics*) and this may be at Higher or Advanced Higher level.

Components do not have to be completed in the same academic year, for example a Higher course completed in S5 can contribute.

The Interdisciplinary Project Unit will be graded A, B or C.


Candidates should be entered for both the Baccalaureate award and for the Interdisciplinary Project. The codes are as follows:

Science Baccalaureate

Baccalaureate award – G9CX 47

Interdisciplinary Project – F785 47

Criteria for award of Pass and Distinction

Criteria for award of Distinction

The Scottish Science Baccalaureate with Distinction will be awarded to candidates who achieve:

  • Grade A in one Advanced Higher eligible Course
  • Grade A in one other component
  • Grade B or above in all other components

Criteria for award of Pass

Candidates who achieve at least Grade C in all mandatory components and who do not meet the criteria for Distinction will be awarded a Pass in the Scottish Science Baccalaureate.

Eligible Courses

Candidates may choose two Core courses, or one Core course and one Broadening course from the following lists:

Core courses Broadening courses
Biology* Computing Science*
Chemistry* Design and Manufacture*
Environmental Science Engineering Science*
Human Biology Graphic Communication*
Physics* Geography*

* Currently available at Advanced Higher level

Eligible courses have been updated in line with the Higher and Advanced Higher courses available from August 2015. Higher and Advanced Higher Courses that were previously available and contributed to the Scottish Baccalaureate award will still contribute.

SQA's course catalogue is kept under constant review. New courses may be added, or existing courses may be deleted or replaced

Approval and Quality Assurance

Further information on approval is available in our Approval and Quality Assurance section.


Arrangements document for the Scottish Baccalaureate in Science can be accessed by using the following link:

Unit Specification

National Unit Specifications for the Interdisciplinary Project can be accessed by using the link below.

Science Interdisciplinary Project National Unit Specification (62 KB)

Assessment Support Packs

Science ASP

The Scottish Baccalaureate in Science: Assessment Support Pack, Interdisciplinary Project (SCQF Level 7) (1.38 MB)

 The exemplars in Section 9 were written prior to the delivery of the Baccalaureate. You can now see real examples of candidates' Interdisciplinary Projects with External Verifier commentaries in the Exemplar section below.


Templates for Candidates and Assessors in Word format

Science ASP - Section 10: Templates for Candidates and Assessors (205 KB)


Assessment Exemplars

New Exemplars and Commentaries from session 2011/12

Exemplar Commentary
Science Exemplar One (152 KB) EV Commentary One (221 KB)
Science Exemplar Two (201 KB) EV Commentary Two (218 KB)
Science Exemplar Three (145 KB) EV Commentary Three (219 KB)
Science Exemplar Four (126 KB) EV Commentary Four (216 KB)
Science Exemplar Five (123 KB) EV Commentary Five (220 KB)
Science Exemplar Six (128 KB) EV Commentary Six (216 KB)


Exemplars from session 2009/10 - Please note that the templates have been revised and and these exemplars are on old templates:

Exemplar Commentary
Science Exemplar One (2.11 MB) EV Commentary One (210 KB)
Science Exemplar Two (1.98 MB) EV Commentary Two (209 KB)
Science Exemplar Three (1.60 MB) EV Commentary Three (210 KB)
Science Exemplar Five (2.10 MB) EV Commentary Five (210 KB)
Science Exemplar Six (2.10 MB) EV Commentary Six (212 KB)
Science Exemplar Seven (1.70 MB) EV Commentary Seven (210 KB)

Video Case Studies

Callum's experience

Charleston Academy

Gabriele's experience

Gareth's experience

Case Studies


Models of delivery

Candidate Guide

Internal Assessment Reports