Baccalaureates receive impressive UCAS tariff rating

Scottish Baccalaureates logoA key feature of the new Scottish Language and Scottish Science Baccalaureates has received an impressive tariff rating from UCAS, the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK.

The Interdisciplinary Project element of the award has been given exactly half the points for an Advanced Higher at the same grade.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:

“I am particularly pleased the Baccalaureates have received this mark from UCAS. Taking into account that this is a new qualification with no candidate evidence, the Interdisciplinary Project has done well to achieve half the marks of an Advanced Higher, which itself has recently had its tariff increased by UCAS in recognition of its high standing.

“We are very pleased with this rating as it will ensure that the Scottish Baccalaureates are recognised when young people apply for university courses in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK.”

The Scottish Science and Language Baccalaureates have been created to encourage uptake in languages and science courses in the upper secondary school; raise the status of S6 assist young people in making the transition from school to Further and Higher Education and employment; and encourage collaboration between schools and FE/ HE institutions.

Janet Brown, SQA Chief Executive, said: "Once again, the rigorous UCAS Tariff rating process has delivered an excellent result for Scotland and our new Baccalaureates.

“The high tariff score awarded to the Interdisciplinary Project, in line with the increased Advanced Higher scores agreed last year, makes the Baccalaureate package a very attractive one for learners aspiring to university.

“The Interdisciplinary Project exemplifies the core values of Curriculum for Excellence, providing learners with the opportunity to develop research and planning  skills, interpersonal and problem-solving skills as well as  autonomous learning and self-evaluation - precisely the abilities which are key to success in Higher Education.”


The University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh, Napier University, St Andrews University, Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde University all participated in the UCAS Expert Group to determine the UCAS Tariff scores for the Interdisciplinary Project. The Expert Group has recommended that the IP be allocated 65 UCAS points for an A, 55 points for a B and 45 points for a C grade. This works out at exactly half of the points for an Advanced Higher (based on the revised scores for entry from 2010).

The UCAS tariff aims to provide a level playing field for university and college applicants to UK Higher Education institutions. It assigns tariff points to a wide range of qualifications to help higher education admissions staff treat applicants with different qualifications in an equitable way.

The Interdisciplinary Project is an innovative qualification at Advanced Higher level providing learners with a broadening experience where they can apply their subject knowledge in languages or science to a relevant context. It is focused on the development of generic skills, such as research and investigation, collaborative working, information management and presentation, which help prepare the learner for further study and employment. In carrying out their project, they must negotiate access to different learning environments, such as a college, university, community or workplace setting.