SQA National Qualifications: The Basics

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SQA National Qualifications: The Basics

NQs are qualifications for students in secondary schools and are also offered in colleges of further education. NQs are Standard Grades, National Courses and National Units. National Courses and National Units are available at a number of levels from Access 1 to Advanced Higher.

The following table outlines the whole range of National Qualifications and shows how Standard Grades relate to National Courses:

Standard Grades National Courses/Units
  Advanced Higher
  Higher
Credit (Standard Grade 1, 2) Intermediate 2
General (Standard Grade 3, 4) Intermediate 1
Foundation (Standard Grade 5, 6) Access 3
  Access 2
  Access 1

Standard Grades were introduced in the 1980s. National Courses/Units are sometimes called 'new' National Qualifications as they were introduced from 1999 to replace the previous qualifications. You might have heard them referred to as 'Higher Still'.