The Scottish Baccalaureate in Science

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.

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:

Component Level SCQF level SCQF points
Interdisciplinary Project Unit Advanced Higher 7 16
2 eligible Courses Advanced Higher 7 64
1 eligible Course Higher 6 24

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


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 Assessment Support Pack

The Scottish Baccalaureate in Science: Assessment Support Pack, Interdisciplinary Project (SCQF Level 7) (296 KB)

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

Audit tool

The audit tool helps teachers/lecturers when approving candidate Interdisciplinary Project proposals.

Candidate Guide

Case Studies


Models of delivery

Understanding Standards

Examples of candidate evidence with commentaries

Evidence and commentaries

Interdisciplinary Project Overview

Interdisciplinary Project Webinar (recording) November 2020  26 minutes (57.92 MB)

Changes to understanding standards materials

Please note: Understanding Standards materials are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain up to date

Qualification Verification Summary Reports