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Advanced Highers

What are Advanced Highers?

If pupils remain in school for a sixth year they can opt to take the Advanced Higher qualifications.

  • These are aimed at pupils who have passed Highers and want to extend the skills and knowledge they have gained.

How do universities view Advanced Highers?

In Scottish universities Advanced Highers are not usually required for entry, and, generally, it is more important to achieve the Highers required for entry level first before considering Advanced Highers.

  • For more competitive programmes, for example, medicine, dentistry or veterinary science, students are likely to need five Highers achieved in the fifth year, and then two advanced Highers and an additional Higher in the sixth year sitting. 
  • In certain cases (particularly with science programmes) Advanced Highers may give you direct entry to a second year of a university programme.

It is also worth noting that if you don’t get the set of Highers you want in fifth year then Advanced Highers (or a mixture of Highers and Advanced Highers) may make it more likely that a conditional place at university could be offered.

  • For instance, if you are wanting to compensate for a low Higher grade in a subject, a university may regard a C grade Advanced Higher as equal to a B grade Higher, and a B grade Advanced Higher as equal to an A grade Higher.
  • It is extremely important to always check specific entry requirements and talk directly to the universities if you have any doubts or questions about the Advanced Higher(s) or the combination of Highers and Advanced Highers you are considering in your sixth year.
  • Don't be afraid to get in touch with university Admissions or School Liaison teams and ask!

Some Universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland accept Highers for entry to their degree programmes, but many other institutions will, in addition, ask for up to three Advanced Highers.

  • It is crucial to check entry requirements as early as possible with each university you are considering.

Try searching for courses in our Course Chooser, to get an idea of entry requirements.