Sixth Form Curriculum

A choice of Highers or A Levels

At Strathallan we offer two options for Sixth Form study – Scottish Highers and A Levels.

Both courses last for two years and involve greater specialisation than at GCSE level with fewer subjects being studied, but in greater depth.

The minimum entry requirement for entry into either programme  is five GCSEs at grade C or five National 5s at grade C / Level 4 or international equivalents.


Scottish Highers are one of the national school-leaving certificate exams and university entrance qualifications of the Scottish Qualifications Authority. They are recognised by universities in the UK and abroad with universities normally requiring a minimum of four Highers depending on the course chosen. A small number of courses will require Advanced Highers or A Levels rather than Highers (eg Medicine) and pupils will be made aware of this in discussion about Sixth Form choices.

Pupils taking Higher courses are expected to take five subjects; those taking History and Modern Studies will be able to take six Highers.

A Levels

The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education in the UK.

A Levels are recognised globally and are studied over two years with exams in the final year. Students at Strathallan generally study four A Levels with the option of discontinuing one in Upper Sixth. Some students study five or more A Levels. Advice will be provided to help students decide on the number and choice of subjects.

Extended Project Qualification

Strathallan also offers the Extended Project Qualification which allows each student to embark on a largely self-directed and self-motivated project. Students must choose a topic, plan, research and develop their idea and decide on their finished product.

We encourage creativity and curiosity. A project topic may be directly related to a student’s main study programme, but should look beyond the specification. A finished product may take the form of a:

  • research based written report
  • production* (eg charity event, fashion show or sports event etc)
  • an artefact* (eg piece of art, a computer game or realised design).
    *A written report must accompany these options.

Students must also record their project process in their Production Log. The process of recording and completing a project is as important as the finished product. Both the Production Log and Product will be assessed.

The EPQ is accredited by the AQA and allows our pupils to extend their Higher or A-Level studies and gain valuable skills for university education and employment. Our pupils demonstrate a genuine interest in a topic, helping them stand out from their peers and earn additional UCAS points.

Highers or A Levels?

By offering Highers and A Levels students can choose the best route for their individual ambitions and aspirations. Our Careers Advisor and Director of Studies will discuss study routes with every pupil and their parents to fully explain the options.

Why two year Highers?

At Strathallan the two year Higher runs alongside the two year A Level meaning there is a strong and diversified Sixth Form.

It also means that:

  • students can develop and attain additional relevant skills and experience through involvement in volunteering, building up some work experience and taking on responsibility within the School authority.
  • for those who are heavily committed elsewhere, for example playing sport or music at a professional or semi-professional level, they can continue their extra-curricular development whilst maintaining a strong academic profile.
  • students develop the necessary maturity to fully prepare them for the next stage in their career.

To find out more about Highers and A Levels contact Andrew Watt, Careers Advisor

For further information about Sixth Form options, download the Course Guide.