Will Advanced Highers help me get into uni?
After completing four or five Highers in S5, you might be offered the chance to spend the next year taking Advanced Highers before continuing on to university. The experts explain more…
If you’re planning on going to uni in Scotland, it’s not essential to have Advanced Highers to apply to university, as Scottish universities typically make offers based on your Highers results. However, continuing your studies at a higher level will help you make an easier transition from school to university-level learning and has other benefits, too.
Will Advanced Highers help your uni application?
Not an entry requirement
Improves your chances
If you didn’t manage to get the Highers grades you needed in S5 to meet the entry requirements of the university course you wanted to take, completing additional Highers, Advanced Highers (or a mixture of the two) will improve your chances of being made a conditional offer the following year.
Fast-tracking in Scotland
Taking Advanced Highers – in certain subjects and at certain universities – can also fast-track you straight into the second year of university.
If you’ve already been accepted on to a course on the basis of your Highers scores but opt to do Advanced Highers in the intervening year, direct entry to your second year could be open to you – it’s best to speak directly to your university department about this.
Advancing your education
Let’s not forget the educational benefits of spending an extra year studying at a higher level. Advanced Highers will set you in good stead for making a smooth transition into university studies. And while they might not be quoted as entry requirements, some university courses may expect you to continue to Advanced Highers in S6 before proceeding on to uni.
It can be different outside of Scotland
Universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland tend to look at Advanced Highers in different ways. Some may ask for this qualification as an essential entry requirement. For others, it’s not necessary. Either way, your Advanced Highers won’t put you at a disadvantage – that extra year of maturity and more intensive study under your belt will be viewed as good preparation for studying at degree level.
The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge typically ask for four As at Highers level, plus three at Advanced Highers level in their entry requirements – so if the aim of the game is to get into one of these universities, doing Advanced Highers is probably a smart move.
On the other hand, elsewhere in the UK you’ll find a good set of Highers will be enough to receive an offer.