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Work-based learning through Foundation Apprenticeships has been given further recognition through the UK’s education admissions service, UCAS.

A Foundation Apprenticeship is already a qualification recognised by all universities and colleges across Scotland.

UCAS has now awarded Foundation Apprenticeships Tariff points, which are allocated to qualifications generally studied between the ages of 16 to 18 years old.

Through the Tarrif points system, UCAS translates qualifications and grades into a numerical value.

In awarding each of the 12 Foundation Apprenticeship subjects their own Tariff points, the admissions service has taken into account the time spent gaining experience and skills in the workplace.

Time on work-based learning recognised

Calculating time spent learning in the workplace in addition to traditional learning and assignments taken with a learning provider, such as a college, indicates further recognition of the importance of work-based learning within senior phase and tertiary education.

Most Foundation Apprenticeship subjects earn 42 Tariff points whilst Engineering and Civil Engineering earn 56 Tariff points.

Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in partnership with industry with support from the European Social Fund.

Studied in the senior phase of school alongside other subjects such as Nationals and Highers, Foundation Apprenticeships are delivered through blended learning.  All learners will be paired with a dedicated employer and learning provider.  Completion leads to a qualification at the same level of learning as a Higher.

Significant for subject choice decisions

Skills Development Scotland Director of Critical Skills and Occupations, Diane Greenlees said: “Awarding Tariff points for Foundation Apprenticeships as the sum of all its parts, including the work-based learning element, demonstrates their relevance in responding to the needs of education and industry.

“This is a significant development, especially in supporting young people and their influencers who are making decisions about subject choices and progression pathways.”

This latest development also supports young people making decisions on subject choices at school, where tariff points are utilised within selection for applications to university, in Scotland and across the UK.

UCAS Senior Policy and Qualifications Manager, Ben Jordan said: “Higher education comes in many shapes and sizes and there are a multitude of pathways to higher level study.  

“With Foundation Apprenticeships in Scotland now being allocated UCAS Tariff points, it’s a clear signal from universities and colleges that they’re committed to promoting access for those with technical skills and experience, particularly for vocational courses.”

Online information

Young people can find out about Foundation Apprenticeship Tariff points on, where details are included in information on each of the Foundation Apprenticeship subjects under the section entitled: 'Where could it take me?'.

UCAS has also updated its online calculator to enable young people to find out the worth of their Foundation Apprenticeship subject.

Scottish Government Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Foundation Apprenticeships represent a new way for young people to learn with the chance to get a head start on a career by gaining industry-recognised qualifications, working on real projects and real experience that employers look for.

“By fostering stronger links between employers and education, Foundation Apprenticeships are helping to ensure that local employers have the opportunity to play a more active role in developing the young workforce, this is an important next step within Scottish education.”

The Foundation Apprenticeships homepage also has links to guides explaining Modern Apprenticeship, college and university entry levels for Foundation Apprenticeship subjects.

More information

UCAS is an independent charity providing information, advice, and admissions services to support educational progression.

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