Education in Scotland

Scotland offers a revolutionary curriculum and internationally-renowned universities. Whether you’re thinking of moving your family here or just want to hire the best staff for your business, our fantastic education system is right on your doorstep.

Our world-class education system

Through inter-disciplinary learning and multi-skill development, our Curriculum for Excellence aims to develop children to be independent and curious, with a well-rounded range of skills. Pupils are educated in a wide range of subjects, from maths, sciences and literacy (including foreign languages) to arts, health and wellbeing, and technologies.


Preparing for the future

From midway through secondary schools, students choose the subjects they want to continue, and begin working towards the qualifications they need for the next chapter of their life – whether that’s university, college or employment. In 2018, 94.4% of school leavers left for positive destinations like higher education, further education, training or employment.

Types of schools in Scotland

Extra-curricular learning

In Scotland, learning isn’t just done in school. The extra-curricular activities available in Scotland offer many opportunities for learning and inspiration – whether through sports, museums, art galleries, cultural sites or clubs and classes. A survey of young people found that in the last 12 months, 78% had visited a cultural site or event, 67% had participated in volunteering or fundraising, 65% has participated in team sports and 60% in arts activities.

There are initiatives set up around the country to help children learn extra skills that might not be on the curriculum – such as CoderDojo, which helps 8-17 year olds learn coding skills.


Universities and colleges

In 2018, over 67% of school leavers went onto higher education or further education. Although we're a small country, we boast 19 universities – 5 of which are in the top 1% of the world’s universities – and many colleges spread across the country.

The range and diversity of courses on offer means the 50% of our population that’s educated to a higher level have skills in everything from engineering, data science, law and biochemistry, to languages, games development and filmmaking.

In 2017-2018, 27% of students graduated with first class honours, and 53% achieved upper second class.


Scotland’s 2030 vision for universities

As a progressive nation, we’re always looking to the future. Scotland’s vision is that by 2030 higher education will be:

  • A world leader in education, research and innovation.
  • A vital source of Scotland’s strength in a competitive, connected and collaborative world.
  • A core part of Scotland’s identity as a prosperous, inclusive and outward-looking nation.

Find out about Scotland’s universities on Universities Scotland

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Key sectors

After university, many of our graduates go on to work in key sectors like energy, technology, sciences, creative industries and food and drink.

Our people and skills

Companies in Scotland benefit from our highly talented workforce, with expertise in a number of industries.


Scotland is the ideal environment for innovation, with talented people, excellent support and a history of innovative ideas.

Got a question? Get in touch with our team of advisers.