Leaving School

Transition Planning

Leaving school is often called Transition. Transition Planning is about:

  • getting the right information at the right time in a way that is understood
  • building skills to enable you to make decisions about your future
  • making sure you are ready for the first steps into the world of adulthood
  • exploring the options of further education, training, employment or taking a gap year

In Scotland, you are eligible to leave school in winter or summer depending on when your 16th birthday falls. If you’re unsure about whether leaving school at 16 is the best option for you. You can speak to your Guidance Teacher or Careers Advisor to help you decide what is best!

Modern Apprenticeships

Once you have decided on the type of work that interests you, you should apply online;


Apprenticeships in Scotland

Information regarding National minimum wage can be found by following the link.

Applying to University

For a list of courses, and help choosing subject choices, please visit UCAS

Applying to College

For a list of colleges in Scotland, and help choosing subject choices, please visit PlanItPlus.

Summer Schools

The information below gives you details of a range of opportunities to gain experience of university life and to support you into Higher Education.

Strathclyde University S@S Accelerate Programme

This is a one-week programme, held at the University of Strathclyde. It is for pupils at the end of S4, S5 and S6 and who are thinking about going to University. It aims to provide a targeted focus on the pupils’ chosen area of academic interest, giving them a head start on the road to their chosen career.

There are a number of areas pupils are able to choose from including Computer Science, Physics, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Business and Enterprise, Education, Languages and Law.

The cost of this programme is £125 per week Apply now.

Strathclyde University Summer School

The Summer School is for anyone who has accepted an offer to study at the University of Strathclyde.  Those planning to make an application to study at the University will also be considered.  Outside of the priority group, places will be allocated on a first come first served basis in early May. 

Glasgow University Summer School

The University of Glasgow organises an annual 4-week Summer School designed to help students benefit from an adjusted offer of entry. It is used to prepare students for university study. Students study 2 academic subjects and an academic skills course.

Glasgow School of Art Summer School

On offer will be a range of classes from drawing and painting. More specialist classes like feltmaking, illustration, photography, jewellery and figurative sculpture are also offered.  Every week you will have a variety of courses to choose from including a portfolio preparation course.  Students can apply for as many courses as they like with the course costs clearly identified in the brochure.

Financial Support

Financial Support for Scottish students is provided by Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).  For funding information for Scottish students please check – Funding Guide

  • Tuition Fees - Full time students must apply to SAAS to have tuition fees paid, these fees are not automatically paid when you accept a college/university course
  • Student Loans – You can apply for a means-tested loan to support you with general living costs.  Student loans must be repaid.
  • Young Students Bursary - If you are under 25 you may be able to apply for the Young Students' Bursary which is non-repayable.
  • If you are an independent student, you may be eligible for the Independent Students’ Bursary.
  • Additional grants and bursaries are available to certain categories of students such as lone parents, those with dependents and those leaving care to enter higher education. Extra help is also available to those who have a disability, learning difficulty or mental health problem.
  • For new students, please check the deadline date for applications to SAAS to guarantee that funds are in place for the beginning of the academic.
  • After you have graduated you will start re-paying the loan once you are earning over the annual income threshold.


Studen Loans Company

Scholarships and Bursaries

Scholarships, grants and bursaries are financial awards that are designed to help to support students financially through their studies. They can be awarded for many different reasons and this is often dependent on the type of organisation that is awarding the scholarships. Different organisations will have different motives for offering scholarships.   

The terms scholarship, grant and bursary often seem to be used quite a lot and it can be quite confusing. The basic principle of each is the same. This is money that is awarded to you which you do not have to pay back.  

As a general rule, you could say

  • Scholarships: money usually given for something you have achieved whether this is academic or extra-curricular
  • Grants: a grant can be given for achievement, personal circumstance or financial need
  • Bursaries: these are usually given for financial need

What funding is available in Scotland?

Scholarship Search

Uni Guides

When choosing a university, bear one thing in mind: it’s not all academic. As well as finding a course that matches your interests, think carefully about the whole student experience and whether it will suit you.

Which University


The complete University guide

The Guardian - University Guide

Sponsored Degrees and Graduate Apprenticeships

A sponsored degree programme is a way of getting a degree and being paid while you study, as well as gaining valuable work experience with a reputable company. The big advantage is that once you graduate you will not have a student loan to pay off. Without the hassle of a student loan to pay off. Details of the schemes vary, but typically you might find yourself working four days a week and studying one day a week on campus at the associated University.

The Scholarship Hub - Articulated Degrees

Graduate Apprenticeships also allow you to study for a degree while in full time employment.  For more information, updates and vacancies visit Apprenticeships Scot - Graduates.

Articulated Degree Routes

Visit Glasgow Caledonian College Connect to get information on HND courses that have clear articulation routes to university straight from college.

International Education

Visit Erasmus to gain more information on studying abroad. 

Straight into a Job

Setting up your Own Business

If you are a budding entrepreneur or interested in finding out information about business development, please take a look at the links below:

The Prince's Youth Business Scotland

Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire

Young Enterprise Scotland


Gap Year

A gap year is a period of time when students take time off to do something other than study – such as travel, volunteering or work. A gap year is widely acknowledged and most universities and colleges will consider an application for a deferred entry. Always check with them before applying. When you apply, include details of your proposed gap year in your personal statement to support your application. Some useful websites to visit are:

Push: Taking a gap year

icloud: Gap Year

Frontier: Gap year Advice

Young Scot - Gap Year

Gap Year Safe Travel