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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

SQA Scots Language Award: A teacher's guide

SQA Scots Language Award


A qualification in the Scots language is available from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

The Scots Language Award has been available from August 2014 at SQCF levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. This course provides learners with the opportunity to study the history and development of Scots and develop their own written and oral abilities in the language, with an Award which reflects the standards of the Curriculum for Excellence. 

The Award is open to a wide range of learners in secondary schools, further education institutions and community learning centres. The Award is internally assessed, and consists of two mandatory units at each level as follows:

Scots Language: History and Development, which looks at the history of the language from origins to present, including knowledge of how Scots is related to other languages.

Scots Language: Understanding and Communicating, which allows participants to develop skills in the language, such as listening to and reading in Scots and producing written and oral communication in Scots.


Useful information for teachers delivering the Scots Language Award

  • The two units, Scots Language: History and Development and Scots Language: Understanding and Communicating are mandatory and worth 6 SCQF points each.
  • Teachers are able to enter learners for the level that best suits their assessment evidence - for example, they may initially decide that a learner would be best suited to Level 4, but then present them for Level 5 upon assessing their evidence.
  • The delivery and assessment of the units can be combined. For example, a learner could satisfy the assessment criteria for certain elements of both units by using Scots to write about the history and development of the language.
  • The Scots used can be in any dialect.
  • Assessments can be delivered using a variety of approaches - for example, learners could communicate in Scots via a presentation, essay, video or performance.
  • Evidence can be collected over more than one academic year, as long as there is a verification process in place to ensure that the learners' work is their own.
  • There are examples of unit assessment materials on the SQA secure website.
  • SQA offer a prior verification service for centres that create their own assessments.

Useful links for teachers delivering the Scots Language Award

Online Resources