What's Scientific Technologies like?

Choose a career in science and help develop the medicines and biotechnology of the future. You could work in medical research or industrial, marine, plant or environmental areas. This Foundation Apprenticeship is a great way into the industry.

Scotland has a thriving life science and related science sector. There are over 7,500 roles within life sciences-related operations, such as: 

  • biomedical scientist
  • biotechnologist
  • biochemist
  • laboratory technician
  • marine biologist
  • geoscientist

There's a growing demand for people with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. On average, those working in STEM careers earn 20% more than those working in other fields.

What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a Foundation Apprenticeship in Scientific Technologies. That's the same level of learning as an SQA Higher, at SCQF Level 6.

This includes:

  • a National Progression Award (NPA) in Applied Sciences at SCQF Level 6
  • core units of an SVQ in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities (Industrial Science) at SCQF Level 6

SCQF qualification levels explained

What will I learn?

Your National Progression Award (NPA) will cover:

  • Laboratory Safety
  • Mathematics for Science
  • Fundamental Chemistry: An Introduction
  • Experimental Procedures: Science

In S6, you’ll be assessed in real-life situations in the workplace. You’ll learn how to:

  • follow health and safety procedures for scientific or technical activities
  • carry out scientific or technical tests using manual equipment
  • prepare compounds and solutions

Your Foundation Apprenticeship will also help you to develop meta-skills. Employers value these skills, which include:

  • communication
  • problem-solving
  • working with others
  • time management

You'll need these transferable skills for working in a range of other related jobs.

Where could it take me?

Your Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options, including:

  • Modern Apprenticeship: When you complete your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have achieved 3 units of the Modern Apprenticeship in Life Science and Related Science Industries at SCQF Level 6. You’ll have the knowledge and experience to progress your career in this area.

  • further education: Continue your studies at college with a HNC or HND in a related subject. Your workplace experience will support your college application.

  • university: All Scottish universities recognise Foundation Apprenticeships as equal to SQA Highers. You’ll already have experience in the industry – this will make your UCAS stand out from the crowd. This apprenticeship also provides you with 42 UCAS tariff points. Find out more about points on the UCAS website

  • straight to a job: Use your qualification and work experience to find a job in the science industry. You could progress into roles such as: 
    • laboratory attendant
    • junior laboratory assistant technician
    • junior technician
    • laboratory trainee

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How will it work?

You'll do the Foundation Apprenticeship alongside your other school subjects. You'll work on projects with an employer and a learning provider, such as a college. It'll give you an industry-recognised qualification that's great for your CV.

Read our info on the Scientific Technologies Foundation Apprenticeship to see how it all works!

How can I apply?

If you're staying on at school, you can apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship.

Use the search tool to find out if this subject is available at your school. Then fill out the form that comes next, to let us know you're interested. We'll get back to you with more information.

Find out if this subject is available at your school