November 16th, 2018
In this week’s blog, we would like to spotlight the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and their Advanced Qualifications. In partnership with SQA, ACEI has reviewed and evaluated the qualifications in Accounting, Business and Computing for U.S. educational equivalence comparability and credit equivalence.
1. Who is the SQA?
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is an international leader in education and qualifications development. The SQA has over 100 years’ experience in developing qualifications and qualifications systems, and over 20 years’ experience of working internationally in partnership with schools, colleges, universities, employers, training organizations, industry professionals, professional bodies, and governments.
SQA helps individuals realize their potential and achieve their ambitions by providing a wide range of high-quality, internationally recognized qualifications, and associated services.
Based in Glasgow, SQA is a not-for-profit government-sponsored organization, accountable to the Scottish Government, and sits at the heart of Scotland’s world- renowned education system.
2. What are SQA Advanced Qualifications?
SQA Advanced Qualifications are internationally recognized higher education qualifications at certificate and diploma level. They develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills — such as information technology, communication, and problem solving — expected by a university or employer.
They have been developed to meet the skills needs of employers, and the requirements of education professionals, and also to enable advanced entry into many undergraduate degree programs in universities and higher education institutions.
3. Why study an SQA Advanced Qualification?
Achieving an SQA Advanced Certificate or SQA Advanced Diploma is one of the best ways to progress onto further studies or develop a career.
Here are 3 reasons why:
i. Valued by universities
An SQA Advanced Diploma is equivalent to the first two years of a degree, and is a recognized route into year 2 or 3 of a related degree program at home or overseas.
ii. Internationally recognized qualifications, designed by experts
Sitting at the heart of Scotland’s world-renowned education system, SQA works in partnership to ensure qualifications are suitable, relevant, and up to date.
iii. Career-focused and trusted by employers
SQA qualifications enable our delivering centers to form industry and employer partnerships that provide opportunities to combine studying with on the job experience.
4. Who are SQA Advanced Qualifications for?
They are suitable for a wide range of learners, including: school leavers, adult returners to education, employees who wish to enhance their career prospects and people who wish to start their own business.
An SQA Advanced Qualification is ideal for students who would like to move on to a related undergraduate degree program at home or overseas, students who would like to study for a degree at an English-speaking university, or students who intend to enter into the workplace.
5. How do SQA Advanced Qualifications work?
i. Practical Learning
SQA Advanced Qualifications aim to develop the high-level transferable skills and academic knowledge required for degree study or work. They use practical approaches to learning, with study methods including project and assignment work, group work, presentations, and case studies.
Subjects are assessed in different ways. SQA Advanced Qualifications use a variety of assessment methods, such as an exam, essay, project, investigation and/or a practical assignment. Assessment is quality assured through internal verification (using an institution’s own staff) and external verification (using SQA subject experts from the education sector).
On successful completion of your SQA Advanced Qualification you will receive:
An SQA certificate stating the title of the qualification achieved
A listing of all the units passed and the Graded Units
Once students have successfully achieved the SQA Advanced Qualification they have a number of options. They can progress on to a degree course in university at home or overseas through our Diploma to Degree program, do a qualification with a professional body, or go straight into employment.
6. Does the Diploma lead to a Degree?
The Diploma to Degree program is a well-established and successful route for students to complete an SQA Advanced Diploma and then progress directly on to the second or third year of a related undergraduate degree with one of our university partners.
SQA has partnered and set up progression pathway agreements with a number of highly regarded international institutions in countries around the world, covering various progression models, including online delivery. These institutions recognize the SQA Advanced Diploma as evidence of a student’s capability, given the quality learning experience it provides, and as a result offer advanced entry.
Many students study for an SQA Advanced Diploma in their home country before progressing on to a related undergraduate degree either within their own country or abroad. This can be a cost-effective route for those looking to gain international experience while achieving a degree.
Successful graduates can study at universities around the world, including in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Please note that individual universities may ask for additional entry requirements.
7. What about Professional Body Exemptions?
Many professional bodies in the UK and internationally recognize the quality and value of an SQA Advanced Qualification, and in some cases may offer exemptions to criteria for membership. For example, individuals may not have to do an exam as their SQA Advanced Qualification may also satisfy an entry requirement for membership.
For more information on the evaluation of SQA Advanced Qualifications and their U.S. educational comparability, please contact ACEI at firstname.lastname@example.org