Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES)
Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES) is a Widening Participation project for eligible pupils in years S4-6 who attend a state school in the south east of Scotland. The project is aimed at students interested in studying a visual creative subject such as art, design or architecture at university.
Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES) is a national Widening Participation (WP) project, funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The project aims to support eligible S4-S6 pupils in local Scottish state secondary schools who are considering pursuing degrees or careers in art, design, or architecture.
These visual creative degrees require more than just good exam results from school.
ACES is a multi-exit programme. We will work with you to support your creative development, explore your future options, and help you create a competitive application.
We will also support you with impartial advice and guidance in choosing and applying for a visual creative degree that is right for you.
ACES Edinburgh staff will support you through all stages of pre-application; including subject choices and portfolio preparation. We will also help you through the application process for art, design, and architecture degree programmes.
- One-to-one pre-application guidance for you, your family and advisers
- Advice and guidance for your subject choices and extra-curricular requirements
- Opportunities to meet current students
We run a variety of events throughout the year for ACES pupils in S4-S6. Our events aim to give you insight into the different subjects, the range of careers in the Creative Industries, and opportunities for you to improve and widen your skill set.
All of our activities are free of charge for registered pupils and we will provide all materials for you to use.
You can find out what events and support are open for booking by reading your ACES newsletter (which is sent to all registered pupils unless you unsubscribe) or by following us on Instagram @ACES_Edinburgh.
The ACES year typically includes (subject to change and may include additional events):
- June - Graduate Show visits (S4-S6)
- July - Summer School (S4-S6)
- August-October - Information Sessions around applying to creative degrees, personal statements, and portfolios (S5-S6)
- August-January - Portfolio Preparation Programme (typically S5, S6)
- September-October - Drawing Club (S4-S6)
- October - Subject Taster Sessions (S4-S6)
- November-March - Portfolio Feedback Sessions (typically S5, S6)
- January - Interview Workshop (typically S5, S6)
- February - Information Sessions around degree choices (S4-S6)
- February-March - Gallery and exhibition visits (S4-S6)
We support young people interested in studying something within the subject areas art, design, and architecture. That includes the degrees listed below. If you're interested in a subject that's not listed and you're not too sure, get in touch.
ACES Edinburgh works with eligible S4-S6 pupils attending state secondary schools in:
- The Lothians (East Lothian, Midlothian & West Lothian)
- Scottish Borders
If you attend a state secondary school in any of the above local authority areas AND meet any of the below criteria, you will be eligible to sign up for ACES Edinburgh:
- you are Care Experienced; or
- you live in a Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile 1 or 2 postcode area; or
- you are a Young Carer; or
- you are estranged from your family; or
- you are a refugee or asylum seeker; or
- you are entitled to or are in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM)
Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile 1-2
You can use the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation to find your postcode category.
Use the link below and follow the steps:
1. Type your postcode into the ‘area finder’ box on the left
2. Click ‘GO’
3. Hover at the bottom of the yellow marker that appears on the map
4. If the ‘current data zone’ box on the right of the screen states ‘Quintile 1’ or ‘Quintile 2’ then you are eligible to register with the project.
We define a Young Carer as a young person who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member.
This means caring for someone, who due to illness, disability, mental health issues, or an addiction, cannot cope without your support.
Estranged students are usually without the financial or emotional support of their family due to a breakdown in the relationship.
Do I meet the criteria?
If you are unsure whether you meet any of our criteria, please contact us directly and we will happily help you.
Register to join
You can register to join ACES Edinburgh by completing our online form:
Once you are registered with ACES Edinburgh, you can use the form below to book onto our events:
Any questions? Contact us
The ACES Teams works between different University buildings as well as from home. You can best reach us via email and the work phone.
Monday - Friday:
09:00 - 17:00
We run out-of-hours events which may impact availability.
ACES is run in collaboration with Reach: Scotland, a project managed by five universities throughout Scotland (the University of Aberdeen; the University of Dundee; the University of Edinburgh; the University of Glasgow; and the University of St Andrews), and funded by the Scottish Funding Council. The University of Edinburgh is responsible for the delivery of Reach in the south east of Scotland.