Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES)

Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES) is a Widening Participation project for eligible state school students in S4-S6 in the south east of Scotland who are interested in studying a visual creative subject, such as art, design or architecture, at university.

We work with you to support your creative development, explore your future options and help you create a competitive application.

Our advice is impartial: we will help you choose and apply for a course that is right for you.

What's involved?

You can take part in a range of activities and events that will give you insight into the creative industries and practical experiences to boost your university application. We tailor our programme to suit the specific needs and artistic interests of each student we work with.

All of our activities are free of charge, and we will provide all materials for you to use.

Our activities take place on Friday afternoons, at weekends, in the evenings and over school holidays, so they won’t clash with your school timetable. Workshops usually take place at Edinburgh College of Art, which is in Edinburgh city centre, but some events take place in high schools too. We will also take you on trips off campus.

Activities include:

  • specialist creative workshops
  • portfolio preparation
  • interview support
  • application advice and guidance
  • information sessions
  • career exploration
  • gallery visits and exhibitions
  • over the phone and email support whenever you need it

You will have chance to work with:

  • university tutors
  • current university students and recent graduates
  • artists and architects
  • creative professionals

Take a look at our upcoming events:

Can I join?

You can join ACES is you are an S4, S5 or S6 student in one of the following schools*:

City of Edinburgh East Lothian Midlothian West Lothian
  • Broughton High School
  • Castlebrae Community High School
  • Craigroyston Community High School
  • Drummond High School
  • Forrester High School
  • Gracemount High School
  • Holy Rood RC High School
  • Leith Academy
  • Liberton High School
  • St Augustine's RC High School
  • Trinity Academy
  • Tynecastle High School
  • Wester Hailes Education Centre
  • Musselburgh Grammar School
  • Preston Lodge High School
  • Ross High School
  • Beeslack High School
  • Dalkeith High School
  • Lasswade High School Centre
  • Newbattle High School
  • St David's RC High School
  • Armadale Academy
  • Bathgate Academy
  • Deans Community High School
  • Inveralmond Community High School
  • Whitburn Academy
Clackmannanshire Falkirk Scottish Borders Stirling
  • Alloa Academy
  • Alva Academy
  • Lornshill Academy
  • Bo'ness Academy
  • Braes High School
  • Denny High School
  • Falkirk High School
  • Graeme High School
  • Grangemouth High School
  • Eyemouth High School
  • Galashiels Academy
  • Hawick High School
  • Jedburgh Grammar School
  • Bannockburn High School
  • Wallace High School

*ACES is aimed at students who attend a high school where students don’t usually go on to attend university. (These schools have a three-year average of less than 35% of students going straight on to higher education.) Eligible schools are reviewed every three years; the next review will take place in 2021.

I don't attend one of these schools

You may still be able to join the ACES project if you attend a state school in Edinburgh, the Lothians, the Forth Valley or the Scottish Borders and:

  • you are care experienced; or
  • you live in a postcode area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20) or 40% (SIMD40); or
  • you are a young carer (by this we mean a young person who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support); or
  • you are estranged from your family (estranged students are usually without the financial or emotional support of their family due to a breakdown in the relationship); or
  • you are a refugee or asylum seeker; or
  • you are entitled to or are in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM)

We can help confirm whether you meet any of these criteria. Please contact us directly by phone or email and we can process your registration if you are eligible to join.

How do I join?

You can register to join the Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES) project by completing our online form:

Register to join Access to Creative Education in Scotland (ACES)

Once you have received an email from us confirming your registration, you can book onto our workshops and events on our website. Our activities are usually available to book a month in advance.

Book your place at an ACES event

Any questions? Contact us

ACES (Edinburgh)

Contact details


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.