Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Approved subjects

SQA Higher subjects accepted for general university entry purposes.

For many degrees, we will expect you to have achieved certain grades in specific subjects.

We do not typically count subjects that contain a high proportion of common material (such as biology and human biology) separately.

Approved subjects

Check which Highers we accept for general entry:

  • Accounting
  • Administration
  • Administration and IT
  • Agricultural Science
  • Applications of Mathematics
  • Architectural Technology
  • Art and Design
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Business Management
  • Cantonese
  • Care
  • Chemistry
  • Childcare and Development
  • Civil Engineering
  • Classical Greek
  • Classical Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Computing Science
  • Construction
  • Craft and Design
  • Dance
  • Design and Manufacture
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • Early Education and Childcare
  • Economics
  • Electronics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Engineering Science
  • English
  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)*
  • Environmental Science
  • Fabrication and Welding Engineering
  • Fashion and Textile Technology / Home Economics: Fashion and Textile Technology**
  • French
  • Gaelic (Learners)
  • Gàidhlig
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • German
  • Graphic Communication
  • Health and Food Technology / Home Economics: Health and Food Technology
  • History
  • Home Economics: Lifestyle and Consumer Technology
  • Human Biology
  • Information Systems
  • Italian
  • Land Use (Built Environment)
  • Latin
  • Managing Environmental Resources
  • Mandarin (Simplified)
  • Mandarin (Traditional)
  • Mathematics (please note Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Media
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Philosophy
  • Photography***
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Product Design
  • Psychology
  • Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Science****
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Technological Studies
  • Urdu

* Not in place of Higher English where this is required for degrees in English Literature and Scottish Literature. Higher ESOL may meet the requirement for Higher English for degrees in Law when taken in combination with other subjects. You should contact us for further advice.

** Not approved for general University entry but will be considered for Art and Design degrees (excluding MA Fine Art).

*** Not approved for general University entry but will be considered for Art and Design degrees (excluding MA Fine Art), including Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

**** Not in place of other required science subjects.

Not approved

  • Beauty
  • Care Practice / Care Practice – Mental Health Care
  • Dance Practice
  • Health and Social Care
  • Hospitality – Professional Cookery
  • Personal Development
  • Photography for the Media
  • Retail Travel
  • Travel and Tourism 


If a subject is not showing on the list it may still be accepted for entry to certain degrees. We have a process of reviewing and approving subjects for entry; however, new subjects, in particular, may still be subject to formal approval.

Get in touch if you need advice on the acceptability of any subject for entry to a particular degree, or on subjects sharing common material.

Contact us for advice 

Subject choice

As long as you are sitting the required subjects listed in the degree finder for your programme, we would advise you to do subjects that you enjoy most, or the subjects you are most likely to do well in.  

Doing subjects that you are most likely to do well in, gives you the best chance of meeting the entry requirements. 


We use different terms in the degree finder like 'required' and 'preferred' subjects when talking about entry requirements.  

When we use these terms, we mean: 

  • Required: must have this subject 
  • Preferred: will get preference in selection if you have this subject 

  • Recommended: this subject is good preparation for this degree 

Degree finder

Native language Highers 

We accept Highers and A Levels in your native language, except for some degrees where you cannot use your native language to meet a language requirement. If a native language is not accepted to meet the language requirement, this will be specified in the entry requirements section in the degree finder.

Degree Finder

Higher English with Higher ESOL

We accept only one of Higher English and Higher ESOL if both subjects are taken in the same year.

Where Higher ESOL is taken in one year, and Higher English is taken in a subsequent year, they may be accepted as separate subjects if there is clear evidence of progression. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Related links

A Levels: approved subjects

Russell Group subject choice guidance

How to apply