English - Alternative to Higher SCQF Level 6

What is special about this course?

This course provides an opportunity to achieve a Higher level English qualification, and is accepted by many colleges and universities across Scotland as an alternative qualification to Higher English.

The course is assessed through ongoing class based assignments rather than a final exam, with the focus on developing the communication skills you need to take your education or employment further. 

The course meets one of the entry requirements for PGDE Primary Education

Entry requirements

Communication Intermediate 2 or Communication 3, National 5 English, Standard Grade English at Credit Level or an equivalent level of proficiency.

The course consists of 2 units:

  • NC Communication (SCQF level 6)
  • Literature 1 - use a range of different complex texts to build skills in analysing and evaluating the written and spoken word. You will also build confidence in writing and will explore different genres of literature: including poetry, short stories and film.

Both units taken together are accepted by many Higher Educational establishments as an alternative to Higher English.

Both units are also offered as stand alone units which can be studied individually.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Distance learning

You will join a class at the college or your local Learning Centre and learn through course materials, lecturer input, group discussions and practical exercises.


How long will my course last?

1 Year

One Year

How will I be assessed?

    Ongoing classroom based assessments are used. There is no external exam for this course.

Where can I study my course?

    • Lerwick Campus

Start date

September 2023


For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.


Students on part-time courses may be eligible for an Individual Training Account or to have their course fees waived.

For more information see the funding page. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic: This course is considered towards a place on Higher National Certificate (HNC) programmes or university degree programmes, including PGDE Primary Education.

Employment/Career: This Alternative to Higher English opens up a range of opportunities in related areas.

Former students have: Gone on to university or primary teaching courses.

Is there more information available online?

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“A very enjoyable and relaxed class. I was made to feel very welcome and have learned a lot."

"One of the attractions of this course is that there is no external exam" - Celia Smith, Lecturer

Apply for English - Alternative to Higher SCQF Level 6

I want to start in 2022/23
I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Shetland. UHI Shetland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.