National Qualifications

  • Are you a mature student returning to education after a gap in your learning?
  • Do you want to update or improve on the qualifications and grades you already have?
  • Are you looking to make a change in your career?
  • Would you like to take the first step on the path to university?

We offer a range of part-time National Qualifications during the day, in the evening or by distance learning in Mathematics and English. The flexibility we provide recognises that not everyone can commit to a full-time further education course and follow a traditional pattern of study.

We teach all SQA levels of Mathematics from National 4 through to Higher as well as National 5 and Higher English. These are ideal starter courses for entry to learning, and requirements for career pathways including, Nursing and Midwifery; Engineering; and Teacher Training.

Further more, we offer flexibility and accessibility through our Intensive Revision classes, Mathematics and Numeracy (Distance Learning) and Flexi-Maths, ensuring that there are plenty of options to fit around the commitments you already have.

Our Highers in Chemistry, Human Biology and Physics are delivered as an evening class. They would enable progression into HNC in Applied Science or a range of different degrees in Engineering, Life Sciences, Chemical or Pharmaceutical Sciences or Health Care such as nursing or midwifery.

Meet James

After completing a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, James followed his passion for teaching and did a post grad diploma in tertiary education.

“Part of that diploma required me to do 120 hours of voluntary teaching at a College – that College was D&A! I applied for a Maths & Numeracy lecturing role in the spring of 2018 and have never looked back. Teaching Maths is more than just showing how numbers work. Many people have ‘Maths anxiety’ and I try to address this by creating a safe and inclusive classroom environment in which people can develop their confidence with numbers and start to believe in themselves a bit more.”

James felt he developed his skills in digital teaching during the first lockdown.

“I created an interactive website and more than a hundred Maths videos for my YouTube channel. I use these videos as supplementary materials for students who need extra support. Nothing beats a student telling me they enjoyed my class or that they now have more confidence with numbers and therefore with themselves!”

In fact, James believes the best reactions from students are the ones that come from a place of growing self-belief.

“Learners maybe start out lacking confidence with Maths then end up with ambitions of taking their education further. I get emails from previous students who are now at university, the first in their family to have done so. It’s a huge privilege to have helped them make that step. I also enjoy listening to students talk about their ambitions and future aspirations. It’s a sign that coming to College has worked for them.”

Meet Elaine

Elaine is one of the Curriculum and Quality leaders in the Essential Skills team.

“It’s a great team to be part of – we work with almost every other academic area across the College delivering Numeracy, ICT, Communication and lots of other units too so we get to meet a wide variety of students on a daily basis! I mostly teach Maths & Numeracy with a little bit of ICT thrown in for good measure, and I’m also the course leader for all of our NQ Maths delivery at National 4, National 5 and Higher level.”

Elaine particularly enjoys those ‘lightbulb’ moments when something clicks.

“I think Maths & Numeracy in particular often has learners who have had negative experiences in the past and seeing someone realise that they can do it, they can learn something new is wonderful. It’s also great to see the success stories as students move on to further study or employment. I think the College offers an opportunity for everyone – school leavers, mature learners, people in employment who need to upskill, those who need an NQ to get into university . . . I think we’re also great at providing an all-round experience – we’re not just focussed on the academic side of things.”

Fraser's Story – College helped Fraser fulfil his dream   

Fraser Burnett felt he never really found his place at high school and left at the age of 15.   

“I was quite sporty at school, so I was advised to think about studying at college. I went in for a meeting at D&A College and felt like it was the right place for me. Straight away I felt looked after and supported.”   

Fraser studied Sport Coaching where he learned about how to coach a variety of sports and working with young people.   

“I then did modules that prepared me to go on and study Sport Science. I really enjoyed the more scientific side and learning about the physiology of the body.”   

Fraser knew he wanted to become a teacher so, to further develop and broaden his knowledge, he studied Essential Skills courses in Mathematics and Communication. He is now a primary teacher at an independent school in Edinburgh.   

“I really appreciated feeling supported and encouraged by the staff throughout my entire time. I was lost when I left school and they pushed me and really wanted me to succeed. I’m proud that I persevered with my dream and that college helped make it possible.” 

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