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Articulation is defined as a student gaining entry into second year of a degree with a Higher National Certificate (HNC) gained at college, or into third year with a Higher National Diploma (HND) gained at college.

Widening access

SFC wants articulation to be an active and valid route to university study, with colleges and universities supporting the learner at every stage of their journey.

We support colleges and universities to develop and maintain articulation pathways and routes, working to targets that are realistic for each region and underpinned by a national 10-year strategy.

In December 2018, a tripartite post was established, which reports to SFC, Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland on supporting the work of the National Articulation Forum, outcome agreement work, and the implementation of the Commission on Widening Access’s articulation recommendations in A Blueprint for Fairness. All of this work also supports the wider implementation of related work through the Learner Journey review and articulation recommendations on veterans, nursing and care-experienced students.

Report throws fresh light on learner journeyAn action plan has been developed for the Forum’s work, focusing on two workstreams: improving articulation by expanding full-credit recognition, and improving understanding of articulation. Each workstream is gathering information and evidence to support the development of a final report. Some examples of the workstream actions are:

  • Establishing the outcomes of articulating students – i.e. degree awards – in relation to the wider student body.
  • Reviewing cross-regional articulation, where and why it happens.
  • Establishing and understanding barriers to subjects that lead to professionally accredited degrees, and finding ways to address them.
  • Investigating models of articulation currently in use and identifying if one is more appropriate for a wider roll-out (i.e. looking at what level of study the credit transfer occurs; 2+2 delivery model, franchised approach).
  • Assessing the understanding and knowledge levels around articulation in schools and families to learn how information, advice and guidance should be better positioned.
  • Examining how language around articulation is used by all stakeholders when describing recognition of prior learning at HE level, which links with the broader understanding of articulation by learners.

Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Partnership is funded by SFC and the Scottish Government and works with every sector of education and training plus learners, parents, carers and employers. The Framework underpins the work of articulation, and the Partnership provides valuable support on other areas of work such as mapping of military qualifications.

For further information on articulation, please contact Anna Wallace, Senior Policy/Analysis Officer, tel: 0131 313 6605, email:

National Articulation Database

SFC’s redevelopment of the National Articulation Database resulted in the first publication to report on the articulation of college HNC/HND students, their movement to Scottish HE institutions and the prior academic credit they attain. The publication provides information on articulation between Scotland’s colleges and universities and is part of the work to map learner journey pathways and widen access to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

For further information on the National Articulation Database contact Dr Scott Montgomery, Senior Policy/Analysis Officer, tel: 0131 313 6656, email: