YASS – Open University

Young Applicants in Schools Scheme


YASS is a programme offered to S6 Students in Charleston Academy by The Open University. The programme was initially developed by Highland Council but now authorities from across Scotland are involved. Presently, some 500 students from over 90 schools in Scotland can take part.

The programme allows S6 pupils the chance to study at a level equivalent to university within school by means of independent learning. The YASS programme subjects are designed to bridge the gap between school and full-time university studies.

Subjects are available as modules at SCQF Level 1, the equivalent of a first year university course. Each module normally requires about 100 hours of study over a period of about 12 weeks. Modules are awarded points that are recognised by Universities but they are not counted as UCAS points. Modules vary in length however, and can have various start and finish times during the academic session.

Imagery © the OU

What are the Benefits of YASS Courses?

  • Adds weight to UCAS applications and makes it stand out
  • Modules are at SCQF Level 7 (First Year University)
  • Experience University level learning
  • Develop and improve independent learning, study and research skills
  • Broaden or deepening knowledge beyond traditional school subjects
  • Developing self reliance

A full list of the Modules available to study can be found HERE. Some of the most popular courses studied by our pupils have included An Introduction to Contemporary Scottish Law, Psychology, Statistics, Genetics, and Astronomy.

The Open University YASS courses are not free. There is a charge for each module or course. We are able to access various ways of funding course fees. However, to do so requires commitment and strong evidence of self motivation from students. Any pupil who wishes to consider studying for a YASS course as part of their overall S6 timetable should speak to their Year Head. Depute Rector Mrs Helen Hunter oversees the administration of YASS courses at Charleston Academy. Miss Rona Macpherson oversees course choice arrangements.

“YASS modules admirably supplement the range of traditional award-bearing courses and units that any one school can offer in the Sixth Year . This flexible alternative gives students a taste of University-style work, and an opportunity either to specialise and deepen their knowledge and skills in one particular area or to initiate study in a new field. The means of delivery promotes student responsibility for their own learning, which is at the heart of Curriculum for Excellence. In Highland, the availability of these modules to our S6 students and the learning that ensues is greatly appreciated by both schools and students alike!”

Mr Bill Irwin, CFE Development Officer, Highland Council