Transitions Course

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Transitions Course

Keen to prepare for university study?

If you are a LEAPS-eligible student, the LEAPS Transitions Course could be an S6 timetable option for you!


"Since I was the first in my family to attended university, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. The support from LEAPS to help me understand university courses and the level of work that would be expected was great. Even down to how to write an academic essay with citations was so helpful. I have used these skills more than once in my course at university now, and can even help my friends who may be struggling."

Hannah, Former LEAPS Transitions Course Student


About the LEAPS Transitions Course

The LEAPS Transitions Course is designed to give you the skills and experience needed to make a positive transition from school to university. Throughout the course, you will work with academics and students from other schools on developing first-year university-level academic skills. You will gain confidence and an understanding of what it takes to be successful at university. This is a unique opportunity to get the ‘uni’ experience before starting for real. During the course you will be enrolled at the University of Edinburgh, but the course itself will be helpful regardless of which university you hope to study at after school.

Semester one will focus on academic skills and a writing assessment; semester two will have a lecture series and a group poster assessment.

The focus will be on developing successful academic practice – in other words, how to be successful at university – and you will have the chance to work with students and academics/lecturers from a broad range of subject areas. You will not study one subject. Instead, you will study lots of subjects, while focusing on developing key academic skills.

The 2023-2024 LEAPS Transitions Course will run from September 2023 - March 2024. You will be in S5 when you choose the course, and in S6 when the course begins. 


How to register for the LEAPS Transitions Course

If you are a LEAPS-eligible student interested in taking this course in S6 as part of your school timetable, please scroll to the bottom of this web page and complete the registration form below.

Registration Deadline: Friday 28th April 2023 (or earlier if all places are taken). Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Places are limited, and a waiting list will operate if needed.


Watch our short presentation below to find out more


What will I learn?

University Level Academic Skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Academic writing
  • Academic resources
  • Discussion and presentation skills
  • Academic posters
  • Evidence (including referencing and plagiarism)
  • Feedback
  • Data skills
  • Reflective practice

Independent Learning

  • Self-directed study
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Self-evaluation

Digital Literacy

  • University virtual learning environments
  • Online academic library collections
  • Learning in an online setting

How will I learn?

  • Lectures (interactive presentations to everyone on the course)
  • Tutorials (smaller group discussions led by a tutor)
  • Workshops
  • Project Work
  • Library Research
  • Independent study
  • Coursework (weekly preparation for tutorials)
  • Assessments (two formal graded assessments and additional informal formative assessments)
    • Individual Written Assessment on Academic Skills 60% (Formal)
    • Academic Poster Presentations (group work) 40% (Formal)
    • Reflective zine ‘notes for my future self’ drawing on all of the themes of the course (Informal)

Course Level

  • The course has been credit-rated by the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh.
  • It is offered as a 20 credit SCQF Level 7 course.
  • It is the same level as Advanced Higher/first-year university-level study.
  • It is available on Insight.

Course Structure

  • The course forms one option on your S6 timetable.
  • It will run from September 2023 – March 2024. 
  • Sessions take place on a Tuesday and a Thursday afternoon. (All students must attend both sessions each week.)
  • Your time commitment works out as approximately six hours per week, plus assessment preparation.
  • Classes will be with a mix of students from other schools.


  • Led by the LEAPS Transitions Course lecture team.
  • Visiting academics from Edinburgh Napier, Edinburgh, Queen Margaret and Heriot-Watt Universities.
  • Every student has a dedicated class Tutor (current postgraduate student).

Location of Course

  • The course will be a mix of online sessions and in-person sessions on university campuses in Edinburgh.
  • Travel arrangements and costs will be supported by LEAPS.

Typical Timetable

  • Tuesdays 14.15-15.30 Online Lecture
  • Thursdays 14.00-15.00 Online Tutorial or 14.00-17.00 On-campus Tutorial (this will alternate each week)
  • Students with longer journeys into Edinburgh will have fewer on campus sessions and more online sessions.

Find a sample timetable here which shows what your classes could look like.

University Admissions

  • Many universities in Scotland consider the LEAPS Transitions Course for university admissions purposes – some will accept it as a Higher, some will consider it at confirmation stage.
  • Find details in our LEAPS Transitions Course & University Entry Requirements guide here
  • By taking this course you are demonstrating to universities that you are committed to preparing for university-level study – a great thing to mention in your UCAS Personal Statement!

Entry Requirements

To register for the LEAPS Transitions Course, you should;

  • Be LEAPS-eligible.
  • Be aiming to apply to university.
  • Be in S6 when you take the course (you will be in S5 when you choose it for your S6 timetable).
  • Be on track to achieve the Highers/National 5s required for university entry (or have already achieved these in S5).

Interested in taking the course?

If you are a LEAPS-eligible student interested in taking this course in S6 as part of your school timetable, please complete the registration form below.
Registration Deadline: Friday 28th April 2023 (or earlier if all places are taken). Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Places are limited, and a waiting list will operate if needed.


If you have any questions, please contact us at

LEAPS Transitions Course Registration Form

To register for this course, please complete the online form below as soon as possible. If you have any issues completing the form, please contact us.

(Please note that your place on this course will be subject to approval by your school. If you any have queries, please contact us.)

S6 Timetable / Course Sessions

Sessions for the LEAPS Transitions Course take place on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. These are live (either in person or online depending on the week) and you must attend both of these sessions every week.

Before completing this online form, please check your S6 Timetable to make sure that you have space to take the LEAPS Transitions Course on both a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon each week.

If you do not have space in your S6 Timetable to take this course on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, please speak with your LEAPS Link Teacher to see if your timetable can be rearranged before completing this form.

Your Interest in the LEAPS Transitions Course

Personal Information

LEAPS Eligibility

LEAPS eligibility is not confirmed until you have your LEAPS pre-UCAS interview in S6, but it’s really helpful for us to have an idea of which LEAPS eligibility criteria you meet at this stage.

You can find full details of LEAPS eligibility criteria here (including our postcode look-up tool) and LEAPS school groupings here if you want to check anything. If you're still unsure, please contact us.

Please note that you can choose not to provide ethnicity information by selecting 'Prefer not to Say' from the dropdown list.

Student Support Information

So that we can best support you throughout this programme, please answer the questions below.

Travel Information

Travel costs for journeys to and from on campus sessions for the course will be covered by LEAPS.

Students are expected to travel to campus sessions by public transport (in most cases).

We strongly encourage all students planning to travel to campus to apply for a Young Scot / National Entitlement Card. Apply at

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