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Data reveals popularity of science amongst Scottish students
© NTNU, Faculty of Natural Sciences

Data reveals popularity of science in Scotland


Students in Scotland received exam results today (8 August) at all levels, with data displaying that the popularity of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects remains steady.

Attainment in these subjects remained below average for all subjects. However, STEM subjects were among the most popular at Advanced Higher level. Maths was the most popular Advanced Higher, followed by English, and then chemistry, biology and physics.

​Commenting on the results, the Campaign for Science and Engineering (​CaSE) executive director, Dr Sarah Main, said: “Scotland has a great reputation for excellence in scientific research. The Scottish government is trying to extend the reach of that excellence through the school system, investing in support for science learning in schools and colleges.

“Today’s results show the popularity of science subjects among Scottish students remaining steady at higher level after a recent dip, although it is a concern that attainment of grades A to C remains comparatively low.

“The Scottish government has a number of initiatives to increase access to and enthusiasm for science learning among all students. I hope they will begin to pay off in the coming years and that we will see enthusiasm for science grow among all schools and students.”

In May of this year, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon wrote to CaSE on behalf of the Scottish National Party (SNP). Setting out her priorities for science, she wrote: ‘The SNP Scottish Government is investing in support for STEM learning at school, college and university. We are working to improve the provision of STEM subjects at primary and secondary school, including through partnership work.’

Pan European Networks Ltd