European Diploma Supplement

Information about Transcript Guidance can be found here


All Higher Education Institutions in Scotland are required to provide a European Diploma Supplement automatically and free of charge to every student graduating.

This Diploma Supplement follows the model developed by the European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO–CEPES (the European Centre for Higher Education).

The purpose of the supplement is to provide sufficient recognition of qualifications (Diplomas, Degrees, Certificates, and other credit rated awards). It is designed to provide a description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were pursued and successfully completed by the individual named on the original qualification to which this supplement is appended. It has been designed to be free from any value judgements, equivalence statements or suggestions about recognition.

The supplement comprises the following:

  • Information on Queen Margaret University
  • Programme Information (link to online Programme Specification)
  • Description of the National Higher Education System and Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
  • Student Transcript and Guidance Notes

Information on Queen Margaret University (QMU)

Queen Margaret University was founded in 1875 as the Edinburgh School of Cookery. It adopted the name Queen Margaret College in 1972 and was awarded the title Queen Margaret University College in 1999. It was granted full University title by the UK Privy Council in 2007. It has seven academic Divisions within the following two Schools: Arts, Social Sciences & Management, and Health Sciences. In September 2007, the University relocated to a new purpose built site in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

Queen Margaret University is an independent self governing body funded through a variety of sources, including the Scottish Funding Council, tuition fees and research and knowledge exchange income. Queen Margaret University’s vision is to be a university of ideas and influence. Our mission is to foster intellectual capital with both a theoretical and practical focus, giving students and staff the confidence to make a real difference to the world around them.

We are known not only for excellent, relevant teaching, research and knowledge exchange but also for the care and respect we give our students, staff and partners. We see our purpose as helping to create a better society through education, research and innovation and by providing a supportive and creative learning environment in which students and staff thrive.

We are a university that is modern in our outlook and facilities but with a maturity built on a long history of serving the community, both locally and globally, and enhancing its wellbeing. We work in a transparent and inclusive manner and hold to core values in everything we do. We value:

  • intellectual curiosity and the journey of discovery:
  • social justice:
  • excellence:
  • ambition:
  • environmental sustainability:
  • the individual and collective support.

There are currently around 7800 full-time equivalent students matriculated at Queen Margaret University. This includes a large number of part-time and associate students enrolled on one or more modules per year. The University offers around 60 undergraduate BSc and BA Honours and unclassified Ordinary Degrees, integrated Masters and 50 taught postgraduate Degrees (MA, MSc and MBA) along with a number of PGDE/Graduate/Higher Education Diplomas and Certificates. Some of these are delivered on campus, others by distance and blended learning, or at one of the University’s partner institutions in the UK or overseas. Queen Margaret University gained Research Degree Awarding powers in 1998 and can confer the awards of Doctor and Master of Philosophy and Master of Research. QMU also offers Professional Doctorate routes.

Further information about the University is available at its website:

Programme Information (link to online resources)

A Programme Specification is normally available for each named award of the University. To link to
the relevant Programme Specification for the individual named on the transcript attached to this
Diploma Supplement, please:

  1. Click on
  2. Choose the relevant URL from either the undergraduate or postgraduate column.

The date of the most recent validation or review event is provided on the front page of the Programme Specification within section 9. Whilst the Programme Specification will accurately reflect the curriculum approved at that time, you are asked to note that changes are usually made at the point of review. This means that some information may not apply to all individuals who matriculated before the date given in section 9. For more detailed information please contact

The majority of Programme Specifications are published online. If the relevant Programme Specification is not available online, please contact

Queen Margaret University general assessment regulations are available at  (contained within ‘Assessment Regulations’). Details of programme specific regulations may be obtained from

Description of Higher Education in Scotland

Scotland has a distinctive higher education system and also operates under a devolved government, which includes devolved responsibility for higher education. There is a separate Description of Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland where the system is different to that of Scotland.

Scotland’s distinctive higher education system has 19 higher education institutions (HEIs). The 15 universities, the Open University in Scotland, a college of higher education, an art school, and a conservatoire all receive funding for research and for learning and teaching through the Scottish Funding Council (see Funding is also received from other sources.

The HEIs are independent, self-governing bodies, active in teaching, research and scholarship. Where HEIs are degree awarding bodies, they design the curriculum for the degrees they award, set the conditions upon which they are awarded and the admissions arrangements. Degrees and other higher education qualifications are legally owned by the awarding institution, not by the state.

The HEIs offer qualifications at undergraduate (Bologna first cycle) and postgraduate (Bologna second and third cycle) levels. In Scotland, the law distinguishes the power to award degrees on the basis of completion of taught programmes (Bachelors and most Masters degrees) from the power to award Research (Doctoral) Degrees. Most universities have powers to award taught and research Degrees. Some other HEIs have powers to award taught Degrees, while others offer programmes leading to Degrees awarded by HEIs with Degree awarding powers.

Lists of institutions with powers to award degrees, and institutions recognised by authorities in Scotland as being able to offer courses leading to a Degree of another HEI, may be found at

A small number of taught Degrees are available in tertiary colleges by the authority of a duly
empowered HEI.

The types of qualifications awarded at undergraduate (first cycle) and postgraduate level (second and third cycles) in Scotland are described in “The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland” which includes qualifications descriptors developed with the university sector and published by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) ( The Framework was self-certified as compatible with the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, the qualifications framework adopted as part of the Bologna Process in October 2006. The Framework is also an integral part of a wider national framework, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), which covers all forms of programmes and qualifications from School to Doctorates (see Table 1 and

Institutions use SCQF levels and credit points for students entering or transferring between programmes or institutions, and use ECTS for transfers within the European area.

Admissions requirements for particular programmes are set by the HEIs, which offer a range of routes for entry and/or credit transfer into their programmes and admit students whom they believe have the potential to complete their programmes successfully. The Open University is an open entry institution.

The most common qualification for entry to higher education is the Scottish Higher and, for a small number of high tariff courses, the Scottish Advanced Higher, or, for entrants from the rest of the UK, the General Certificate of Education at “Advanced” level or comparable qualifications. Pupils seeking to enter an HEI would normally take a number of Highers at an appropriate stage in the Senior Phase (4th, 5th and 6th year) of secondary school according to the requirements of their own learning journey, or at a tertiary college. HEIs usually require 4-6 Highers for entry, but this may vary with subject. Highers are studied in considerable depth, involving coursework and final examinations. Advanced Highers have historically been taken by some pupils in S6 as a means of extending their specialisation, normally following successful completion of a Higher in that subject. They are also available in some tertiary colleges. Pupils may also take a Scottish Baccalaureate in Sciences, Languages, Expressive Arts, or Social Sciences and these consist of related Highers and Advanced Highers and an interdisciplinary project. Another major route into Degrees, often with full transfer of credit, is from Higher National Qualifications1 offered in tertiary colleges.

Quality Assurance
The academic standards of qualifications are secured and the quality of the student learning experience enhanced by the HEIs using a range of processes, including extensive use of external examiners and suitably qualified independent external individuals. In some subject areas, Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) have a role to ensure that programmes meet the needs and standards of a particular profession. PSRBs do not set or regulate the academic standards of awards, which is the responsibility of the Degree awarding body.

HEIs in Scotland demonstrate their public accountability for quality and standards through a national Quality Enhancement Framework which assures academic standards and the quality of learning experiences. It has a strong focus on enhancement as follows:

HEIs take account of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education, which is published by the Quality Assurance Agency for HE (QAA). The Quality Code is a UK-wide code of practice for quality assurance and enhancement, which includes qualifications frameworks and UK subject level “benchmark statements” as well as extensive guidance on the quality of the student learning experience and provision of public information (see Higher Education providers use the Quality Code to design their respective policies for maintaining academic standards and to enhance quality. Reviewers use it as a key reference point for the external review and quality assurance of HEIs.

Subject level quality reviews are conducted by HEIs in accordance with guidance issued by the Scottish Funding Council (see and in light of the Quality Code.

External reviews of HEIs are conducted by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in Scotland (QAA Scotland). QAA Scotland is an independent body and charity established to provide public confidence in the quality and standards of higher education. The method of external review in Scotland involves teams of peer reviewers, including student and international reviewers. QAA Scotland publishes reports on the outcome of reviews and makes judgements about the effectiveness of the HEIs’ arrangements for assuring academic standards and enhancing the quality of the learning experiences offered (see QAA Scotland also manages a programme of national Enhancement Themes (see

A national development service supports students in their role as active participants in assuring standards and enhancing quality (see

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

The SCQF covers all the major qualifications in Scotland from school to Doctorate and including work-based Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).

SCQF Level Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions SQA Higher National and National Units, Courses and Group Awards SVQs
12 Doctoral Degrees
(Minimum 540 SCQF credits)
  Professional Apprenticeship
11 Masters Degrees
(Minimum 180 SCQF credits)
  Professional Apprenticeship
  Integrated Masters Degrees
(Minimum 600 SCQF Credits)
  Postgraduate Diploma
(Minimum 120 SCQF credits)
  Postgraduate Certificate
(Minimum 60 SCQF credits)
10 Bachelors Degree with Honours
(Minimum 480 SCQF credits)
  Professional Apprenticeship
  Graduate Diplomas and Certificates    
9 Bachelors Degree
(Minimum 360 SCQF credits)
Professional Development Award Technical Apprenticeship
  Graduate Diplomas and Certificates    
8 Diploma of Higher Education
(Minimum 240 SCQF credits)
Higher National Diploma Technical Apprenticeship
7 Certificate of Higher Education
(Minimum 120 SCQF credits)
Advanced Higher
Scottish Baccalaureate
Higher National Certificate
6   Higher Modern Apprenticeship
5   National 5
Intermediate 2
Modern Apprenticeship
4   National 4
Intermediate 1
3   National 3
Access 3
2   National 2
Access 2
1   National 1
Access 1
  1. SCQF levels represent increasing complexity and demand in learning outcome.
  2. One credit represents the outcomes achievable by the average student though 10 notional hours of learner effort. In general terms, one full-time undergraduate year is considered to be 120 credits worth of learning. A postgraduate year is 180 credits. 1 ECTS credit is deemed equivalent to 2 SCQF credits. Research degrees, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), are not credit rated.
  3. Graduate Certificates (minimum of 60 SCQF credits) and Graduate Diplomas (minimum of 120 credits) are offered at levels 9 and 10 within the SCQF framework. They are offered for programmes that are for graduates but do not have outcomes that are at postgraduate level. The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) involves completion of 120 credits across SCQF levels 10 and 11.
  4. The Bachelors Degree (level 9) leads to employment, and in some instances, can give access to postgraduate study, particularly when accompanied by relevant work or professional experience.
  5. At postgraduate levels, the framework and the higher education qualifications are the same as those for the rest of the UK. The Integrated Masters requires completion of 600 SCQF credits across four years, with sufficient credits at SCQF Level 11 in the final year to enable graduation with a Masters level qualification. The Honours Degree levels of the two frameworks are considered to be in broad alignment (the Honours Degree in Scotland normally takes 4 years and that in the rest of the UK takes 3 years). Below Honours level, the frameworks reflect the different educational structures of Scotland and the rest of the UK).

Irene Hynd
University Secretary
Date of Issue: May 2022