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Benefits of YASS

Benefits for students

Taking an Open University module gives students the opportunity to deepen their existing knowledge or try a completely different subject.

  • Skills gained through YASS can add valuable content to CVs and job applications. Studying through YASS can also help demonstrate a genuine interest in apprenticeship areas.  
  • YASS students on a visit to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee in February 2018.YASS modules can help students' applications to university or college stand out and contribute valuable content to their personal statements. YASS qualifications can be entered on the education section of UCAS application forms. 
  • Taking a YASS module can help students enhance their knowledge, broaden skills and study subjects in a different way. Students taking arts subjects, for example, might like to study maths or science to broaden their skills. Or they might opt for a module which relates closely to their Higher or Advanced Higher subjects to improve knowledge and help them to approach topics in a different way.
  • Students have access to the entire OU library which they can use not only for their YASS module but for the other subjects they are studying as well.
  • YASS students are treated just the same as all other OU students and can obtain specialised student and IT support if required. They also have access to guidance about course choice and careers options through The OU website..

Some YASS students like Open University study so much that they decide to carry on and complete their degrees with us.

YASS students taking ‘Law making in Scotland’ are pictured (above right) with MSP Liam Kerr during a visit to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee in February 2018.

What do students say?

Sabina Sobczak

When I was in my final year of high school, I decided to challenge myself and take on a Mandarin course through The Open University. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do Chinese any other way. I enjoyed it so much I even went on to study Chinese at university. I have just finished studying first year of International Business with Chinese at the University of Edinburgh, and having done the Chinese YASS course helped me greatly in my studies.

Former YASS student Sabina Sobczak who studied Beginners' Chinese, pictured speaking at a Scotland China Education Network [SCEN] Ambassadors' Forum event.

What’s in it for teachers?

By tapping into 30 modules in 10 different subject areas, YASS allows teachers to offer students an exciting extension to the normal curriculum. The scheme also provides a positive way for schools to ensure that their students remain motivated and focused.

Doon academy logo

For me, YASS ticks just about all of the boxes of a good widening access initiative: it fills a curricular gap; it provides opportunities to deepen and broaden learning; it encourages our young people to take responsibility for and be positive about their futures; and it limits the disadvantage faced by pupils from one of the most deprived parts of the country.

Norman Paton, UCAS Adviser / Widening Access Coordinator Doon Academy.

External recognition

YASS makes a significant contribution to the objectives of the Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence:

  • Successful learners: students will learn independently, often using new technologies
  • Confident individuals: students can pursue personal interests and ambitions in significant depth, exploring subject areas not normally available in schools (such as robotics, astronomy, law finance, chronic diseases, nutrition)
  • Responsible citizens: our open entry approach means that students from all subject areas can engage with important contemporary issues (for example in environmental studies, technology of science)
  • Effective contributors: students will be stretched, required to work in new ways, managing their own time effectively and developing self-reliance

Admissions tutors at higher and further education institutions are being advised in ‘The guide for UK Qualifications’ to give consideration to higher education credit points. Our YASS scheme is also supported by UCAS.