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How does it work?

We let children shape their Children's University journey

How children join


We work in partnership with a network of schools across Scotland. Children join Children's University Scotland through their school. 


It's for children aged between 5-14 (P1-S2), although some schools decide to offer the opportunity to certain year groups within this range.


We encourage schools to offer Children's University as a voluntary opportunity, giving children the chance to decide if they want to take part, and what kind of activities they would like to do. 


When children join, they are given a Passport to Learning, together with a login for the Children's University Scotland platform Aspire.

What children do

Children use Aspire to search for enjoyable learning activities that take place outside lesson time.


It could be a science club at lunchtime, a sports or arts club after school, a youth group in the evenings, or a visit to a library, museum or historic venue at the weekend. It could also be a self-led activity at home. The opportunities are almost endless. 


When children take part in an activity, they make a note of it in their Passport to Learning. Then they log in to Aspire and claim the activity online. This unlocks their credits coins and skill points and takes them one step closer to their next Children's University award.


It's about developing practical and personal skills, building confidence and discovering new interests and talents beyond the classroom.



Where children do it

We recognise a number of learning providers through Aspire. These are the people and organisations we recognise for creating and providing fun, accessible and safe learning opportunities for children, that happen outside of normal lesson times.


These recognised learning activities can happen at home, in the community and during school break times.


We believe that learning outside school plays a vital role in helping children's development as young learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens - as well as being vital to their wider well-being. That's why we work hard to bring together a network of high quality learning providers in the areas we work, and to engage and support children to take part.



Our recognised learning activities include...

Learning at home

We provide fun family activities to support home learning

Learning in school break times

Schools offer lots of extra-curricular activities

Learning in the community

Libraries, sports centres, parks, community centres

Larger learning venues

Museums, science centres, galleries and learning festivals

How we celebrate learning

When a child visits a Children's University learning provider and takes part in an activity, they earn a credit coin on Aspire. That credit counts towards their next award.

Awards are presented at Children’s University celebration events and graduations. These are usually held in school, and sometimes happen at local venues or at our partner colleges and universities.

There are three initial levels of award:

  • 30 credits to qualify for a Bronze Undergraduate Award 
  • 65 credits to qualify for a Silver Undergraduate Award
  • 100 credits to qualify for a Gold Undergraduate Award


Taking Learning Further

The awards continue beyond this. Our highest award is the Gold Fellowship Award, for 1000 credits.

Regardless of how far a child progresses through our awards, we recognise and celebrate the individual journey they took to get there: the commitment and perseverance they showed, their willingness to try new things, and the new skills and interests they built along the way.