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Getting your school involved in YASS

Interested schools

Schools interested in the Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS) should allocate one person to be the co-ordinator and The Open University will advise that person about the scheme and answer questions.

Smiling female standing in a room with her back against a wallThroughout the year we run sessions for YASS co-ordinators. Please get in touch to find out more

Our Introduction to YASS resource pack for co-ordinators includes materials which can be used in school. Contact the YASS team for more information.

We can also arrange a visit or virtual meeting for individual schools. We can meet with staff or pupils to discuss YASS or deliver a presentation.

Your school will be responsible for selecting and registering suitable students. Information for teachers on how to register your pupils can be found here.

The process differs from school to school, but often the YASS co-ordinator will meet students and their parents before the courses begin to prepare them for what lies ahead. In some cases parents have been so impressed with the courses that they have decided to do an Open University course themselves!

Click here for a diagram (.pdf) outlining the steps, and find out more about support resources that are available


  • YASS is open to S6 students in full-time study in Scottish schools.
  • 30 point courses - an Open University academic advisor will contact the school co-ordinator or the student to discuss each application before students are accepted onto the YASS programme.
  • Co-ordinators registering large numbers of students will be contacted by The Open University before their students are accepted onto the YASS programme.

Is YASS for everyone?

  • YASS works best for students who are not only academically able, but who are motivated and committed too, and able to cope well with independent learning.
  • Before they consider the scheme, students need to be aware of the extra study requirements. For example a 30-point course runs from October to June and can demand up to 14 hours of independent study each week.
  • Applicants should be able to demonstrate genuine motives for wanting to study at university level with The Open University. These are likely to include a passion for a particular subject, the desire to gain an additional qualification or learn at a higher level, positive family experiences of The Open University or a keenness to experience a university workload.

Pre-registration advice for schools

The Open University encourages schools to:

  • Attend information sessions delivered by the YASS team to find out more about the programme and hear from other experienced co-ordinators.
  • Organise YASS information events and peer sessions for pupils and parents/carers using the resource pack or arrange for a YASS team member to deliver a session in school in person or virtually.
  • Ensure all interested pupils use the YASS and Open University websites to research their course options before deciding which course to take.
  • Hold one-to-one interviews with prospective students to help them make informed choices about their courses.

If you are unsure if some students will cope with a full course, The Open University offer a fantastic range of free courses through OpenLearn. There are around 1000 courses and students can work at their own pace and start whenever suits their timetable. This is a great opportunity for students to get an idea of what to expect from independent university study.

Change of mind

If a student registers for a YASS course and subsequently decides they don’t wish to study / continue with it, at any point before or after their course starts, then the school co-ordinator or student should let the YASS team know as soon as possible. 

If our team isn’t notified of the student’s wish to withdraw from YASS, and the student doesn’t engage with the course, they will receive a ‘fail’ result at the end of it.