Technological studies, physics and university entrance to engineering courses

2006-05-05T09:24:43Z (GMT) by Brian Canavan Graham Doughty
This paper investigates the reasons why, in Scotland, Higher Technological Studies is failing to emerge as a credible entrance qualification to engineering courses within higher education, when compared with the success of the more traditional subject, Higher Physics. The paper examines the wider issues on the position of Technological Studies within the educational establishment. Recent figures for the Engineering Faculty at a Scottish university show that since 1993, 86% of entrants to the faculty have Higher Physics as an entrance qualification as against 14% with Higher Technological Studies. The subsequent progress of these students is then analysed with respect to their entrance qualifications. It then explores school pupil and parent perceptions of, and attitudes towards subject choice, in order to develop an understanding of pupils' choice of subjects at secondary school level and their career aspirations. Should Technological Studies be viewed within a vocational subject framework? What are the implications for future strategy in promoting technological Studies?