Hamilton College Diploma

In addition to subject choices, there will be other choices necessary to help pupils achieve a balanced and worthwhile S6 experience.  The HC Diploma is designed to provide a more distinctive final phase of school life, prepare pupils for university, and promote independence.

The HC Diploma requires pupils to take part in a range of activities across six components: Academic; Creative Arts; Enterprise and Adventure; Service; Sporting Life and the S6 electives programme.

S6 Programme

When applying to university, admissions tutors are looking for pupils to demonstrate independent thought, critical thinking and analytical skills.  The S6 programme will also allow pupils to explore new materials and topics out with the normal curriculum to enhance these skills.  The programme is designed to prepare you for life beyond Hamilton College.  The current S6 programme has allowed pupils to choose a number of short courses to complement their skills set;

  • Sports Leadership Award at National 5 level
  • Open University course – Managing your Money for young people
  • Cookery 4 week programme with the catering manager
  • Young Driver Safety 4 week programme with the Fire Brigade
  • Young Philanthropy Initiative 
  • Massive Open Online Courses – (MOOCs) which allow students to do further study and development of their own choosing.
  • Cyber Security SQA units

The S6 programme will therefore allow S6 pupils to gain further certified qualifications to boost their CV whilst preparing them for the world of work.

Other S6 Opportunities

  • Applying for Prefect/Head Prefect
  • Prom Committee/Year book Committee
  • Young Enterprise
  • Applying to Citizens Advice Direct for voluntary work experience
  • Organise you own work experience in your ‘free’ periods
  • Friend in S6 – working with younger pupils aged 3 – 16 in classes
  • AV system training and experience of setting up for assemblies and events in the hall 
  • Attending open days for university

The S6 Programme Options

Sports Leadership Award (runs terms 1, 2 and 3)

What do you do? 

  • Learn the basics of planning, delivering and reviewing coaching and fitness sessions
  • Develop an understanding of physical fitness, tactics, psychology and their role in sport
  • Undertake various coaching, referee and first aid courses
  • Deliver coaching and fitness lessons to your peers and Junior School

Who is it for?

  • Those with a passion for sport
  • Pupils keen to work/volunteer in sport


  • Assessment will be ongoing in class time
  • You will need to pass various outcomes including a work book as well as planning and delivering sessions
  • There is no exam

What are the hard parts? 

  • Planning, delivering and reviewing various sessions 
  • Speaking/Delivering to a class of pupils of various ages  


  • Keen interest in a number of sports and activities 
  • An understanding that this is a year long commitment which will require some hard work and work at home
  • A willingness to assist with extra-curricular school clubs  

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) 

As part of a UCAS application, pupils need to complete a personal statement.  In this personal statement, further reading and exploration of subject should be evident. In order to prepare for this we strongly encourage pupils to undertake a MOOC.  These can be completed as part of the S6 Programme periods or in ‘free’ periods in the timetable.  Pupils can complete some of the SQA Awards detailed above and one or two MOOCs should they wish.

A list of all available MOOCs can be found here: www.mooc-list.com

The Diploma Award

The Hamilton College Diploma is an award which recognises not only the academic abilities but also the broader skills and qualities of pupils. 
The HC Diploma is designed to:

  • provide a more distinctive final phase of school life
  • prepare pupils for university and life beyond school
  • promote independence

For many young people at Hamilton College, the HC Diploma will acknowledge the commitments they already make. For others, it will motivate them to try something new and to broaden their experience. 

What does the HC Diploma involve?
The HC Diploma requires pupils to take part in a range of activities across six components: Academic; Creative Arts; Enterprise and Adventure; Service; Sporting Life and the S6 Programme. Two components are compulsory, Academic and the S6 Programme. Pupils may choose to complete any or all of the other four components - Creative Arts, Enterprise & Adventure, Service, Sporting Life.

It is a dynamic award and can be personalised by the student to fit their needs and talents. There are four different levels of the HC Diploma. The combination and number of elements chosen by each student will determine the level of Diploma he or she is awarded. Pupils who complete:

  • the compulsory components and one other component will gain a bronze award 
  • the compulsory components and two other components will gain a silver award
  • the compulsory components and three other components will gain a gold award
  • the compulsory components and all four other components will gain a platinum award

How does the HC Diploma Work?

In S5, the HC Diploma focuses on the Academic component of the award, as pupils work towards achieving SQA qualifications.  

Creative Arts, Enterprise, Service and Sporting Life are the non-compulsory components of the HC Diploma. In order to achieve a specific component, pupils must log a minimum of 40 hours in that area.

Pupils will record and reflect on the activities using a logbook. Creating reflections based on the experiences is a compulsory aspect of the HC Diploma, as it ensures pupils articulate the impact each activity has had on them. 

For every non-compulsory activity, pupils will have a supervisor who will aid them and verify the number of hours completed. For the compulsory components, the HC Diploma Co-ordinator will verify their activity. 

Activities carried out to complete another award (e.g. the Duke of Edinburgh) can count towards the HC Diploma.

The Compulsory Components

This is a compulsory component of the HC Diploma. Pupils must study six SQA courses across S5 and S6. 

The Non-compulsory Components

Pupils should log a minimum of 40 hours for each of the elements of the HC Diploma that they wish to work towards. There is no cap on the number of hours for the Diploma, and pupils are expected to work towards their Diploma throughout S5 and S6. 

The following outlines possible activities that pupils could complete to build hours in a particular component, but the list is not exhaustive. 

Creative Arts
This component is designed to engage pupils with the arts and other creative subjects. 

  • learning or continuing to play an instrument
  • taking part in the school choir
  • creating a portfolio of artwork
  • creating a mural or public work of art
  • taking part in a school show
  • taking part in a fashion show
  • visiting an exhibition, art gallery or museum
  • script-writing
  • film production

Enterprise and Adventure
This component will encourage pupils to be entrepreneurial, and enhance their understanding of business. 

  • work experience placement 
  • internship or work shadowing
  • member of Young Enterprise team 
  • weekend/evening/holiday job
  • prom committee
  • yearbook committee
  • taking an active role in local politics
  • Duke of Edinburgh expedition
  • residential trips

Sporting Life
This component is intended to motivate pupils to be physically active and to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. 

  • member of a sports team or club (in school or outside school)
  • consistently attending a gym 
  • coaching a sport
  • co-ordinating a sporting competition
  • assisting with sports day

This component will inspire pupils to be involved in the local community and to consider social justice issues. 

  • volunteering in school 
  • volunteering for a charity
  • leading Sunday School
  • helping out at church (not only attendance)
  • fundraising for a charity
  • humanitarian or social justice projects
  • community service 

Recording Achievement
It is a requirement of the HC Diploma that all pupils submit a logbook and reflect on the activity they are involved in.