University of Edinburgh

SSC Braille Competency Course: Uncontracted Braille

This course has been validated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and on satisfactory completion of the course a SQA Certificate will be awarded. This is a distance learning course and is for all those working with children/people who use uncontracted braille, ie, teachers, learning support assistants, parents, etc. Course members will have up to 3 months, from receipt of the course materials, to complete the course including the Final Assessment.


This course offers the opportunity to acquire expertise in reading and writing uncontracted braille. The course is presented in one stage and contains writing exercises along with flat and raised braille reading material. Course members must have access to a standard Perkins Brailler and supply their own braille paper.

At the end of the course, an assessment comprising of a comprehension and a writing exercise is completed and submitted to the Course Tutor for marking. The Final Assessment is undertaken without the use of reference materials and must be supervised by a person in authority.

Course Tutor: Diane McLellan

Course Fees for 2017-18 (April-January)

£325 Standard fee
£225 Concession for parents/unwaged
£375 (outside UK)

Please note that the course fee is not refundable.

The uncontracted braille course can be joined in any month from April to the following January (an application for January must be received in early December). Course members will have up to 3 months, from receipt of the course materials, to complete the course including the Final Assessment.

The fee includes:

  • payment to the SQA for registration and certification;
  • complete course materials;
  • tutor time (correction, feedback on assessments and support by letter/email/telephone), and
  • final assessment materials.

Application Process

The course application form is in Word Document and PDF formats in the sidebar.

There is space for background information so that the Course Tutor can plan how best to meet your needs and give you appropriate support throughout the course.

If you are being sent by your school/service then your line manager should authorise the application and confirm the payment details. Full invoice details are essential: please quote purchase order number and/or attach the official purchase order if applicable.

Please ensure that the application form is fully completed as missing information may delay registration onto the course and the form may be returned to you.

For statistical purposes, for the SSC’s Annual Report to its funding body, the application form requests information on whether you may be from a mainstream school, special unit, or other, and pupil age range focus; we would be grateful if you would supply as much information as possible.

Receipt of applications will be acknowledged. The decision regarding acceptance onto the course rests with the Course Tutor. When this is confirmed an email will be sent to you along with a note of your personal details and a Student Agreement form which should be checked, signed and returned to the SSC.

Once all these details are confirmed the Course Tutor will send out a welcome letter, a countersigned copy of the Student Agreement form and explanatory details on how the assessments are to be submitted and other course related information.

SQA Registration

Information required includes full name, date of birth and home address so that when you are entered for this award with the SQA they can either match up your details or create a record for you; your home address is where the SQA will send your certificate in due course. If you have attended a Scottish school/college and undertaken a National Qualification exam since 1999 you should have an SQA Candidate Number, please provide name and address applicable at that time; if not, a number will be allocated to you.

If you have any queries, please contact the SSC.