Academic Scholarships

For Year 7 entrants, there is no application process for an Academic Scholarship.  These are awarded to those pupils who reach the highest standard in the entrance assessments and show the greatest potential for growth.

Year 12 Academic Scholarship candidates will need to write one essay (chosen from a selection of titles provided by the school) and then discuss their essay with the Headmaster.  Candidates will also sit a test paper in a subject selected by the candidate (October of Year 11).

As an inclusive community Dunottar values the vibrancy and passion for learning which our Academic Scholars bring to everyday school life. To support and guide Scholars we provide a comprehensive programme designed to immerse them in learning to develop a mature sense of scholarly curiosity and to inspire a deepening understanding of the wider aspects of academic life.

Scholars’ Programme

Our Scholars’ Programme includes:

  • Inviting a range of speakers to our twice termly lectures. Recent speakers have included Sam Robbins, Independent Senior Intelligence and Analysis Advisor, Professor Trevor M Jones, visiting professor at King’s College London and a former Head of R&D at Wellcome and Dom Longman, Head of Product at Trustology. These foster the love of learning across a range of disciplines and ideas and develop a wider awareness of current thinking from those on the front line.


  • Weekly seminars are held where the Scholars meet across the year groups. These sessions alternate between members of staff and visitors running workshops and activities with the group, and lunch time sessions where the Scholars discuss topics they choose and build connections across the different year groups. Scholars are encouraged to share their interests and debate the cutting edge aspects of a variety of issues. It offers a time and space for the older Scholars to mentor the younger members of their community and it is always a place of lively debate and learning.


  • We guide and support our Scholars to take part in competitions and further supra curricular activities designed to inspire and develop their understanding and interests. These range from robotic competitions to environmental activism. Our Scholars enjoy sharing their achievements and inspire each other with what they have been out doing in the wider community.


  • Whilst valuing the wider Scholarly life we also support our Scholars in their areas of particular interest, ensuring inspiring events, visits and competitions are offered to them through our work with the Department Heads. They will be guided to the lectures and further reading which will deepen their understanding and enable personal reflection on the key debates in their field of particular interest.


  • Once a year we hold our Scholars’ Presentation Evening where each Academic Scholar presents a piece of personal research to an audience. We have had a wide range of topics covered from genetics and ethics, to the impact of Youtube and jet engines.


Our Scholars are inspired by learning and enjoy immersing themselves in the challenge of finding out more, therefore, the next steps, after Dunottar, are very important. We give close guidance and support to our Scholars in accessing all top research Universities, including Oxbridge, with advice on writing their personal statements, interview practice and preparation for any of the entrance examinations which they may need to take.

Through our comprehensive programme our Academic Scholars are supported and inspired to maintain their love of learning, encouraged to remain curious and disciplined in their endeavours and we look forward to hearing how they made a difference in their field of learning in years to come.

Whilst our Scholars are expected to fully partake in the programme there are times when other students, with a particular passion or interest, might also benefit from the events being run and where there is space to do so invitations will be offered to them. We are also aware that there are Scholars emerging within our community between the times of the formal testing and thus we keep a constant track of performance across all year groups, inviting and involving those students who are starting to show Scholarly attributes as they move through the school.

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