Upskilling Scotland Scholarship for Working Professionals

At Heriot-Watt University, we are pioneers in education, committed to building partnerships that not only help people and businesses prepare for the future, but can also help them navigate the current crisis we are facing.

We are delighted to launch a new fully-funded Upskilling Scotland Scholarship programme, supported by the Scottish Funding Council, for working professionals living in Scotland.

The flexible remote working that many people are currently adapting to can also create opportunities for upskilling. Our Upskilling Scotland Scholarship offers access to fully funded masters-level courses worth up to £1,400 from a range of specialist Masters programmes in the construction and infrastructure disciplines and a number of business courses from our online MBA programme.

Providing certainty in uncertain times

The scholarship has been established in response to the current economic situation and is committed to supporting the upskilling and reskilling of individuals who are in furlough or redundancy situations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the scholarship is open to everyone who resides or has the legal right to work in Scotland, priority will be given to those who fall within the redundancy and furlough categories. 

What can you study?

Digital and modern business courses

For organisations to successfully undergo digital transformation, it is important that today’s workforce have the skills and confidence to make the right decisions. To meet these needs, we have created a portfolio of specialist online continuing professional development (CPD) courses from our upcoming MSc degree programmes: MSc Digital Leadership, MSc Business Analytics and Consultancy and MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Courses available:

Digital Leadership (C11DL)

In the era of knowledge, globalisation and digital transformation, the Digital Leadership course, part of the MSc Digital Leadership programme, aims to develop in students a critical appreciation of leadership theory and the role of leadership in practice in a range of organisational, social, and cultural contexts.

The course critically examines the concept of sustainable and adaptive leadership/followership, cultural intelligence and digital transformation in organisations, explores major theoretical developments in how culturally intelligent leadership and followership are understood and provides opportunities for managers to reflect on real-life leadership issues in global settings. The course is divided into eight modules. Having explored what we mean by ‘leadership ’in the first module, the course then considers key developments in leadership theories and how they apply to modern organisations.

Topics include:
  • Introduction to leadership
  • Traditional leadership approaches
  • Modern approaches to leadership
  • Perceived Leadership Effectiveness / Ineffectiveness
  • Cultural Intelligence, a Competency of Effective Leaders
  • The Sustainable and Adaptive Leadership Model
  • Leadership and strategy in contexts
  • Gender, ethics and leadership
Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Digital Leadership.
Operations Management (C11OE)

This course will help students understand the scope and importance of Operations Management and the role of operations managers. Students will study the interaction of operations on the organisation, employees and customers. You will examine the links between process and operations design, business strategy and globalisation. You will learn about the different elements of operations and how to analyse an operational environment. You will also explore the challenges facing the operations manager in adopting innovative practices such as lean, new technologies and the growing social agendas such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Topics include:
  • Operations Strategy: strategic perspectives, conceptualising operations etc.
  • Operational Activities: product and service design, process, supply chain etc.
  • Regulatory Activities: resource planning, capacity management, quality management etc.
  • The trade offs inherent in Managing Operations: speed, dependability, flexibility, cost and quality.
  • Internationalisation/Globalisation: international/global perspectives on operations etc.
  • Future Perspectives: mapping developments, exploring future directions etc.
Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Operations Management
Strategies for Managing Supply Chains (C11LS)

This course explores how logistics and supply chain management can be leveraged to gain a competitive advantage. When designing a supply chain strategy we consider taxonomies for the supply chain process selection as well as approaches to design and optimisation of the physical logistics network. Finally, we explore how disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), might affect the logistics sector and transform supply chains in the future.

Topics include:
  • Logistics, SCM and competitive advantage
  • Designing a differentiated SC strategy
  • Collaborative strategies for a synchronous integrated supply chain
  • Time-based strategies and managing the lead-time gap
  • Logistical cost trade-offs and network design
  • Designing a resilient supply chain
  • Measuring supply chain cost and performance
  • The connected digital supply chain of the future
Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Strategies for Managing Supply Chains.


Business courses

Courses have been selected from Edinburgh Business School's prestigious online MBA programme which is renowned for its academic rigour and proven ability to greatly enhance student career prospects.

Courses available:

Delivering Successful Projects

Delivering Successful Projects equips managers and business professionals with knowledge, understanding and skills to manage projects using integrative concepts, tools and techniques. The course opens by setting the mind-set for project decision-making and covers the fundamental concepts of the project management discipline and how it assists organisations in materialising their strategic and change objectives.

Topics include:
  • Projects in the organisational context
  • Leadership and behavioural aspects of human resources
  • How the project manager and the project team work
  • Project success criteria
  • Qualitative and quantitative planning and control processes
  • Project conclusions, strategic intent, final evaluation and reporting
The course concludes with a closer look at current topics trending the project management profession, such as the project management office function, ethics, sustainability and agile project management.
Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Delivering Successful Projects.
Developing and Executing Strategy

This course covers the core areas of strategic management and uses the general management setting to integrate ideas across the core disciplines covered in other MBA core courses. Developing and Executing Strategy begins by examining the evolution of management and academic thinking around strategy and strategic management over the past 50 years, reviews the diversity of contemporary strategy theory and practice and examines the role of strategy in the management of different types of organisations.

The course then examines a variety of aspects of strategy, such as strategic intent, analysis, strategic options and implementation. At each stage the links with other management disciplines, such as leadership, organisational behaviour, economics, marketing and finance are considered. Finally an integrative framework for strategic decision-making is presented, which facilitates a holistic approach to complex business and management issues.

Topics include:
  • Introduction to Strategy and Strategists
  • Strategic Intent
  • Strategic Issue Diagnosis
  • Interpreting and Analysing the Environment
  • Analysing the Organisation
  • Generating, Selecting and Evaluating Strategic Options
  • Strategy Implementation and Practice
The course encourages students to think and operate at the strategic level in a range of dynamic settings through integration of ideas across core business disciplines.
Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Developing and Executing Strategy.
Economics for Business

Watch the course video: Economics for Business, Youtube

Economics for Business examines how companies compete by developing and understanding the interactions and relationships between theoretical concepts; examining the individual components of strategic management models; and considering how companies may achieve and sustain competitive advantage.

The course starts by outlining fundamental economic concepts and examining the workings of the market system. Different market structures and their impact on organisations are reviewed and the role of government in the economy is examined.

Relevant aspects of the macro-economy are introduced with a focus on business impact and decision-making. This is followed by an exposition of international economic issues.

Topics include:

  • The Role of Economics in Business 
  • The Market Mechanism 
  • Demand 
  • Supply
  • Market Structure
  • Factor Markets 
  • The Role of Government
  • The Macroeconomic Environment
  • Macroeconomic Policy
  • International Trade and Globalisation
  • Research Activity.

The course ends with a research activity that will pull all the strands of the course together, and prepare students fully for the assessment.

Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Economics for Business.

Financial Decision Making

Financial decision making aims to provide students with a set of accounting and financial tools that enables them to interpret and critique financial information from a variety of sources, and to make informed and effective financial decisions that directly impact company operations.

The course begins with a closer look at the current financial landscape. It then examines the application of financial and management accounting tools relevant to critical financial decisions, including key performance indicators, breakeven analysis, working capital management techniques and the budgeting process.

This is followed by a consideration of financial management and the decisions faced by organisations on investment (what projects), finance (what type of finance) and dividend (pay or retain) and how an organisation analyses takes action on each of those decisions.

Topics include:

  • The financial landscape
  • Financial accounting
  • Working capital management
  • Management accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Financial tools
  • Capital budgeting and investment appraisal
  • Financing, payout policy and management.

The course concludes with an introduction to exchange rate and interest rate risk management.

Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Financial Decision Making.

Leadership Theory and Practice

The course is divided into eight modules. Having explored what we mean by ‘leadership’ in the first module, the course then considers key developments in leadership theories and how they apply to modern organisations.

Leadership is enacted differently depending on the context, and the course hones in on some example settings for practice, including creative industries and projects, to explore alternative approaches to leading.

The role of leadership in setting and shaping organisational strategy is also explored, and contemporary issues of gender, culture and ethics are discussed.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to leadership 
  • Traditional and contingency leadership approaches
  • Modern theories of leadership 
  • Post-heroic leadership 
  • Leadership in contexts 
  • Leadership, gender and culture 
  • Leadership and ethics 
  • Developing leadership 

The course ends by considering how leaders and leadership can be developed and provides insights into current trends and future directions. 

Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Leadership Theory and Practice.

People, Work and Organisations

Our People, Work and Organisations course aims for students to develop a detailed appreciation of factors influencing how people behave at work and how these link to performance. 

The course focuses on understanding individual differences, how these differences affect group dynamics and how organisational factors affect individual behaviour. At its core, the course aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge to positively impact on individual, team and organisational performance in a variety of dynamic organisational contexts.

Topics include:

  • Understanding behaviour in organisations
  • Individual differences
  • Motivation and engagement
  • Work group dynamics 
  • Power, politics and conflicts 
  • Designing effective organisations
  • Organisational culture
  • Organisational change.

The course concludes with a detailed case study that allows students to draw on their knowledge of organisational behaviour and recommend interventions to improve performance. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to think critically about their role as managers and to reflect on their practice in light of relevant theory.  

Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for People, Work and Organisations.

Strategic Marketing

Our strategic marketing course aims to provide students with the necessary tools and frameworks to enable them to make proactive marketing decisions. The philosophy underlying this course is that marketing-oriented companies put customers first, are geared for long-term success and that this orientation must be championed by top management and infused throughout the whole organisation.

Strategic marketing requires knowledge, skills and competencies in a range of techniques such as strategic analysis and planning, implementation – via a number of integrated and synergistic marketing functions and activities – and marketing control, aided by an array of marketing metrics and digital developments. 

Topics include:

  • Marketing management for a turbulent era 
  • Marketing fit with corporate and business strategies 
  • Marketing environmental insights 
  • Customer insights and customer connections 
  • Marketing insights for demand measurement  
  • Segmentation and target marketing  
  • Branding and positioning 
  • Marketing strategies for competitive and market scenarios 
  • The integrated marketing mix 
  • Organising, planning, delivering and measuring market performance.

This course aims to provide students with a strong grasp of both the strategic elements of establishing a long-term customer orientation and the operational techniques that are required of marketing managers to implement a strategic marketing orientation successfully.    

Read an extended outline of the course syllabus for Strategic Marketing.


Construction and Infrastructure courses

Courses are part of our industry accredited and internationally recognised online MSc programmes: MSc Construction Project ManagementMSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying and MSc Civil Engineering Construction Management.

Courses available:

Climate Change, Sustainability and Adaptation (D11CA)
Aims: To introduce you to the concepts of sustainability in their widest definition – that of environmental, economic and social sustainability. The course will introduce issues relating to climate science and future predictions, in addition to legislative requirements and government initiatives to combat climate change.
  • An awareness of sustainability in its widest definition, including aspects of environment, economy and social impact.
  • An understanding of low carbon and climate change legislation, and an appreciation of possible future initiatives.
  • An understanding of Environmental Impact and Life Cycle Assessments in current design and construction practice.
  • An ability to understand a number of conflicting design issues and communicate amongst a diverse group of construction professionals.
  • An ability to appraise current designs and assess a number of case studies; critically analysing their strengths and weaknesses.
Topics covered: Introduction to sustainability: environmental, economic and social; Sustainability and the built environment; History of climate science and future predictions; Carbon, energy and water footprints; Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Energy reduction and carbon emissions mitigation; Adaptation/probability for future climate scenarios; Building case study I – domestic buildings.
To find out more detail, view our full course description document.
Data Analysis and Simulation (D21DA)
Aims: To develop your knowledge of statistical data analysis and its application in engineering and science and introduces the concepts of using simulation techniques for analysis of complex systems. It also teaches linear optimisation techniques and the ability to apply them to solve simple problems.
  • Understand and be able to apply statistical methods to analysis of engineering and scientific data
  • Design experiments
  • Understand basic principles of simulation and modelling and be able to apply them to analysis of complex systems
  • Gain basic knowledge about linear optimisation techniques and be able to apply them to solution of simple problems
Topics covered: Introduction to statistics; Basics of probability theory; Probability distributions; Sampling and confidence intervals; Hypothesis testing; Data correlation and regression analysis; Random number generation; Simulation and modelling; Elements of queuing theory; Introduction to optimisation techniques.
To find out more detail, view our full course description document.
Learning from Disasters (D21LD)
Aims: To gain an in depth understanding of some classic disasters and their consequences by using a range of practical accident investigation techniques.
  • Review some of the major safety lessons from historical disasters
  • Analyse a disaster in detail using a number of practical techniques
  • Apply these skills to a real accident to see the effectiveness of risk management
  • Understand the legislative framework in relation to these accidents
  • Become more aware of some critical events that shaped the development of the Safety Industry
  • Improve ability to research, analyse and synthesise information
Topics covered: Accident models; Root cause and accident analysis techniques; Lessons learned from major disasters.
To find out more detail, view our full course description document.
Sustainability for Construction Professionals (D11ST)
Aims: To equip you with the contextual awareness and interdisciplinary skills and knowledge necessary to allow you to contribute to the delivery of Sustainable Development as part of your professional role. Develop an understanding of the role of the Construction Professional in supporting a holistic approach to development, which emphasises Stakeholder Engagement in options appraisal.
  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the global systems and frameworks related to Sustainability, and show awareness of current and emerging practices in this area
  • Demonstrate, with reference to their professional role, responsible action and evaluation in relation to fellow citizens, business and the environment, from local to global level.
  • Complete, and synthesize research and analysis of the subject in relation to their future professional responsibilities
  • Develop Consultation and Consensus building skills
Topics: Overview of broad concepts; History of sustainable development strategies; Overview of 'Sustainable Urban Design'; Planning frameworks; Project design and planning; Sustainability indicators; Audit and certification; The use of portfolios in professional development.
To find out more detail, view our full course description document.
Value and Risk Management (D31VR)
Aims: To introduce you to the concepts of value and risk management, apply them to strategic and tactical problems and illustrate their tools and techniques through case study.
  • A practical understanding of the value and risk management of the strategic and tactical development of a construction project.
  • Gain a practical appreciation of value and risk management techniques used at the technical development stage of the design
  • Understanding of the practice of value management with the UK practice of cost management.
  • Understand the development of a PPP brief, including a practical appreciation of value and risk management techniques used at this stage.
  • Investigating contemporary approaches to VRM in the context of construction projects
Topics covered: Value and risk management and the construction procurement process; An Introduction to Value Management, Value Engineering - Function Analysis and other VE tools; Risk, uncertainty and the construction industry; Risk and procurement of PPP projects; The Risk Management framework; Sources, events and effects of project risk; Tools and techniques of Risk Management; Risk response and mitigation; Client Briefing; A Review of North American Practice.
To find out more detail, view our full course description document.


Delivery of courses

The courses are delivered online by national and international leaders in their field. Students will have full access to our state-of-the-art online learning platform and will be able to work through the course material at a pace that suits them. The courses will not only provide students with the theoretical framework of the subject area but will arm them with the practical tools, confidence and knowledge to flourish in their businesses and careers. Students can opt to take an exam and will be able to download a certificate of achievement on completion. 

Each individual course will take between 150 and 200 study hours to complete. 

How to apply?

You can only apply for a fully funded Upskilling Scotland course by completing the below expression of interest form. The deadline for applications is 24 July 2021. Please note, if you apply through the main application portal you won't be able to use this scheme.

To apply you'll need to:

  • 18+ years of age
  • Reside or have the legal right to work in Scotland
  • Provide a 200 word summary outlining how upskilling in your selected business area will benefit you, your company and the Scottish Economy as a whole.

When you apply please ensure you have a copy or photo of a Council Tax bill, driver’s license or redacted payslip ready. View our full Terms and Conditions to find out more.

Register your interest