Dollar Discovers

Dollar Academy launches free, open access platform to increase subject choice for all Scottish pupils.

Dollar has launched Dollar Discovers, an innovative online learning platform that will provide SQA courses, and shorter ‘Discovery’ courses, free of charge to pupils from across Scotland.

Dollar offers the widest range of SQA subjects in Scotland and will be offering some courses which may not be available in other schools, starting with Higher Politics. Where schools already provide a specific course, Dollar will work with teachers and share online resources to support the provision of this subject. The initiative is the first of its kind in Scotland.

In addition to this, shorter multidisciplinary ‘Discovery’ courses will be offered to pupils at both Dollar Academy and state schools. Created in partnership with the pioneering NuVu Studio in the United States, these courses will bring together leading figures from industry, NGOs and academia to create exciting content that explores relevant, real-world topics framed around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The content will allow students to develop their curiosity and critical thinking in order to better understand the world around them, be an active force for good and develop vital skills that will support them when they leave school and enter the workplace.  The first courses, which carry industry backing from Johnstons of Elgin and Grimshaw Architects, will be Activist Fashion and Architecture for Wellbeing, with plans to roll out further courses throughout the year.

Andrew Whalley, Chairman at Grimshaw Architects, who endorsed the Architecture for Wellbeing course, said: “I strongly believe it takes creativity to excel in any field. New ideas and success stem from innovation in the sciences, technology, and the arts.

“The new online courses at Dollar Discovers will bring Dollar Academy’s long-term interest and investment in the Arts as a free resource to School Pupils throughout Scotland. This will offer the opportunity to explore new fields in fashion and architecture set against a sustainable agenda that reference the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We live in a rapidly changing world and our future generation must be given access to new fields of enquiry that fire their imagination.”

Simon Cotton, CEO of Johnstons of Elgin who endorsed the Activist Fashion course, said: “Sustainability and environmental protection are incredibly important to Johnstons of Elgin in every aspect of our business, particularly circularity relating to the reduction of waste and regeneration of resources. It is something that we are passionate about and this move by Dollar Academy to provide pupils with focused courses framed around the UN Sustainable Development Goals is incredibly exciting. I am confident it will give students the practical tools they can use to build on conversations already happening across the fashion retail industry, as we move to make it a better and more sustainable sector.”

Ian Munro, Rector at Dollar Academy, said: “At Dollar, we passionately believe in the transformative power of education and our responsibility to support as many young people as possible in their development. During lockdown, it was clear that there are opportunities to teach pupils effectively via engaging online content. This inspired the creation of the Dollar Discovers initiative, which will provide pupils from across Scotland with the opportunity to study subjects that they may not be able access at their current school. Students need to register for the courses, but, importantly, there is no cost to take part.”

For further information about Dollar Discovers, visit