Scottish Wider Access Programmes, also known as SWAP courses, are for adults who have few or no formal qualifications and who have been out of full-time education for at least three years (five years if you have Highers or an HN).

This course is specifically designed for those who have left formal education and, after a period away, want to return and progress to Higher Education. Successful completion can lead you to a guaranteed place on an HNC, HND, or degree course at college or university in the SWAP–East network (for more information about SWAP courses and progression options, visit the SWAP website).

  • One year full-time
  • History/criminology
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Communication and literature
  • Maths (external component at National 5 required by students studying for primary education)
  • Child development

You will sit internal unit assessments, as well as being assessed on whole course performance at the end of the year using a graded profile. Most university places are dependent on good grades in this profile.

  • No formal entry requirements
  • Entry is by informal discussion where you will be asked to demonstrate that you have the relevant life skills to successfully complete the SWAP course
  • Evidence of life skills may include level of maturity and experience of skills related to the potential choice of degree subject, including paid employment or volunteering and awareness of subject choice

Please note that school leavers cannot apply for SWAP courses.

  • HNC: Social Sciences SCQF Level 7
  • Degree/university courses
  • You may need to buy one or more textbooks – approx. £10-£20
  • You may be required to take part in an informal conversation as part of the application process. This group/individual conversation may be an information session, a portfolio discussion, or a skills based exercise