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Cardonald Campus
SCQF Level
Start Date
26 Aug 2024
Qualification Type
Course Type
1 Year (August to June)

Access to Health and Biological Sciences is a paramedic access science course. It is run in partnership with the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) and is for adults who are considering returning to education, after a break of at least three to five years. The course will introduce you to a range of science subjects to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required for the first year of a Health Science-related degree programme at university or HNC course at SCQF Level 7.

SWAP negotiate university places at various universities for students successfully completing their SWAP course.

The course is accepted by partners in lieu of other entry qualifications and includes intensive guidance to develop confidence and core skills.

What will I learn?

During this Access to Health and Biological Sciences course, you will study:

  • Biology (National 5 and Higher units)
  • Chemistry (National 5 and Higher units)
  • Maths (National units)
  • Physics (National 5 and Higher units)
  • Communications

Find out more about the Access to Health and Biological Sciences course.

Entry requirements (minimum)

  • This course is not aimed at recent School leavers.  You must have a gap in your education of three years if you have previously studied at National 5/Int 2 level or five years if you have previously studied at Higher/HNC level
  • Entry to the programme is subject to interview and satisfactory performance in a core skills test covering basic numeracy, literacy and problem solving skills 
  • Your personal statement forms an important part of the selection process.  Please outline in the personal statement section of the application form your  progression route (Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science, Oral Health Science, Podiatry, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Life Science etc.), relevant experience you already have, transferrable skills from your current employment, any exceptional circumstances that impacted on your education so far, back up courses you have considered and why you think you are suitable for the course
  • Higher ESOL at grade A/B for applicants whose first language is not English
  • A reference will not be required as standard, but may be requested as part of the application process. 

For further information about the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP), please visit the SWAP website.

Employer and industry links

This course is designed for university progression, all partner universities have very strong links to employers and industry.

Jobs and further study

  • First year entry onto a range of specialist Allied Health degrees at Glasgow Caledonian University including Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Occupational Therapy, Oral Health Science and Paramedic Science.  
  • This course also allows progression to Speech and Language Pathology at the University of Strathclyde and the Master of Chiropractic programme at the Scottish College of Chiropractic. 
  • Please note that the level of Physics on this course is not sufficient to progress to Optometry, Orthoptics, Diagnostic Imaging or Radiotherapy and Oncology.   
  • First year entry to Biomedical Science degrees at Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Strathclyde and University of West of Scotland. 
  • First year entry to various life science and biological science-based courses at the University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of the West of Scotland and the University of Stirling. 
  • University of Glasgow will consider students who have performed very well on the SWAP course for their Bachelor of Nursing Honours degree. Applicants considering Nursing are advised to consider the emphasis on Science in this course.  The college also offers Access to Nursing which may be more suitable most applicants to nursing. 

Successful completion of the SWAP course also allows progression to HN Science courses at Glasgow Clyde College including: 

  • HNC Applied Science 
  • HNC Applied Science (Enhanced course in partnership with the University of Glasgow) 
  • HND Applied Biological Science 
  • HND Industrial Biotechnology 

Take a look at the course progression map for science courses.

These can lead to a range of employment such as laboratory based work after 1 or 2 years or university progression into Year 2 or 3 of Scottish degree programmes. We have strong employer and industry links through our HN courses, several students having gained employment directly. 

A full list of current progression routes can be found here on the SWAP website. 

It is important you make sure this course is accepted for the specific programme you want to progress to. If you are unsure, please contact us to discuss your options. Every student has a different background; previous experience or qualification can widen options further. 

Making an application

For courses starting in August, you can make up to two applications.

Applications are made to a course and a first choice of campus. If the course is oversubscribed at your first choice you will be automatically considered for alternative sites and may be made an offer without a further application.

I've applied — what happens next?

When you apply 

You will receive an automated email confirming that we have received your application (remember to check your SPAM folder). 

Your application and personal statement will be reviewed by the course team and you will either be:  

  • Invited to attend an interview. You will receive an email inviting you to book an interview.  In this email you will receive more information about the course and a link to the core skills test.  It is important to complete the core skills test before you attend your interview. 


  • Interviews for the course will take place between February and May 2024.  You are advised to book the earliest interview slot available.  Later interview dates may be made available if necessary.  Please contact the admissions team if none of the dates available suit you. 
  • Advised that your application is unsuccessful – you have not met the entry requirements for this course and are advised to contact the College Student Advice Centres to discuss alternative options which may be available to you. 
  • We aim not to reject an application and if you don’t meet the entry requirements you may be referred to a different course or level.  

If you are invited to interview, you will be informed of the outcome of your interview by email within 14 working days. The outcome will be one of the following: 

  1. Unconditional offer of a place – you have met all the entry requirements and your place is guaranteed. You will be required to accept this offer to secure your place. 
  2. Conditional offer of a place – your place is secured pending you meeting the entry requirements. This may mean achieving school or college qualifications which you may not be able to provide to us yet. You will be required to accept this offer to secure your conditional place. Once your conditions are met this will change to an unconditional offer of a place which you must accept before you can enrol on the course.  
  3. Waiting list – you have met all entry requirements, and have been interviewed however, the course is now full so you have been placed on a waiting list. If any spaces become available you may be contacted, usually around the course start date. We would advise that you also consider other application options. 
  4. Reserve listfollowing your interview, you have unfortunately not been successful in this round of recruitment. We have placed your name on a Reserve list and your application may be reconsidered at a later date. This could happen any time up to the start date of the course but it is very possible that you will not be offered a place. We would advise that you also consider other application options. 
  5. Unsuccessful – your interview has been unsuccessful. You may be offered a place on a course at a different level, or advised to contact the College Student Advice Centres to discuss alternative options which may be available to you. 

Once an offer is received, you must reply within 14 working days or risk losing your place, as the system will automatically decline your offer after 14 days. 

Once you have accepted your offer, you will be sent out instructions about student funding, joining instructions and induction date. This will normally be sent out in June/July.

More questions? Contact us about this course

0141 272 3267