Biological Sciences
Langside Campus
SCQF Level
Start Date
22 Aug 2022
Qualification Type
Course Type
1 Year (August to June)

Applications for this course are now closed.

Access to Biological and Chemical Sciences is run in partnership with the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) and is designed for adults who wish to return to education after a break of 3-5 years. You will be introduced to a range of science subjects to develop the skills and knowledge required for application to first year of a life science related degree programme or a relevant HNC course at SCQF Level 7.

SWAP negotiate places at a range of universities for students who successfully complete their SWAP course.

The course is accepted by partner universities in lieu of other entry qualifications. It also includes intensive guidance to develop confidence, core skills and maximise the chance of successful progression to higher education.

What will I learn?

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

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

Entry requirements (minimum)

  • There are no formal entry requirements but you should typically have had a break from full time education of 3 years if you have previously studied at National 5/Int 2 level or 5 years if you have previously studies at Higher/HNC level.  You must be able to demonstrate an aptitude for science and show that you have a good knowledge of career path you wish to follow.
  • Life skills, experience and maturity are important factors that will be considered with your application.
  • Communication and numeracy skills are essential.  An entrance test will be used to confirm communication and numeracy skills are at the right level.  An additional core skills test may be required.
  • Your personal statement is key to supporting a successful application as places on the course are limited. Please ensure you detail all relevant work/life experience and the reasons you wish to study this course.
  • 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

Our main partners are Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU); University of the West of Scotland (UWS); University of Glasgow; University of Strathclyde; University of Stirling and SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College).

However, students have progressed to other universities throughout Scotland and the UK such as University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI, who have campuses at various locations) and Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh. The Open University (OU) might also be worth considering if you find that a part-time study model suits best.

Degree options:

  • Biomedical Science
  • Paramedic Science
  • Oral Health Science
  • Food Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology and Sport Science 
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Marine Biology 
  • Zoology
  • Chemistry (University of Glasgow or UWS)

A cull list of current progression routes can be found on the Scottish Wider Access Programme 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.

Several students have used this course as a stepping stone to the SWAP Medical Studies course at our Anniesland campus.

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

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.

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 junk/SPAM folder if you do not hear from us). We will be in contact as per the following stages:

  • Following an Initial review of your application, which will consider the content of your personal statement, you will be invited to attend an online Information session where you will find out more about the course.
  • After the information session you will be sent a link to allow you to complete the literacy and numeracy test.
  • If you perform satisfactorily in the literacy and numeracy test, you will be invited to an Individual interview which will take place via Microsoft Teams at some point between March and June.


You will be informed of the outcome by email within 10 working days after the interview. There are four possible outcomes:

  1. unconditional offer: you have met all the entry requirements and your place is guaranteed
  2. conditional offer: your place is secured, pending meeting the entry requirements
  3. waiting list: you have met all entry requirements, however, the course is full. If any spaces become available you may be contacted.
  4. unsuccessful: you have not met the entry criteria or did not meet the necessary level at the skills test. You can call the Student Advice Centre to discuss alternative options.

Once an offer is received, you must reply within 14 days or risk losing your place. If a place is unavailable at your first choice of campus, you may be offered a place at one of our other campuses and you must respond to this within 14 days.

Once you have accepted your offer, you will be sent further details such as joining instructions, induction date and funding information.

More questions? Contact us about this course

0141 272 3776