Biological Sciences
Langside Campus
SCQF Level
Start Date
24 Aug 2020
Qualification Type
Course Type
1 Year (August to June)

Applications for this course reopen in January 2021

SWAP Access to Biological and Chemical Sciences course is for you if you are returning to education. It is designed to provide the skills, knowledge and understanding required for application to the first year of a university degree programme or to HNC courses in Science.

It is run in partnership with SWAP West who negotiate university places at a range of universities for students successfully completing their SWAP course.

The course is accepted by partners in lieu of other university entry qualifications. As well as covering subject knowledge this course also includes intensive guidance to develop confidence, core skills and maximise the chance of successful progression to Higher Education.

What will I learn?

  • Biology (Higher Units)
  • Chemistry (Higher Units)
  • Maths (National 5 Units)
  • Physics (National 5 Units)
  • Communications (Higher level)
  • Information Technology

Assessment will be continuous with a mixture of practical and theoretical assessments. There is no final examination.

Employer and industry links

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

Jobs and further study

Successful completion of the SWAP Access to Biological and Chemical Sciences course allows progression to the First Year of a wide range of related Science degrees.

Our main partners are Glasgow Caledonian University(GCU); The University of the West of Scotland (UWS); Glasgow University; Strathclyde University and Stirling University.

However, students have progressed to other Universities throughout Scotland and the UK such as The 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.

Typical degree courses:

  • Biomedical Science
  • Human Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Food Bioscience
  • Environmental Biology
  • Forensic Science
  • Marine Biology
  • Zoology
  • Oral Health Science
  • Paramedic
  • Geology
  • Speech and Language Therapy

Other degrees are available - 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 Cardonald campus.

Successful completion of the SWAP course also allows progression to:

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.

Entry requirements (minimum)

  • There are no formal entry requirements but you should typically have had a break from full time education of at least two years and be able to demonstrate an aptitude for science. Life skills, experience and maturity are important
  • Communication and Numeracy skills are essential. An entrance test will be used to support this
  • 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
  • One suitable reference.

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

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 and we will be in contact as per the following stages:

  • you will be invited to attend an interview. Please bring your references, qualifications and photographic identification with you
  • a literacy and numeracy test and information session are part of the interview
  • interviews will take place in March onwards.


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 10 working 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 10 working 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