Biological Sciences
Cardonald 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 Medical Sciences is for individuals who have been away from education, typically for two or more years, and want to progress to a range of Higher Education courses relating to medical studies.

This is a demanding course and previous experience within a related field would be an advantage.

What will I learn?

This programme is a combination of mainly science-related subjects at SQA Higher and HNC level. This includes Chemistry and Biology along with the essential core skills required for university study.

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

SWAP West programmes are designed to provide entry qualifications for adults who want to progress to a degree course. Each year, universities update their progression routes and the following are examples of possible degree programmes made available to SWAP students: medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, pharmacy, biomedical science, biological and biomedical sciences.

University of Glasgow - Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine 

University of Strathclyde - Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences 

Glasgow Caledonian University - Biological and Biomedical Sciences 

In addition, a wide variety of access to science progression routes are available from all of these partner organisations, together with the University of the West of Scotland, University of Stirling and the Scottish Rural University College. These include forensic science and bioscience degrees, amongst many others. Details of these additional progression routes will be made available in October.

Entry requirements (minimum)

Entry to the programme is subject to interview and external reference. There will be an entrance test covering basic Biology, Chemistry and Maths knowledge. Your personal statement on the college application form is very important.

Due to the high level of Chemistry and Biology on the SWAP access programme students will be expected to have some appropriate qualifications in these subjects.

A range of criteria will be used to decide who will join the programme. The interview will provide an opportunity for the potential student to discuss the programme with a representative of the College.

You should be aware of the work experience required for the progression routes and be able to discuss the relevance of your experience. Details are specified on the university websites. As an adult returning to education there is an expectation that you will be able to draw on both vocational and life experience.


Applicants to the University of Glasgow Medicine and Dentistry degrees are required to undertake a UKCAT aptitude test. As the aptitude test process begins prior to the medical studies programme commencing, it is the responsibility of the student to complete the UKCAT application. We recommend students leave sitting it as late as possible to allow time for practice. You must make sure to book it in time.

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?

You will receive an automated email confirming that we have received your application and will be in contact as per the following stages:

  • Initial review of application - a detailed Personal Statement demonstrating communication skills and relevant life/work experience is essential.
  • As there are a restricted number of places for each of the degree programme options, decisions on who will be offered a place may take several weeks to finalise. We will keep in touch with you regarding your status.
  • Interviews will start in April
  • Once an offer is received you must reply within 10 working days or risk losing your place

After you have accepted your offer, you will be sent information on funding, course content and more.

More questions? Contact us about this course

0141 272 3267