Biological Sciences
Anniesland 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 Medical Sciences is run in partnership with the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) and is designed for adults who are thinking about 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 and knowledge required for progression to one of our partner university degree programmes in medical related fields or onto relevant HNC courses at SCQF Level 7.

This is an academically demanding course and previous study of Biology, Chemistry and Maths at higher level is required. Relevant experience within a related field would be an advantage.

What will I learn?

The programme is a combination of Biology units ranging from SCQF Level 6 – 8, Chemistry units from SCQF Level 5 – 6, Higher Maths units and Communications. 

You will also complete a module designed to develop the academic skills necessary for studying at university.

Find out more about the Access to Medical Sciences course.

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 Forms an important part of the selection process.  You should clearly detail your experience to date and your aptitude for studying medical sciences.  You must indicate in your personal statement whether you wish to study Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine or Pharmacy.
  • Due to the high level of Chemistry and Biology you will be expected to have some appropriate qualifications in these subjects and at least Maths at National 5 level or equivalent.

Additional Information

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 UCAT 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 UCAT 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.

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

Successful completion of the SWAP Access to Medical Sciences course provides the academic entry qualifications to allow progression onto the following degrees:

University of Glasgow: Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine

University of Strathclyde: Pharmacy

Glasgow Caledonian University: Oral Health Science and other Health Science related degrees

Various Life Science degrees including Anatomy, Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, and Genetics.

Please note that for entry to University of Glasgow, students require a Minimum of 80% in their assessed units, studied throughout the year

In addition, a wide variety of access to science progression routes are available from all of these partner organisations, together with University of the West of Scotland, University of Stirling and 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.

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 (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 entrance test which will cover relevant Biology, Chemistry and Maths knowledge.
  • If you perform satisfactorily in the entrance test, you will be invited to an Individual interview which will take place via Microsoft Teams at some point between March and June.
  • 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.


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

unconditional offer: you have met all the entry requirements and your place is guaranteed

conditional offer: your place is secured, pending meeting the entry requirements

waiting list: you have met all entry requirements, however, the course is full. If any spaces become available you may be contacted.

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 357 6189