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

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 such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or pharmacy.

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 4/ Literature 1. 

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)

  • This course is not aimed at recent school leaversYou must have a gap in your education of three to five years. 
  • Entry to the programme is subject to interview and satisfactory performance in an entrance test covering basic Biology, Chemistry and Maths knowledge at Nat 5/Higher level 
  • 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 (Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine or Pharmacy), 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. 
  • Due to the high level of Chemistry and Biology you will be expected to have some appropriate recent qualifications in these subjects and at least Maths at National 5 level, or equivalent. 
  • Applicants with relevant experience and a good understanding of their chosen career path, but who lack recent relevant qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Maths should apply for the Access to Medical Sciences (An Introduction) course instead.   
  • Applicants who hold a degree already are usually not eligible for SWAP.  Please get in touch using the enquiry button to discuss.  
  • This course is not available to international students and you must be living in Scotland for at least three years prior to starting the course.  Please contact our Student Advice team if you have any queries around residency.  

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.

Further information on UCAT will be provided at the information session.

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

Entry requirement equivalency table 

If you do not meet the entry criteria for your chosen course, you may be offered an alternative course in the same subject area. 

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.

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

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 entrance test.  It is important to complete the entrance 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. 
  • 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 2024 

More questions? Contact us about this course

0141 272 3267