SWAP Access to Chemical & Life Sciences

Apply now

Do you see yourself working in the Chemical and Biological world which offers great diversity for your future career? Are you looking for a career change? Is science an area that captures your interest? Are you interested in how our physical and biological world works? Do you have a natural ability in working with numbers?

This course provides students who are returning to education the opportunity to study for one year and gain entry to a range of science and technological courses at HNC, HND or Degree level. The qualification gained on completion of this course will also provide you with an opportunity to diversify into other areas of study within the Chemical and Biological Science areas. The course is structured to develop practical and investigation skills at Higher level.

This is YOUR opportunity to study for one year and gain entry to a range of chemical and life science courses and kickstart the NEW CAREER you’ve been looking for.

Please note to be eligible for this course you must not be a recent school leaver – please refer to the Entry section (below) for further information.


You should have a minimum of 3 clear years out of formal education (ideally 5 years), a history of good mathematics qualifications from school but for whatever reason you did not continue in your studies. You should be able to demonstrate a good level of work ethic from references and attendance records and demonstrate a strong interest in the Sciences and a firm career aspiration.

You will need to be physically and mentally fit for working at a desk, in front of a computer and standing for periods of time in a laboratory before applying for this course. Memory skills and the ability to adapt quickly to new environments as a necessity. You should also be self-motivated and confident.

Although you may continue with a part time job you should ensure that you have time to commit to your studies, both inside and outside of any classroom.

You will be interviewed and your numeracy skills will be tested during the interview period.

You will need to supply at least one (1) reference that show your ability to work, learn and be successful.


A full & detailed personal statement must be completed when applying, you must highlight your intended future study goal and career within your statement giving clear indications why you wish to change career.


Progression into any study within the NHS is subject to PVG Disclosure Scotland Criminal Records checking. This check will not be carried out by the college but you must be aware of this before embarking on any career within the NHS as a Allied Health Professional.


You will be taught a mixture of discrete science subjects (Chemistry, Biology and Physics) along with core essential skills in Mathematics and Communications. Where possible the science subjects taught will be tailored to the individual student which will allow students progression to their HNC/HND or Degree path of their choosing.

You will develop your learning over the one year from SCQF Level 6 to Higher level. On successful completion you will have the opportunity to move directly to Higher Education after one academic year.

Initial units in the course include: Higher Communications, three N5 Maths units, two N5 Chemistry and three N5 Biology units. Depending on availability students may be able to choose from a variety of units at higher level including: Chemistry, Human Biology, Mathematics and Physics. There are no external exams. All coursework is assessed as a continuous process, internally using a variety of assessment methods including end-of-unit tests, practical experiments, essays, oral presentations and laboratory reports. You will also be required to produce a Preparation for Higher Education portfolio.

This course will be delivered over 4 days each week between August and January, then 3.5 days from February to June.