SWAP Access to Health Sciences

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Are you interested in working within the Health sectors of the NHS or other related industries?

Do you have a strong interest in how things work?

Are you interested in studying Biology and Chemistry to a level that would allow you to move to degree level or HNC within one year?

If so, this is the course for you. You will focus your studies in mathematics, chemistry and biology. This will help you to potentially progress to courses in Veterinary Nursing, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Sciences, Food Sciences, Nutrition and Dietetics, Podiatry, Honours degree adult nursing (please note that there are other nursing SWAP courses available that have less science content).

This is YOUR opportunity to study for one year and gain entry to a range of health 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 learners 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.