Access to Further Education NQ

What is special about this course?

This course provides a route into Further Education for anyone with little or no previous qualifications. It is a good way to experience several subjects if you are unsure which area you might want to study.
This course is perfect for adults thinking about returning to education and is also suitable for school leavers who may thrive in a college environment.
You’ll study a wide range of subjects and successful completion of this course will enable you to progress to a wide range of NC courses if you wish. 

Entry requirements

There are no academic entry requirements for this course. Applicants must be 16 years or more at the start date of the course.

You will study:

  • Communication 
  • Numeracy 
  • Information and Communication Technology  
  • Environmental Science (Sustainability) 
  • Cyber Security Fundamentals 
  • Internet Safety 
  • Child Development  
  • Skills for Customer Care 
  • Influences on Mental Health & Wellbeing 
  • Business & E-Commerce: An Introduction 
  • Business & Finance: An Introduction 
  • Business & Marketing: An Introduction 
  • Establishing a Business Identity 
  • Preparing for Employment: First Steps 
  • Building your own Employability Skills 
  • Responsibilities of Employment  
  • Problem Solving  
  • Working With Others 
  • Metaskills 
  • Guidance  

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

Your course will generally be a mix of scheduled learning time in your local centre, and flexible learning time. You need to commit to both, but you can choose when to complete flexible learning to fit around work, caring and personal commitments.

You will attend your local centre to learn together with your lecturers and fellow classmates in an online classroom. As well as having fellow students with you in your local centre, you may also connect with students in our other locations.

Our courses use a combination of video conferencing (like a Zoom call), interactive chat and sharing of presentation slides and other visuals. Online-classrooms provide you with real time interaction, contact and discussion with your lecturer and fellow students, so it’s a much richer experience than purely online learning.

You will attend class for approximately 3 days per week. 

How long will my course last?

1 Academic Year

The course will run approximately 3 days per week from August until May 

Where can I study my course?

    • Arran Learning Centre
    • Campbeltown Hazelburn Learning Centre
    • Dunoon Learning Centre
    • Helensburgh Learning Centre
    • Islay Learning Centre
    • Lochgilphead Learning Centre
    • Oban Learning Centre
    • Rothesay Learning Centre

Start date



For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.


Bursary for Living Costs 

If you are 18 years of age or over on the start date of your course, and will be studying full-time you may be eligible for bursary funding, depending on your household income. Our bursary fund is finite and is allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis so it’s important to make your application for bursary as soon as the application process opens in July. You will need to have accepted our offer before you apply. 

If you are under 18 you may be eligible for EMA. EMA is paid at a rate of £30 per week dependent on your total household income.  

Please see page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide for full details of Bursary and EMA.  

You may also be eligible for assistance with travel and childcare, and we have discretionary funds for those students in need. You can find all the information you need in our funding pages

What can I do on completion of my course?

If you successfully complete this course, you will be able to progress to a variety of courses including:

  • Beauty NC
  • Business NQ
  • Computing with Digital Media NC
  • Childhood Practice NC
  • Hairdressing NC
  • Horticulture NC
  • Social Sciences NC
  • Maritime Skills NQ


Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

You might have always joked about the fact that your degree has come from the university of life., but you may well have always intended to go on to further your education. Sometimes life gets in the way. If that sounds familiar, this course is the place to start.


Apply for Access to Further Education NQ

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Argyll. UHI Argyll operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.