Access to Nursing (SWAP) SCQF level 6

What is special about this course?

If you’d like to train in the health industry but lack the necessary qualifications, this could be the course for you.

Access to Nursing is part of the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) and is specifically for people who have been out of formal education for at least 3 years (see Entry Requirements for more details). It prepares adult returners for entry into Higher Education and can lead to a place at college or university.

Entry requirements

  • Experience of working in a care setting is desirable but not essential
  • Good communication skills and a real interest in working with people
  • A successful interview

Additionally, the criteria for entry to this SWAP (Scottish Wider Access Programme) course are:

  • You have been out of education for at least 3 years and your highest qualification is SCQF level 5 (Standard Grade, Int 2, GCSE or equivalent),or
  • You have been out of education for at least 5 years and your highest qualification is SCQF level 6 or higher (Highers, A Levels, HN or equivalent)

This 18 credit course includes units on the principles and values of Care and Human Biology, as well as other health-related units appropriate for a career in Nursing. You will also learn the core skills of Numeracy and ICT, and complete the Communication (NC) and Literature 1 units which will develop your English skills up to the Higher level.

During the course you will take part in a small number of study days in Oban, where you will undertake learning activities in a clinical environment.

The course will equip students who have been out of education for more than 3 years with the skills, knowledge and confidence required to work as part of a care team and enter into Higher Education.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

Face to face and blended learning.

How long will my course last?


One academic year

Where can I study my course?

Start date

The course will start at the beginning of September of each year.


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

What can I do on completion of my course?

  • First year of a Nursing Programme at a variety of Universities in Scotland.
  • BA Health and Social Studies at University of Highlands and Islands.
  • HNC Social Care.
  • Employment in a health/care environment

Please note that this course will not give you access to Midwifery or Child Health Degree Programmes

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

This Access course is a great opportunity for those hoping to work in the health industry in a variety of roles including Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Learning Disability Nursing or Child Nursing. The course aims to provide the necessary skills and knowledge for academic progression in the healthcare industry whilst aiming to build self-confidence for those who have not been in formal education for a while.

Apply for Access to Nursing (SWAP) SCQF Level 6

I want to start in 2021/22

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Argyll College UHI. Argyll College 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.