Medical Studies: Access

Qualification Qualifications Explained
Study Mode
Full Time

1 Academic Year - 4 Days p/w

Start date
Aug 2024
Applications open January 2024

Course overview

The SWAPWest Access to Medical Studies, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and Science programme provides an entrance qualification to the University of Glasgow to study degrees in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. In addition the programme provides progression routes to Pharmacy at Strathclyde University, Biomedicine and Oral Health at Glasgow Caledonian University and a wide range of science degrees with the University partners mentioned as well as University of the West of Scotland, Stirling University and SRUC (the Agricultural College).

It is run by the college in conjunction with the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP).

The programme has been developed for adults returning to higher education and who have not previously studied to university degree level. Candidates should have obtained experience in their related field of study.
Prior study of Maths, Chemistry and Biology is required due to the intense nature of the study on this SWAP programme. Applicants should detail their experience on their application form; a relevant reference detailing experience will be required prior to interview. Entry on to the programme is decided after interview(s) in partnership with the Scottish Wider Access Programme.

Prospective students must have a clear idea about the degree route or they wish to progress to when they complete the course.

Successful applicants progressing to university in health related areas will need to satisfy criteria outlined by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) (Scotland) Act 2007.

The course is very intensive and requires a full time commitment. It is not possible, due to the nature of the programme, to complete it on a part time basis. Further information about SWAP Access courses can be found on the SWAP website

What you will learn

A wide variety of units will be covered including:

Core Units:

  • Communications
  • Mathematics

Preparation for Higher Education Course Specific Units:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Life Sciences

I love my college, all the staff are welcoming and super helpful. The lecturers are very professional and they try to help everyone as much as they can. The college provides funding to those who need childcare support or have financial difficulties.

I think Access Medicine is the most challenging course out of all the other Access courses and it’s heavily based on Biology, Chemistry and Maths. We also get to learn about common diseases and treatments options which is so fascinating. I would say it is a very thorough, solid course that prepares everyone for commencing a medicine degree.

Hossein Hosseini Access to Medicine SWAP

Entry requirements

All candidates on the programme should have been out of education for 3 years if you studied at National 5 level and 5 years if you studied Highers.

Please note places are restricted and early application is strongly advised.

This Access programme is NOT intended for recent school leavers. If you are a recent school leaver you are very welcome to apply for our NQ Science or Engineering programmes.

Entry is based on the quality of the application submitted and successful interview.

Applicants should now provide detailed information on relevant life, education and employment experience within their personal statement, in addition to demonstrating a genuine interest in the subject.

Tell us what experience you have in the subject already? What about the subject interests you? What skills do you have that will make you a good candidate for the course? Give examples. If your personal statement is missing this crucial information it is likely your application will be rejected and you will be unsuccessful.

This Access programme is NOT intended for graduates who should contact medical schools to consider graduate entry programmes.

Applicants should have a gap (of at least 5 years) in their formal education.

Appropriate work experience is very essential and should be clearly explained in your personal statement.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate relevant career progression and be in a responsible position.

Applicants should also have recent and relevant study experience of Chemistry, Biology and Maths preferably at Higher level.

Successful applicants progressing to university in health-related areas will need to satisfy criteria outlined by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) (Scotland) Act 2007.

Short listed candidates may receive a formal interview either in person or on line.

Those with English as a second or other language (ESOL) should have higher ESOL at grade C.


Future prospects

BDS Dentistry, MBChB Medicine, BVMS Veterinary Medicine all at the University of Glasgow, M.Pharm Pharmacy at the University of Strathclyde, BSc Clinical Physics at the University of the West of Scotland or Biomedicine and Oral Health at Glasgow Caledonian University.  Medical degrees at Edinburgh and Aberdeen university are now accessible through this SWAP course as well. 

Can also lead to any Degree, HND or HNC courses in Biological, Environmental Health and Life Sciences in Colleges and Universities in the West of Scotland.

Learners have progressed to HNC and HND programmes in these areas within Glasgow Kelvin College. If you have successfully completed your Access course you would be very welcome on our HN programme and as an internal candidate would be prioritized. Completing these courses opens the door to a huge choice of degree courses or Science based jobs both locally and in every corner of the world. All learners who successfully complete our HN courses progress either to university or obtain well paid jobs in industry.

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