SCQF Level 6
Built Environment

Course Overview

Life Sciences Access is a steppingstone to further education at a university level. You will develop your knowledge and understanding in subjects such as Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.  


This is a full-time course taught at Edinburgh College’s Sighthill campus. Our Science department offers you the opportunity to study in purpose-built laboratories. These will support the development of your general and specialist practical skills whilst enhancing your theoretical understanding of science. 


This is a Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) meaning if you have few or no formal qualifications and have been out of full-time education for at least three years (five years if studied Highers or a Higher National course or similar level) you can apply. 


SWAP courses provide you with an alternative route into higher education and are designed to give you intensive academic preparation as well as the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence you need for entry into higher education through recognised progression routes at colleges or universities in Scotland. For more information on SWAP courses please go to?www.scottishwideraccess.org and click on the SWAP East Portal. 

What You Will Learn

You will cover a range of National 5 and Higher-Level subjects such as: 


  • Biology 
  • Chemistry 
  • Mathematics 
  • Information Technology? 
  • Preparation for Higher Education 


All SWAP students are required to participate in and complete Preparation for Higher Education (HE). Preparation for HE will assist you in researching and visiting universities. You will be expected to work as a team and on your own to complete this module

Entry Requirements
  • This Access programme is NOT intended for recent school leavers 
  • You must have been out of full-time education for three years or more and have no/few formal qualifications 
English Proficiency Requirements
  • IELTS 6.0
How the course is assessed
  • You will be assessed on each unit
  • All units within the course must be achieved in order to gain the full award 
  • You will be tested on your theoretical and practical skills 
Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements
  • Entry is by informal interview and a short entry exam. All candidates are interviewed to ensure that the appropriate course is chosen and that the applicant can cope with the amount of work involved.
Progression And Articulation Routes

A large range of degree courses offered by the universities in East and Central Scotland including: 

  • The University of Edinburgh  
  • Edinburgh Napier University 
  • Heriot-Watt University 
  • Queen Margaret University 
  • University of Dundee 
  • Abertay University 
  • University of St Andrews 
  • University of the Highlands and Islands 
  • University of Aberdeen 
  • For Biological Science students this course can lead on to a range of degree options including Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Microbiology 
Number Of Days Per Week
  • 4 days per week
Course Cost And Funding Options
Student Stories



The Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) is a partnership between colleges and universities to support access to higher education for adults. At Edinburgh College, there are many courses available to help those with few or no qualifications begin their path to university. 


We caught up with ex-Edinburgh College student Camilla Scarlett to see what she thought of her studies at Edinburgh College and how it helped her progress to university: 


‘I really enjoyed studying Microbiology at Edinburgh College. It was exciting using a microscope for the first time and analysing bacterial colonies that I had created. The equipment required for titrations was very precise and specialised.  


I enjoyed the overall experience of learning and being at college. Meeting great people, discovering new things and the sense of achievement after such a heavy workload. I’ve started studying an honours degree in Biological Science at The University of Edinburgh.’ 


Read more of our student stories here.

Start Date and Time

Full Time

This course will start week commencing...
  • Monday 30/08/2021
End Date

Full Time

This course will end on...
  • Friday 17/06/2022
Course Delivery
GRANTON x x x x x
MIDLOTHIAN x x x x x
MILTON RD x x x x x
x x x x
OUTREACH x x x x x

Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

What is SWAP?
Is SWAP for me?

​SWAP programmes are designed specifically for adult returners and dedicated college staff are there to support your progress, and  give advice on taking the next step. 

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

For further information please contact the College t: 0131 669 4400 | Terms of use and disclaimer
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