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Engineering

SWAP Access to Life Sciences

Campus Sighthill Campus

Qualification SCQF Level 6

Study mode Full time

Start date Aug 2024

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Course overview

Life Sciences Access is a stepping stone 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
  • ICT
  • 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.

    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 

    Number of days per week

    • 4 days per week

    Entry requirements

    Students should be ordinarily resident in Scotland. Please contact the SWAP East Office at swapeast@ed.ac.uk if you are not sure about your eligibility.

    • Candidates must have been out of education for three years (five years if you have Highers or equivalent) and must not already have a degree. The course is NOT intended for school leavers.
    • Applicants applying from a level 4 or 5 access course will be required to achieve 65% or above in each - Biology, Chemistry and Maths. This should be achieved at first attempt. All assessments must be completed during the SWAP course, regardless of previous achievement for Profile Grading purposes. 
    • Students who already have a university degree are not eligible for a SWAP programme. Any applicant who has been to university but did not complete may be eligible if there are special circumstances. Please email SWAP for advice BEFORE submitting an application at swapeast@ed.ac.uk.

    Information on Tests / Auditions / Interview Requirements

    • Entry is by informal interview and a short, Mathematics 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.
    • Applications should include a strong personal statement that clearly indicates the candidate has researched progression routes and has a clear idea of the degree and career they wish to pursue. Applications may be returned to candidates who do not meet these criteria. 
    • Progression information can be found at: https://swapsurvey.org/progression/east.
    • Applications to repeat a course will only be considered if there are places available – this will be reviewed in August. This includes students who have previously been given an opportunity to complete the course or apply again.

    English Proficiency Requirements

    IELTS 6.5

    Progression and Articulation Routes

    A large range of degree courses is 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 to a range of degree options including Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Microbiology 

    Career options

    A range of science-related careers.

    Find out more at the Scottish Wider Access Programme website

    Study Options

    Campus Study mode Start date
    Sighthill Campus Full time 26/08/24

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