FAQs

Answers to questions commonly asked by potential applicants…
 
Q Am I eligible to apply for a SWAP programme?
See ‘Is SWAP for me?’ for details of the SWAP eligibility criteria. If you aren’t sure whether you meet the criteria then contact us for a chat. 
 
Q Is there a lower or upper age limit for SWAP students?
No. We have students from all age groups. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria (see above) you can apply.  
 
In terms of future funding at university, there are specific rules for students aged 60 and over who want to apply for a student loan. If this might apply to you, you should contact the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for advice.    
 
Q I am not from Scotland / the UK, can I apply to SWAP?
Yes provided you meet our eligibility criteria. If you don’t know how your qualifications translate to the Scottish / UK education system, contact us for advice.
If English is not your native language, you should ensure that you have the minimum level required for the college you want to apply to. There may also be funding implications depending on where you are from or where you normally live, so you should check this out with the college funding team before you apply. 
 
Q Do I need to know which degree I want to do before I apply?
You don’t need to know the exact degree, but you do need to know the general subject area (e.g. social sciences, natural sciences, or nursing) to ensure you take the right access programme. You will need to make your university choices by December, so you will have a few months to decide.
 
Q What are the programmes? What will I study?
Go to the SWAP East or SWAP West sections for details of available programmes.
 
Q How do I apply to SWAP?
You apply directly to the college you want to study at via the college’s online application system. Colleges normally interview applicants and you should hear shortly after that about whether you have a place.
 
Q Can I study part-time?
The vast majority of our programmes are full-time, running from August to June. This involves around 18-20 hours of college class time per week, although students obviously also need to study outside that time too. Programmes are designed to be intense as we are preparing you for undergraduate study. Exceptionally, there is some part-time study available in Glasgow - please contact SWAP West for info.
 
Q Is it possible to work alongside the programme?
Many SWAP students manage a part-time job alongside their studies. The SWAP programme is demanding but if you are well-organised and have good self-discipline then it is possible. You are likely to have a least one day per week when you won’t be in college.
 
Q Is there any help with childcare?
Colleges normally offer some financial support to help with childcare costs. You should check this out with the college you plan to study at.
 
Q Will I have to sit exams?
SWAP students are continuously assessed across all of their subjects, and are awarded a grading profile at the end of the programme to reflect their performance. The majority of SWAP programmes don’t require students to sit Highers or other external exams, although you might have the option to do so. Students who are applying to a few specific degrees, e.g. teaching or social work, will sit the National 5 Maths exam as this is required for entry.
 
Q What qualification will I get at the end of the course?
Your access programme will comprise a range of SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) units at SCQF levels 4-7. After the course you will receive an SQA certificate detailing all of the units you have achieved.
 
Q Can I apply to universities outside SWAP / outside Scotland?
SWAP Partner universities have agreed to accept applications from SWAP students and so they are your best bet for getting an offer.  You can apply to other universities if you want to, but there’s no guarantee that they will consider your application.  If you have a particular university in mind contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options.
 
Q What if I don’t want to go to university?
We understand that not everyone wants to or is able to go on to university.  You might prefer to stay at college to do a HNC or HND (and possibly go to university later) or you might want to look for a job.  It’s all about what suits you best.  
Got a question that isn’t answered here? Contact us for help.
 
 
"I thoroughly enjoyed the whole SWAP experience. We have been well looked after by our lecturers who have given us a lot of help, encouragement and fantastic tips. They have helped my confidence levels go up."
Access to Chemistry, Biology and Dietetics, Glasgow Kelvin College, 2014-15
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