Progression Routes

"What can I do with my SWAP qualification?" 

The SWAP Progression Routes database contains information about all of the universities and courses that you may be eligible to apply for using your SWAP qualification.

You may find it useful, especially when you first get started doing your research, to download the full list of Progression Routes for your curriculum area using the links below. Then, systematically investigate each option until you have narrowed down the list to your five UCAS choices.


Please ensure that you have at least three different universities on your list (preferably five), and that you don't apply for two courses at the same university where the entry requirements are precisely the same (as this would be a waste of one choice).

Also make absolutely certain that you are using the correct UCAS code for the course and university, especially if you are planning to apply to study psychology. 


Life Science progression routes to GCU (Glasgow Caledonian University)
Life Science progression routes to SRUC (Scotland's Rural College)
Life Science progression routes to the University of Glasgow
Life Science progression routes to the University of Stirling
Life Science progression routes to the University of Strathclyde
Life Science progression routes to UWS


STEM progression routes to GCU (Glasgow Caledonian University)
STEM progression routes to SRUC (Scotland's Rural College)
STEM progression routes to the University of Glasgow
STEM progression routes to the University of Strathclyde
STEM progression routes to UWS 


Humanities progression routes to GCU (Glasgow Caledonian University)
Humanities progression routes to the University of Glasgow
Humanities progression routes to the RCS, GSA or SRUC
Humanities progression routes to the University of Stirling
Humanities progression routes to the University of Strathclyde
Humanities progression routes to UWS 



Making good choices:
During the months of October/November, you will need to set aside some time to give careful consideration to all of the courses that are available to you.

 <number_5.jpg> Choose Wisely:

Remember, you have up to five choices available on the UCAS application form and you are strongly advised to use all of them.

Imagine that your first choice of course/university has been withdrawn or discontinued. Would you simply walk away and forget about going to university? Probably not! So what would your second choice be? Keep asking yourself this question until you have a list of four or five options.

Choose a Range of Courses/Universities: 

As you review the Progression Routes, you will notice that different universities have different entry requirements for similar courses. Sometimes the difference is between the profile grades; in some cases the difference is in the 'designated units' that are required for progression. See below:

Profile Grades:  

University A (Social Sciences) requires A A B 
     (Example) University B (Social Sciences) requires A B B

In the examples above, you can see that there are different requirements for the Social Sciences degree courses at the two universities. One is higher than the other. Keep this in mind when you're selecting your choices; you do not want to choose five courses that all have the same entry requirements. Instead, you want to choose a range of courses that have different requirements. If you do not achieve the higher profile grades for one, you would have a "back-up" plan in the course that has lower entry requirements. 

Designated Units: 

You will also notice that some options have comments in the column entitled "Designated Units for Progression". These are additional requirements for entry that vary from institution-to-institution and course-to-course. For example: 

University C requires a 'Pass' on your student profile and Higher Maths or equivalent for the BSc in Computing

It is a good idea to ensure that your five choices include a range of subjects and universities with differing entry requirements to give you the best chance of securing a place at university on a course that you will enjoy.  


Why is this important?

     Consider what would happen if all of your choices have the same entry
     requirement (e.g. 'A A B') but your final profile grades are lower than that (e.g.
     'B B B').

     If you do not have among your options at least one university/course
     that would accept 'B B B' then you would have serious difficulties
     progressing to university, and that is a situation that no one wants to see you
     facing at the end of the year. 

     Certainly you should apply for the courses that interest you most, even if they
     are asking for the highest profile grades (e.g. 'A A A'), but be sure to also apply       for a few courses with lower entry requirements...just in case.

Wasting your choices:

Be aware that some universities do not have separate entry requirements for each individual course. Instead, they offer a single set of entry requirements for a group of courses that belong together. This grouping of courses is usually referred to as a "Faculty" or "School" (or sometimes, a "College").

If your chosen university operates this kind of admissions policy, it would be pointless for you to apply to 2 or 3 courses within the same faculty at that university, because the entry requirements for all of those courses would be exactly the same and if you fail to meet the requirements for one, you would fail to meet the requirements for all of them.  Similarly, if you meet the requirements for one, you would meet the requirements for them all.

There are exceptions, of course, particuarly with regards to applying for a place on highly-competitive courses such as Psychology or Film & Television Studies. Check with your tutor if you are unclear about your chosen universities' admissions systems, or contact SWAPWest or the university recruitment and admissions office directly for advice. 

Courses outside the Progression Routes: 

The SWAP learner agreement that you receive at the beginning of term only relates to progression routes agreed by the partnership. If you want to apply for a degree outwith the progression routes then you must contact the SWAP office. We will check if the university will accept the SWAP programme and on what conditions.   We cannot fulfil the conditions of your learner agreement if we have not checked the position for you prior to submitting your UCAS application. 

Applying outside the West of Scotland: 

We do not have the same progression agreements with institutions outside the West of Scotland.  Again, this is a similar position to the circumstances of courses outside the progression routes (see above). If you do not contact the SWAP office first (i.e. before you submit your UCAS applicatin) to clarify the position with a university outside the partnership, we will not be able to fulfil the conditions of your learner agreement.  


It’s always advisable to have an idea of where a particular degree course may lead you.  Some university web sites list the careers that their graduates go into after having studied a particular degree.  Even if you feel quite certain about your future career path, now is a good time to fully explore your options. There may be courses, careers or specialisms that you're not considering or haven't even heard about, so take your time and do your research. 


If you have questions about the Progression Routes or need guidance in making your choices, speak to your tutor or call the SWAPWest office on 0141 564 7206. You can also email us on

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