Frequently asked questions


Q What qualifications do I need to do a SWAP access programme?
There are no formal entry requirements. However, some courses may require you to demonstrate your capabilites in specific subjects, such as maths or physics. 

Q I have studied at university before. Am I eligible?
If you already hold a university degree, then you do not meet the SWAP eligibilty criteria. If you have previously studied at university, but did not complete your degree, please contact the SWAP East Office for further guidance.

The access programme

Q Which courses/universities will my SWAP qualification allow me to apply to?
Use our progression route finder to research what degree programmes are available to you at partner universities.  This will also tell you what SWAP profile grades you will need for entry and if there are any additional requirements (e.g. National 5 Maths). 
Q Do I have to pass all of the units on the course?
In order to successfully complete the programme you will need to achieve at least 18 credits.  For most students this will mean that they must pass all of the units on the programme. 
Q I am struggling with a particular subject, can I drop it?
Dropping a subject may mean that you will not achieve sufficient unit credits to pass the programme. We strongly recommend that you avoid dropping any of your subjects but if this is something you are thinking about you should speak to your SWAP tutor and/or the SWAP office for advice.  
Applying to university
Q When do I need to decide my university choices? 
You will start working on your university application (UCAS application) around October. The UCAS deadline is in mid-January but most colleges will require your application to be completed by December to allow your tutor time to write a reference.  
Q How many universities can I apply to?
You are allowed up to five choices. These are choices of degree programmes rather than universities and you can apply to more than one degree at the same university. However you would not usually make more than 2 choices to one university.  We strongly recommend that you apply to more than one university and that you use up as many of your choices as possible. Individual universities will not see where else you have applied to. 
Q Can I apply to a university outside of SWAP East?
Yes you can apply to any university in the UK, however only SWAP East partner universities have formally agreed to consider applications from SWAP students and so they are your best chance of getting an offer of a place. If you are considering applying to university in another part of the UK, it is a good idea to check first with the admissions office on whether they will be willing to consider your application. SWAP will also help by sending information about the access programmes to these admissions offices. SWAP West partner institutions may also accept SWAP East applications for a number of degrees but please check with the SWAP office if you are planning to apply to the west of Scotland for degrees in nursing or primary education.
Q What should I put in my UCAS application?
Please use our UCAS Guide for SWAP Students to help you complete the UCAS form correctly. Remember to use the SWAP East buzzword when you register with UCAS (this is in the student handbook that you will have received at the start of term). The education section of the application form can be tricky for SWAP applicants so do refer to the guidance notes when completing this. Remember to list all the units that you are undertaking on your SWAP programme and include details of any qualifications achieved before the access programme. AND remember to mention in your personal statement that you are a SWAP student!
Q Can SWAP check my UCAS application?
Since there are hundreds of SWAP students and only a small team at SWAP East staff, unfortunately it isn’t possible for us to check all applications. Your tutors will likely have considerable experience in dealing with UCAS applications and will help keep you right. SWAP East can help with questions about completing the application or about your choices. Feel free to contact us for help. 
Q I am not ready to apply to university yet. What can I do?
Your SWAP qualification is valid for at least 2 years, so you could wait and apply to university next year if you prefer. Or you could apply to do a HNC programme at college, possibly with a view to going on to a HND or to a degree. Have a look at college websites to see what is on offer – colleges tend to open for applications in January or February but some may open even earlier. 
Q I’ve received a university offer but it’s not based on my SWAP programme / I’m confused about what they want. What should I do?
Please contact us for advice.
Q I’ve been rejected by all my university choices. What can I do?
Please contact us for advice. 
Q How can I fund my university studies? 
If you are planning on doing a degree at a Scottish university or an HNC/D at a Scottish, you apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for tuition fee funding. Applications are submitted online via the SAAS website. There are also many other sources of funding available, depending on your circumstances. Read our Funding Guidance for more information.

Q When can I apply for funding?
To ensure that your funding is in place by the start of your course, you must apply to SAAS no later than 30 June. The application process opens in April. You can submit your application as soon as you receive your first offer; you do not need to wait until you have accepted an offer.

Q How much funding can I get?
If you are ordinarily domiciled in Scotland, SAAS may cover your tuiton fees and give you a loan of up to £6750 per annum. There are also bursaries available, depending on your personal circumstances. You may also be able to access additional sources of funding, such as university scholarships. The value of these vary.

Q I am not from Scotland, can I get any funding?
If you are not ordinarily domiciled in Scotland but you are from another EU member state, you are entitled to apply to SAAS for the full cost of your tuition fees. The Scottish Government has confirmed this will remain the case for all students coming from other EU member states who begin their degree courses in 2018/19.

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