About SWAP

SWAP is a partnership between colleges and universities in Scotland that work together to support access to higher education for adult learners.  SWAP is made up of two regional hubs: SWAP East covers arrangements between colleges and universities in Edinburgh and the east of Scotland, while SWAP West covers those in Glasgow and the west of Scotland. 

Since SWAP began in 1989, thousands of people have successfully returned to education via our access programmes. For many, SWAP is the first step in a life-changing and life-enhancing educational journey.
“I am 35 years old, a single mum, and a part-time domestic. After separating from my husband, I made a choice to follow a long-time dream to become a registered nurse. This has been a most enjoyable year. Hard work and difficult at times, but I have exceeded my own expectations."
SWAP Access to Nursing student, Ayrshire College
How does it work?
SWAP provides full-time, one year access programmes across a range of subject areas. This includes programmes relating to science, engineering, social sciences, humanities, education, languages, business, law, social work, nursing, allied health professions, medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. Programmes are run by our partner colleges across Scotland.  Successful completion of a SWAP access programme enables students to progress to a range of degrees at SWAP partner universities. 
Who is SWAP for? 
SWAP programmes have been specifically developed for adults who have no or few qualifications and who have been out of education for some time. If you are interested in entering in to higher education at college or university check out Is SWAP for me?  for more information
What can I study and where? 
The access programme you apply to join will depend largely on what and where you want to study afterwards.  For information on programmes available in Edinburgh and the east head to the SWAP East pages. Or if you are interested in studying in Glasgow or the west, go to the SWAP West pages. 

If you aren’t sure yet about your plans, 
get in touch and we’ll talk through the options. 
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