Nursing (SWAP) (NQ) @ SCQF Level 6


This programme provides a route to university for adults who are returning to education after a substantial period of time. The course is a Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) and contains a combination of units that meet the entry criteria for entry to the first year of nurse training at university.

Almost all of your lessons will be live online through Teams, this reflects well the way you will also be expected to study at university and is good preparation for that. There are study spaces in the college where you can bring your own device along with your headset and use college wi-fi.

The course is challenging, and considerable study will be required out-with college time. Learners must be able to cope with the demands of study at SCQF6 and demonstrate the potential to go on to study a degree.

You must have the resilience for the physical and mental demands of study as you are progressing to a career path where your focus must be on the needs of others. Attendance is required at 100% whether the class is in the campus or online.

Course code



Dumfries Campus


100% attendance and engagement in all the activities whether online or face to face and engagement with all lessons is essential. Your attendance and engagement records are shared with the university you apply to.

Entry Requirements

  • This programme is designed for you if you are over the age of 21, and left school without any qualifications or have qualifications, which are now out of date and are therefore unable to apply to university.
  • Please make sure to answer the Supporting Information Questions on the application form, with as much detail as possible. This will demonstrate your commitment to the course.
  • You must not have a criminal record or be barred/under consideration from being a member of PVG.
  • Applications may only be accepted from those residing in Scotland.
  • If you are currently studying in the college, have undertaken a programme of study within the past 3 years (5 years if you have studied at SCQF level 6), or if you already hold the entry criteria for university you will not be eligible to apply for this programme. Those who already hold degrees, HND or HNC are also not eligible for this programme.
  • If you have started a SWAP programme previously but not completed, you may not be eligible to start again for 3 – 5years.
  • Whilst this course meets the entry criteria for pre-registration nursing programmes at universities agreed with SWAP, much depends on your application to them and your grades with us.
  • You should have access to a device with a camera, microphone and speakers for online lessons, and for typing up portfolios and assessments as well as storing notes. The college has a limited number of devices it can lend, on a daily basis.
  • Please note this course is only for those interested in nursing as a career. It does not meet entry criteria for midwifery, paediatric nursing or paramedic science.

Information and Interview Session Requirements

Offer of a place will be judged on meeting the entry criteria and answering all the questions on your application in a positive way. You must give assurance that you can demonstrate an understanding of Numeracy at SCQF level 5, and written work at SCQF level 6 (Higher).

Course Content

The programme may include the following units, which will be a combination of National 5, and Higher Units: Values and Principles in Care, Caring for People with Dementia, Application of Mathematics, Communication, Information and Communication Technology, Environmental Biology and Genetics, Ensure Your Own Actions Support the Care, Protection and Well-Being of Individuals and Preparation for Higher Education. You will receive input from SWAP and UWS during the programme to support you to apply to university.

In order to progress to university, you must obtain at least 3 B Profile Grades from your lecturers which will be decided at a team assessment board at the end of the academic year. These grades are based on three key areas:

1. Ability to handle text (including comprehension, critical analysis, and retention)

2. Fluency of expression (both written and oral)

3. Overall performance, including attendance, future potential and attitude towards study.

As added value during the first block, your lecturers will assist with your personal statement when applying to UCAS for university. You must meet the College deadline for UCAS to allow your lecturing team to check your application and write you an appropriate reference.


Portfolio, oral presentations, academic posters, group work and some closed book assessments


Successful completion of the programme may provide articulation to a Nursing degree at UWS and other universities.

You will need to present them with an appropriate well written application through UCAS.

You may also want to apply for UWS First Steps to Nursing programme which runs after this course ends and finishes before the student nurse intake in September, see details here

If you are successful on this course but not successful in your application to university then our recommendation is that you seek employment in the care sector before applying through UCAS the following year. You may be considered for HNC level study, but your application will not be a priority as you will already hold the entry criteria for university.

We also very much recommend at the end of your programme starting UWS First Steps to Nursing programme which you should apply for through them.

Career Prospects

Successful completion of the programme and a successful interview for university may lead to becoming a student nurse at university. You may want to specialise as an adult nurse, mental health or learning disability nurse. Employment in a health or social care setting e.g. as a Support Worker or Care Assistant.

Additional funding information

You may be eligible for Bursary or EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) funding for this course. Please contact a member of the funding team for details.

Selling Points

One year of study to gain all the entry criteria to go to university. A mature well motivated class who all have the same aim of a career in nursing.

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