Nursing (SWAP) (NQ) @ SCQF Level 6

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Dumfries & Galloway College


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.

The course is challenging and considerable study will be required outwith College time.  Students with a good support network tend to be more successful.  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.





Full time 2 or 3 days a week in a combination of attending College or online.

Entry Requirements

  • This programme is designed for adults over the age of 21, who left school without any qualifications or have qualifications, which are now out of date and are therefore unable to apply to university.
  • There will be a requirement to become a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme).
  • Applications may only be accepted from those residing in Scotland.
  • You must be eligible to join the PVG scheme with no criminal record, which would mean you could not join
  • Applicants will be required to undertake a numeracy and literacy test as part of the entry interview which is scored.
  • 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.
  • Final selection for entry to the University of West Scotland (UWS) course will involve an interview with UWS early in the year (please note that this date is subject to change). 
  • Your personal statement in your application must be no less than 250 words.
  • 100% attendance is required for this programme
  • Please note this course is only for those interested in nursing as a career


Additional Entry Requirements

  • You must not hold qualifications that would allow entry to university already, you should be a mature learner
  • If you hold qualifications at SCQF 5 already then you must also have been out of full time education for more than three years
  • If you hold qualifications at SCQF 6 already then you must also have been out of full time education for more than five years
  • School leavers WILL NOT be considered.
  • You must be residing in SCOTLAND
  • You must be eligible to become a member of PVG
  • You must come well prepared for interview and testing. There will be a group interview.
  • This is a competitive entry course which fills up quickly

Information and Interview Session Requirements

  • Applicants must respond to the information and interview session invitation – your appointment may be offered to someone else if you do not. This interview may take place via Teams or phone. 
  • Be prepared to sit a numeracy test.  You can practice in advance at the following website:

  • Be prepared to write around 250 words in 20 minutes for us to assess your writing potential.  You may be given a topic such as My Home Town, My Greatest Achievement, My Hopes for the Future. The topic will be decided for you on the day.
  • There may be a group or individual interview similar to the nursing recruitment process for university where each individual will be given the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics relevant to a career in nursing.  This may take the form of choosing a photo which will help you in your discussion.  Examples of the way these photos are used are available at the following website: 

  • You should also be prepared to discuss:
    • Strengths and weaknesses.
    • Skills you have that would be useful in nursing.
    • Your understanding of the role of a nurse.
    • Your understanding of the current key issues in nursing.
  • All learners on a programme who wish to continue on to a further programme must be able to obtain a positive progressing learner reference.

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.



There are written essays, individual and group presentations, closed book short answer responses and online tests.  You must pass all of these, receive a good reference and have 100% attendance to be considered for nursing at university.


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.  The course is designed for progression to university.  Students 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 on the following link 
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.

Career Prospects

Successful completion of the programme and a successful interview for university may lead to becoming a student nurse at university.   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.  Your funding may be
withheld for non-engagement in coursework and for non-attendance at lessons.

Selling Points

One year of study to gain all the entry criteria to go to university.  Mature, well motivated class who all have the same aim of a career in nursing.
This course is currently closed for new learners. Register for our email alerts and we’ll let you know when this or similar courses become available. Register for email alerts Back to search results