Access to
Arts & Social Sciences and Education (SWAP) SCQF Level 6

This course is for those wishing to progress to an undergraduate degree in the arts, social sciences or primary education.


Why take this course?

This course offers an excellent opportunity for those who would like to progress to university in an undergraduate degree in the arts, social sciences or education.  This will be ideal for anyone wishing a change of career and considering a career in primary teaching. The SWAP programme is built from SQA Units and involves one-year-full-time study.  The units selected on the Access to Arts, Social Sciences and Education programme are those that have been agreed with the partner Higher Education Institutions.  In addition to the academic units, SWAP students also study a 2-credit unit called Preparation for Higher Education.  This includes core skills, study skills, reflective exercises on student progress and visits to universities.  This Access programme consists of 19 credits. 

More information on SWAP at NESCol


What you will experience

You will experience a range of subjects delivered through a collaborative, active learning approach that focuses on building your knowledge and understanding of the subjects. You will also develop a range of higher order skills such as, problem solving, critical thinking and effective use of ICT and digital forms of communication.

The course will include Arts, Social Sciences and Education related subjects including: Sociology, Psychology, English, Geography, Philosophy, Maths and Volunteering Experience

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Key facts

Entry requirements

You do not require to have any formal qualifications.

If your last course of study was up to SCQF Level 5 you must have been out of full time education for three years.

If your last course of study was at SCQF Level 6 or above you must have been out of full time education for five years.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, please view the specific English language requirements for this course.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Those wishing to progress to undergraduate studies in primary teaching will be entered for the Higher English and National 5 external exams.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Students who successfully complete the course may wish to gain additional qualifications at college by undertaking a Highers programme.

At University

Successful completion of this course will allow you to apply for a wide range of degree programmes at a number of partner universities — visit the SWAP website for more information. Partner universities include:


The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


This course is currently unavailable. Please contact the Student Advice Centre for more information.

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website:, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.