Access to
Nursing (SWAP) SCQF Level 6

This course is for those wishing to pursue a career in adult or mental health nursing.


Why take this course?

This course offers an excellent opportunity for those who would like to pursue a career in adult, child, mental health or learning disability nursing. You may be considering a change of career or have worked in a support worker role and now wish to gain qualifications. This course is not suitable for those wanting to undertake midwifery nursing.

More information on SWAP at NESCol

What you will experience

Areas covered on the course include: Human Biology; Values and Principles; Social Influences; Human Development and Behaviour; First Aid; Mental Health and Mental Illness; Health Promotion; Caring for People with Dementia and Core Skills. You will also cover the following units: Physiology and Health and one other biological science Unit; Prevention of Infection and Working as a Team in a care Setting.

The SWAP programme is built from SQA Units and involves one year of full-time study. 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.  The Access course consists of 18 credits.

female with childcare book

Key facts

Mode of study
Subject area
View the full course specification PDF, 84KB

Entry requirements

You do not require 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

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:


Employment opportunities include Health Care Support Worker roles within a variety of care settings.

  • Support Worker

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.