Edinburgh Medical School

Access courses

We recognise three Access courses as alternative routes to studying medicine.

Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) 

Access to Medical Studies

SWAP offers an Access to Medical Studies programme which we accept for consideration for entry to year one of the MBChB from eligible applicants. We welcome applicants from this route, though it should be noted that undertaking the Access to Medical Studies SWAP course gives no guarantee of an offer to the MBChB.

Successful applicants to our MBChB degree from this route will be asked to achieve AAA in the three graded components of the Access course – mathematics, biology and chemistry.   Applicants will be asked to achieve 80% or more in each subject component, as well as an overall pass of the entire Access programme. 

In order to check eligibility for a place on this SWAP programme, applicants should consult the link below.  If you have any prior university study experience then you must discuss this and your eligibility with SWAP using the contact details at the bottom of this page.  Furthermore, potential students need to fulfil either of the additional eligibility criteria:

  • have been out of full-time education for at least 3 years AND have no qualifications above SCQF level 5 (National 5, Intermediate 2, Standard Grade, GCSE or equivalent);  OR
  • have been out of full-time education for at least 5 years - if applicant already has qualifications at SCQF Level 6 or above (Highers, A Levels, HN).

Click here for more information about eligibility & the Access to Medical Studies programme

Note that students who have previously undertaken the SWAP Access to Life Sciences course may also be considered for entry into the SWAP Access to Medical Studies programme.

Potential SWAP students also need to be able to commit to college on a full-time basis (around 18-20 hours a week). They also need to have evidence of previous study of Biology, Chemistry and Maths at minimum level of National 5, Intermediate 2, Standard Grade, GCSE or equivalent, and will be expected to have recent experience of working or volunteering in a health care environment.

As with all MBChB applicants, UCAT and non-academic factors (e.g. interview) will be assessed when you apply through UCAS. You will find information on our selection process here

For full information about the content and assessment of the SWAP Access to Medical Studies programme - and how to apply - please follow the links to the SWAP East and SWAP West websites:

SWAP East link. https://www.scottishwideraccess.org/east-our-programmes

SWAP West link. http://www.scottishwideraccess.org/west-programmes-medical-studies


For any further queries about the SWAP Access to Medical Studies programme, including eligibility criteria please contact SWAP directly.

Link to contact details on SWAP’s website. https://www.scottishwideraccess.org/national-contacts

We also consider applications from students who have undertaken either of the following access courses:

  • College of West Anglia Access to Medicine Course
  • Sussex Downs Adult College Access to Medicine Course

To be considered, those who have undertaken either of these two Access courses need to be predicted distinction grades in all access course subjects.

If you are undertaking or intending to undertake a different access to medicine course, contact the Admissions Office for advice, detailing the access course syllabus and your previous qualifications.

Undergraduate Admissions

  • Undergraduate Admissions

Contact details



Room SU219, 2nd Floor
The Chancellor’s Building
Edinburgh BioQuarter
49 Little France Crescent

Post Code
EH16 4SB