The University is committed to the provision of opportunities for degree study to those who do not have traditional educational qualifications or obtained these some time ago. Guidance regarding the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP), The Open University and HNCs/HNDs.
We welcome applications from mature students and ‘mature' is a term that can be applied to a variety of circumstances.
A mature student can be someone:
- who has not been in full time formal education for some years (usually 3 years)
- who wishes to return to education after a break away (usually 3 years)
- whose school education was curtailed or disrupted
- who wants an intellectual challenge to enhance their professional or personal life
We wish to encourage applications from talented students who are enthusiastic and keen to develop their academic potential whatever their personal, social and educational background. We recognise that mature students can have considerable life and work experiences and when academic potential is assessed we therefore take into account the achievements of applicants in the wider context in which they were accomplished. We consider each application on an individual basis and all decisions are made by professional Admissions Officers.
Minimum academic requirements
Mature applicants often have a varied educational and employment background which makes it difficult to make ‘hard-and-fast' statements about what we require in the way of prior qualifications.
There is only one stipulation which we make for all mature applicants - they must have :
Undertaken recent accredited study within three years prior to entry to their chosen degree programme
This is to ensure that confidence levels and study skills are such that they will enjoy and benefit from their time at the University.
The academic requirements listed below should be seen as a guide for applicants. We strongly encourage all potential students to seek further advice from the College Admissions Office before applying to any of our degree programmes.
Please contact the College Recruitment and Admissions Office for further details.
In order to be considered, applicants will be required to meet the minimum entry requirements as stated in our prospectus. Specific subjects may be required depending on degree programme being applied for and applicants should check the current undergraduate prospectus for such requirements.
The Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP)
Applicants should achieve grades ABB - AAB in the student profile. For more information on specific requirements please refer to the document below
Further information on SWAP Access courses can be found at;
The Open University
For entry to first year we recommend that applicants have at least 120 credits with 60 credits at level 2 or higher. As results are not normally released until November; we are happy to accept a satisfactory tutor's report.
Higher National Certificate (HNC) & Higher National Diploma (HND)
We accept Higher National (HN) qualifications for entry to some degree programmes however this depends on each particular HN qualification's suitability for the programme in which you are interested.
Commonly asked Queries
What else is expected as standard?
Successful applicants will demonstrate evidence of commitment, motivation and the personal resourcefulness to meet the challenges of a university education through their personal statement and academic reference. The personal statement should be well constructed, articulate and demonstrate a clear motivation for the chosen degree programme with evidence of independent research and career exploration (where relevant).
Will everyone who meets the minimum requirement get an offer for all degree programmes?
The minimum academic requirements have been set at a level that is designed to encourage applications whilst meeting our academic standards. All applicants who meet the minimum entrance requirements will be entered into a Selection Process where all mature applicants will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. This does not guarantee that you will receive an offer. It is also likely that offers will be made above the minimum entrance requirement. Demand for entry varies considerably across the subject areas and can also change from year to year.
How will it be decided who gets a place on the high demand degree programmes?
We aim to guarantee a conditional offer for at least one degree choice to those who apply through the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP-East) if required subjects are studied. A range of additional factors will be taken into consideration for all mature applicants and in high-demand areas preference may be given those applicants who:
- do not already have a university degree
- have experienced serious disruption to their formal education at a critical period (for health or family reasons such as bereavement or for reasons of disability)
To help admissions officers identify students with the greatest potential to benefit from and succeed on our degree programmes, applicants and their referees are encouraged to include as much relevant information as possible about their personal and educational background, as outlined above, within the personal statement and academic reference. Applicants may also wish to submit supplemental information (e.g. of a more personal or sensitive nature) direct to the College Admissions Office.
How many offers will the College make?
The College will make a maximum of two offers per applicant. Those who apply for more than two programmes should contact the Admissions Office to indicate their preferred choice(s).
Does the College conduct interviews?
How do I apply?
All applications must be made through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system within the application deadline date of 15th January.
Can I study part time?
No, we currently do not offer any part-time degree programmes within the College of Science and Engineering.