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Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP)

Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) is an alternative route for adult learners and mature students to get into university or college.

What SWAP is

SWAP is run in colleges throughout Scotland and allows you to progress to university after successful completion.

You will be eligible to take part in SWAP if you have few or no formal qualifications and have been out of full-time education for some years.

Subjects offered

Access programmes are available in the following subject areas:

  • art and design
  • social sciences
  • science
  • engineering
  • nursing
  • medicine and veterinary medicine
  • primary education
  • community education

SWAP Study Skills Day

Your college may also take part in the SWAP Study Skills Days, which take place on university campuses. These allow you to practice university-level study skills, such as taking notes in a lecture or participating in a seminar or tutorial.

You will also have the opportunity to meet former SWAP students, who are now at university, and find out what it's like to make the transition.

Find out more

The University of Edinburgh is a founding member of SWAP. More than 30,000 adults have taken the SWAP route to return to study since the programme launched in 1988.

Find out more about access programmes and the SWAP Study Skill Day on the SWAP website:

Visit the SWAP website

Contact us

Dr Neil Speirs

Widening Participation Manager

  • Student Recruitment and Admissions

Contact details

Contact us through an online sign language interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact the University of Edinburgh via Contact Scotland BSL, the online British Sign Language video relay interpreting service.

Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website