Access to Education - New Directions Access

What is special about this course?

If you have no, or few, qualifications, our New Directions course is for you. It is particularly suitable for part-time or shift workers, people who are unemployed or on other benefits and those who are at home looking after children.

The course is free and help with travel and childcare expenses is available.


New Directions is for you if:

  • you are unemployed and want to widen your horizons
  • you have been at home looking after children and want to do something just for ‘you’
  • you are looking to change career direction
  • you have a disability or illness which means you have had to make changes in your life
  • you are thinking of going to college but are not sure which course to take
  • you would like to go to college but are worried that you wouldn’t manage the work
  • you left school so long ago that you are frightened you have forgotten how to learn

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.

The course covers communication, numeracy and computing – the subjects you will need no matter what area of work or study you go into.

Students also get the chance to try a programme of taster courses including:

  • Business Studies
  • Art and Design
  • Health and Care
  • Hospitality
  • Volunteering Opportunities
  • Career Planning.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

You will come to college two mornings a week. You will learn through a mixture of lecturer input, group discussions and individual work. Extra help is available for anyone who needs additional support with any part of the course.

How long will my course last?

1 Year

Part time - one year (Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am to 12.45pm)

Where can I study my course?

    • Lerwick Campus

Start date



For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic: You can progress on to study part-time or full-time on National Certificate courses and much more.

Employment/Career: This course opens up a range of opportunities and gives you the confidence to move forward in new directions in your life.

Former students have: Gone on to study at further education and higher education level and then progressed on to a range of careers.

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

"I absolutely recommend this course to anyone stuck and needing a 'New Direction'.  Brilliant tutors and plenty of support.  It's never too late to return to learning."

"New Directions is a great way for folk to meet new people, gain qualifications and to get a big confidence boost" - Andrew Anderson, Senior Lecturer

Apply for Access to Education - New Directions Access

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Shetland. UHI Shetland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.