Access to Nursing (Incorporating SWAP) (SCQF Level 6) NC

What is special about this course?

If you have decided on a career in nursing, this course is for you. You will be interviewed jointly by lecturers from Shetland UHI and Robert Gordon University.

This programme is part of the Scottish Wider Access Programme, giving routes into higher education for adult returners.

Entry requirements

4 passes at National 5, one must be an English based subject.
Or, 4 Intermediate 2 passes (A - C), one must be an English based subject.

Or, 1 English based Higher.

Mature students will be considered without these qualifications if they can demonstrate ability to work at the required level.

You will be required to provide a referee on application. 

All applicants will be interviewed.

This is a Category 1 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve target qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. For further information visit this webpage.

This course incorporates the National Certificate in Health & Social Care (Level 6).

The following subjects are covered:

  • SVQ2 Healthcare Support (Clinical)
  • Human Biology
  • NPA Social Services & Healthcare
  • First Aid
  • Prevention of Infection
  • Communications
  • Numeracy
  • ICT
  • 1 day placement in Gilbert Bain Hospital

Students interested in working with children may study Higher Early Education and Childcare instead of Higher Sociology.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

You will study full-time at Shetland UHI, Lerwick and have relevant work experience with NHS Shetland.

The course will be taught with short internet-supported lectures, group discussions, individual exercises and personal study.

How long will my course last?

1 Year

One year (9.15am to 4.00pm) plus six hours study per week.

Where can I study my course?

    • Lerwick Campus

Start date



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


Most full-time students will have their fees paid.

Students on part-time courses may also be eligible to have their course fees waived.

For more information see the funding

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic: You could progress to a BA in Nursing, subject to occupational health screening.
Employment/Career: This qualification will help you pursue a career in social care.
Former students have: Gone on to study nursing at university.

Is there more information available online?

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

"Very interesting and prepares you well for university.  Work placements are very good and you get lots of experience working in a nursery setting."  Donna Ridland.

"This course offers students a good underpinning knowledge of theories that are helpful for their future university studies. It also gives appropriate work experience to enable students to decide on their future career" - Susan Berry, Senior Lecturer

Apply for Access to Nursing (Incorporating SWAP) (SCQF Level 6) NC

I want to start in 2023/24

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.