• Health and Social Care

    Access to Health and Paramedics (SWAP)

  • SCQF Level

    SCQF Level 6

  • Attendance/Duration

    Full-time, one year

  • Start Date

    Aug 2024


Are you interested in being a Paramedic or a career in health care? This course is part of the Scottish Widening Access Programme (SWAP), designed for those who have been out of full-time education for at least 5 years and do not have the qualifications to start university. It will provide a range of opportunities to progress to higher education, including the opportunity to progress to a degree in Paramedic Science at university.

Entry requirements

For this course you’ll need:

  • a personal statement highlighting the skills, characteristics and qualities you have that would make you a good candidate for the course
  • an interview during which you will demonstrate the ability to work at SCQF level 6
  • work or voluntary experience in the sector or a good range of developed transferable skills are desirable
  • to attend an interview at which you'll be asked to complete a short written activity

Course content

This course includes a wide range of subjects including:

  • human body: learn about the anatomy and physiology, gaining an understanding of the body's systems and how they are affected by disease or injury
  • human development and behaviour: explore human development and understand factors that influence human behaviour
  • social influences: explore the impact of social factors on health, wellbeing and healthcare practices
  • care in the last days of life: gain insights into providing compassionate end-of-life care
  • values and principles in care: investigate care provision and legislation in Scotland focusing on the ethical principles guiding care practices and the values that underpin professional conduct
  • first aid: acquire practical first aid skills
  • understanding mental health and mental illness: gain an understanding of mental health and illness looking at perceptions, behavioural effects and treatment
  • caring for people with dementia: gain knowledge and skills for providing care to individuals with dementia, exploring compassionate and effective approaches and learning how to support caregivers
  • substance use and misuse - an introduction: understand the impact of substance use on health
  • microbiology: explore the world of microorganisms and their relevance to health
  • leadership in practice: develop leadership abilities applicable in healthcare settings
  • safeguarding people: understand the importance of safeguarding those in care and examine the protocols in place

You’ll also develop essential, transferable skills in communication and numeracy and prepare for higher level study.

Next steps and career opportunities

On completion of this course you may:

  • apply for the Undergraduate Paramedic Science Degree at renowned institutions such as Glasgow Caledonian University, Stirling University and the University of West of Scotland
  • progress to HNC Healthcare Practice, HNC Social Services or HNC Counselling

Students who wish to continue onto a more advanced course that includes a care work placement and/or into employment in the care sector will at that time be required to become a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. This involves a police check by Disclosure Scotland. You can ask about this at the point of application or interview, and this is highly recommended for applicants who have a criminal history.

Why choose this course?

This course will open doors to a future in paramedic science or other opportunities within healthcare. You’ll grow personally, academically and professionally. The knowledge and transferable skills you’ll gain can be applied in various contexts and will put you in a strong position in the evolving job market.

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2024

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