• Social Science

    Access to Primary Education and Social Sciences (SWAP)

  • SCQF Level

    Level 6

  • Attendance/Duration

    Full-time, one year

  • Start Date

    Aug 2022

Start Here

If you’d like to train as a Primary Teacher or study Social Sciences, Arts or Humanities, but lack the necessary entry qualifications, this course can help you get started.

Access to Primary Education and Humanities is part of the Scottish Widening Access Programme (SWAP). It’s specifically for people who have been out of full-time education for a number of years, but want to develop their academic and employability skills.

This course prepares adult returners for entry into Higher Education, with direct access to a range of college and university courses within Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. You’ll develop your knowledge of various subjects and increase your confidence too. If it’s Primary Teaching you want to pursue, you’ll also be rpesponsible for arranging and completing a placement within a local School as part of the course.

For entry to this course you’ll need:

  • To be over 21 years of age
  • To be out of education for a minimum of 5 years with Highers OR 3 years with Standard Grades or equivalent
  • An interview with us

We’ll also consider alternative qualifications and experience, on approval agreed with SWAP.

What's Involved

This course develops your skills for further academic study. You’ll learn about a range of subjects including English, Maths, Sociology, Psychology, History, Social Policy and ICT. You’ll also undertake a Community Engagement project of your choice.

Here’s just some of what you’ll be doing:

  • You’ll develop a sound knowledge of sociological theories and how they explain the structures of our society. You’ll apply these to a variety of contemporary social issues such as the impact of the mass media, the class system in the UK and the education system.
  • You’ll examine the psychological explanations of human behaviour through topics such as conformity and obedience. You’ll also look at the research process and the methods psychologists use for conducting research.
  • You’ll study the distribution of power in political systems and look at the UK, Scottish and US political structures. You’ll also examine the differing relationships between the institutions within these nations.
  • You’ll study events in history, examining the importance of social, economic and political movements such as migration to and from Scotland, the Welfare State, women’s rights and the American Civil Rights Movement. You’ll assess the importance of these historical events in shaping our modern world.
  • You’ll develop your skills in understanding, analysing, evaluating and using complex, formal English in a range of written and spoken forms. You’ll read and learn about a variety of literary texts, such as plays, poems and novels.
  • You’ll engage with the local community through a range of projects, including campaigns to raise awareness of local, national or global issues, and other projects of your choice.

Go Anywhere

When you successfully complete this course, you’ll have the choice of:

  • Moving onto a Primary Education course at UWS, Strathclyde or Glasgow University.
  • Moving onto a range of degree programmes, such as Social Sciences and Arts degrees.
  • Progressing onto a variety of HNC programmes including Social Sciences, Early Years, and Health and Social Care programmes.
  • Exploring a number of career opportunities in the public, private and voluntary sectors, such as education, central and local government, social policy, care sector, and campaigning and research.


  • Go all the way! Discover how you can achieve a Social Sciences degree at Ayrshire College. Click here to read the blog.
  • Click here to read the blog.
  • HND’s great debate - Social Sciences students get everyone talking at gender equality event. Click here to read the blog.
  • It’s good to talk - Social Sciences students lead lively discussions for dementia sufferers. Click here to read the blog.
  • Find out what it’s really like - Student of the Year Kyla Manderson talks about her experience of studying Social Sciences at Ayrshire College, and how it’s set her up for uni. Click here to read the blog.

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2022

Closed for Application



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