• Health and Social Care

    Access to Social Work (SWAP)

  • SCQF Level

    Comparable to Level 6

  • Attendance/Duration

    Full-time, one year

  • Start Date

    Aug 2024


This course is designed for those with a passion for making a positive impact as Social Workers. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary for a rewarding career in social services.

It’s 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 who don’t have the qualifications to start university. Our supportive learning environment equips adult returners for Higher Education and leads to promising opportunities in college or university

Entry requirements

For this course you'll need:

  • a genuine interest in working with people
  • an interview with us, during which you'll complete a short written activity
  • a satisfactory reference
  • previous experience in the health and social care sector

Course content

This course covers a wide range of subjects including:

  • values and principles in care: investigate care provision and legislation, focusing on the ethical principles guiding care practices and the values that underpin professional conduct
  • social influences: explore the impact of social factors on health and wellbeing
  • human development and behaviour: explore human development and understand factors that influence human behaviour
  • understanding mental health and mental illness: gain an understanding of mental health and illness looking at perceptions, behavioural effects and treatment
  • social services in Scotland: gain insight into the structure and functions of social services in Scotland
  • communication in care relationships: enhance communication skills vital for effective care relationships and explore communication strategies used with in social care settings
  • 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
  • working with individuals with additional support needs: explore inclusive strategies and best practices for supporting individuals with diverse needs
  • application of mathematics: develop skills that will enable you to understand population trends and analyse the relationships between actions and consequences
  • communication: essential skill for developing and maintaining trust and good working relationships
  • digital skills: develop skills and an awareness of technology enabled person centred care

Next steps and career opportunities

On completion of this course you may progress to HNC Social Services or a degree in social work.

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 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?

You’ll develop an understanding of the challenges within society and gain the knowledge to make a meaningful difference. You’ll acquire valuable skills which will help you to navigate complex social situations and create positive outcomes for those who need help. It’s a solid foundation for further academic and career growth, and a great first step towards a fulfilling career in social work.

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2024

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