Centre for Open Studies Access programmes

Centre for Open Studies Access programmes


Latest news from Access 

Our recruitment period for Access 2014-15 is now at an end and we can no longer accept new applications.

Recruitment for Access 2015-16 will commence next Spring.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list for an application pack 2015-16 then please email openstudies-access@glasgow.ac.uk.

Many thanks, The Access Team

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More and more adults are going to university and completing their degrees. Students on our part-time Access programmes come from a range of backgrounds with different learning needs and objectives:

  • some have no qualifications
  • some have qualifications which are out of date (usually more than five years old), and
  • some want to find out what university-style study is like before applying to university.

Whatever your studying background and learning needs and objectives, our Access tutors are here to help and support you as you return to studying. To find out more about what studying on Access is like, see: "Access changed my life".

Access Programmes


Access students take two subjects and attend each subject once a week for 26 weeks. Entrance grades for Access students have been agreed with Admissions Officers at Glasgow University; and satisfactory performance is usually acceptable for degrees in Arts, Divinity, Law, Accountancy, Business, Social Sciences, Science and Engineering. Access students may also be accepted for entry to degree-level study in Music, Nursing, Primary Education, Religious & Philosophical Education and Social Work; but for each of these degrees applicants will need to satisfy additional entrance requirements. Our Access programmes are recognised for entry to degree study at most other Higher Education institutions.

Since our Access programme is part-time, students need to have good personal and time-management skills. It is likely therefore that the students who will be best suited to studying on Access will be those who have gained the wider life-experience that will enable them to manage this form of independent learning - typically having been away from full-time education for more than two years.

We provide a range of academic subjects for you to choose from to study - mirroring the sort of subjects you study at University.

Access to Arts and Social Sciences

Each student selects two different subject options from: Classical Civilisation, Economics, English Literature (d), English Literature (e), History of Art, Medieval History, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology (a), Psychology (b), Theology and Religious Studies, Scottish History, Social and Economic History and Sociology.

Students on this programme may choose any two subjects from the list. However:

  • Students wishing to study Arts at University should consider taking at least one subject from: Classical Civilisation, English Literature, History of Art, Medieval History, Philosophy, Scottish History, Theology & Religious Studies;
  • and students applying to study Social Sciences should consider taking at least one from: Economics, Politics, Psychology, Social and Economic History, Sociology.

These are not formal requirements, but will help you gain a better understanding of what you hope to study.

Access to Law, Business and Accountancy

This programme of study is intended for students hoping to study at University in these more professional/vocational areas:

  • Students wishing to apply to study Law at University should normally take Law and any one other subject from the Arts & Social Sciences list;
  • Students applying to Business & Management at University may take any two subjects from the Arts & Social Sciences list (but may also opt to take Mathematics from the Science programme as one of their subjects);
  • Students intending to apply to take Accountancy should normally take Economics and Mathematics.

No previous knowledge is necessary for any of the subject options on either the Arts & Social Sciences programme or the Law, Business & Accountancy programme; and no previous qualifications are required before being accepted onto the Access programme. Each applicant is interviewed by a member of the Access team before being offered a place. This helps you to be sure that it is the right choice of subjects and the right programme of study for you.

Access to Sciences, Engineering and Nursing

We provide the skills and background necessary for you to survive as a student on the Sciences, Engineering & Nursing programme. We concentrate on core subjects and emphasise why they are interesting and useful and meet in three-hour classes: Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology.

Students on this programme meet in 3-hour classes:

  • Students intending to apply for any of the Sciences should take any two options from the list. Students may take both Chemistry and Physics only if they can show a strong academic grasp of Mathematics (eg, A or B at Higher attained within the last five years); 
  • Students intending to apply for Engineering take Mathematics and Physics;
  • Students intending to apply for Nursing take Chemistry and Biology.

The course is designed to revise basic skills but for all of these subjects students will usually need to have some background knowledge - perhaps through having worked at about 'O' or Standard Grade level at some time in the past or through their work experience. (This is not a formal requirement: all of this can be discussed at interview.)

Enrolment and Fees for the Access Programme

Classes for the Access programmes commence in the week beginning 22 September. We limit the size of our classes (normally no more than 30 students) so many classes will be full long before then. 

Access programme  fees 2014-15 : £425.00.

The Access Secretary can be contacted on 0141 330 1830 or at Openstudies-Access@glasgow.ac.uk forany additional information.