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What is Access?

Our Access programme is there to provide a route into undergraduate degree study for those who have been out of formal education for three years or more. If you have not been out of formal education for three years or more, you would still be eligible for Access if you meet one (or more) of the following Widening Participation criteria:

We would also welcome inquiries from those who faced extenuating circumstances during their education, and who do not have the relevant qualifications for entry to university as a result. If this is you, please fill out our extenuating circumstances form.



What Access subjects should I study?

Your choice of subjects should be guided by two questions

  • What degree do I want to study after Access?
  • What will I enjoy studying?

Some degree courses have very specific subject requirements. Some also have additional requirements (e.g. Teaching, Psychology); therefore, it is essential that you research the requirements for the degree you wish to apply for and the university you wish to study at before you enrol on your Access subjects.

Do I need any previous knowledge to enrol for Access?

For most subjects, apart from Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, you do not need any particular knowledge before starting Access. However, you do have to be ready to start reading and writing in a fairly sophisticated way and should therefore have the necessary English language skills. If you intend to take Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics on Access we strongly recommend that you have previous knowledge at an appropriate level such as Standard Grade Credit, Intermediate 2, National 5, or GCSE.

If you do not have one of these qualifications, or are not sure what they mean, you can see previous years’ exam papers at

We recommend that you refresh your knowledge and are ready to work at this level when Access starts, otherwise you are unlikely to be able to cope with the pace and content of the course.

What will I have to do on Access?

You will attend one online class per week for each subject you are studying from September to the end of March. Classes typically last for two hours, except for Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, which may be up to three hours. For class times, see the timetable in the Choosing Your Subjects section.

You will also need to spend significant amounts of time learning independently in each subject each week. It is important not to underestimate the amount of time needed to study; if you intend to take Access alongside work or other commitments, you should consider well in advance how you plan to manage your time.

In addition to your classes, you will complete an induction and academic skills module. This will help prepare you for higher education study in general, and at the University of Glasgow in particular.

You will have regular opportunities to communicate directly with your tutors and peers, for example via Zoom, alongside having access to a variety of learning resources you can work through in your own time. To help you make the most of your course, you will also have access to resources and support provided by the University.

We hope to offer some optional on-campus events to enable you to meet other Access students and familiarise yourself with the University of Glasgow. Details of these opportunities will be shared after enrolment.

How do I learn online?

To learn effectively on Access, you will need

  • good internet access
  • a laptop or desktop computer (a mobile phone or tablet is not suitable for online learning)
  • somewhere you can work undisturbed.

If you are an asylum seeker studying on our fee waiver scheme, you may be eligible for help obtaining equipment. We will provide information about this after enrolment.

Online learning will be delivered primarily through Moodle, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). If you have not been an online learner before, you are advised to read A Student Guide to Online Learning to find out more.

What if English is not my first language?

To be able to cope on Access, you will need high-level English language skills equivalent to one of the following:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training): overall score 6.0, with no single element less than 5.5
  • TEOFL: 78; no sub-test less than 18
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): Grade C
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): Grade C
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 54; no subtest less than 54
  • UK school qualifications in English e.g, Intermediate 2, National 5 or preferably Higher in Scotland, (or GCSE in Northern Ireland, Wales and England): Grade B or better.

Can I use University facilities on campus?

If you are in Glasgow, you can use facilities such as the University Library, as long as this is allowed under COVID-19 regulations. You will receive a student card at the start of semester that will give you access to these facilities.

How will I be assessed?   

You will complete multiple assessments during the year. These will vary depending on the courses you are taking, but may include essays, short tests in the class, exercises, lab reports and presentations. Where possible, you will be given opportunities to practise different types of assessment before submitting work that will contribute to your final grade.

Can I transfer my subjects?

Once you have enrolled on Access, you cannot change subjects, so please ensure you choose the right subjects.

If we have to cancel an Access subject, you will be offered an alternative course. If you do not wish to take the alternative offered, you will be given a full refund.

How much time will I need to set aside for Access?

It is always difficult to give a reliable answer to this question because it can vary from person to person and from subject to subject, and will depend on when assignments or assessments are due. However, it is important not to underestimate the time commitment required to succeed on Access.

The number of credits for a course does give you an idea of the necessary commitment. Each credit is equivalent to 10 hours of study, which includes teaching time as well as individual learning. Students should therefore expect to dedicate 200 hours of study for each subject they are taking. 4-6 hours per week will be scheduled class time, and the rest will be independent study.

Is study support available?

Yes! During your Access programme, you will complete an induction and academic skills module that introduces you to the University, learning in higher education, and some key areas of academic and study development. This provides an essential foundation for your learning success.

You will also be able to access support, such as essay writing and study advice delivered by your tutors, the Access and Skills Co-ordinator (, the Royal Literary Fund, and the University’s Student Learning Development service.


What support and facilities are available to me?

As a University of Glasgow student, you will have access to all the University’s services and facilities. This includes the LibraryStudents' Representative Council (SRC)sports facilities and, if you are eligible, the Mature Students’ Association. For more services, see My Glasgow Students.

What does Access cost and is there financial support?

The fee for Access is £290 per subject (£580 for two subjects).

If you intend to study Chemical Physics, you must take three subjects, but will only be charged for two. Please contact for more information. 

If you are a Scottish resident with an income below £25,000 per year, you may be eligible for a Part Time Fee Grant. See our Funding page or more information.

Key dates

Teaching takes place over two semesters. Provisional dates for 2022–23 are:

  • 12–16 September Welcome & induction week
  • 15 September 2022 7–9pm Welcome event (online)**
  • 19 September 2022 Scheduled class teaching starts (block 1)
  • December 2022 (TBC) Internal UCAS application deadline
  • 2 December 2022 Teaching ends
  • 9 January 2023 Scheduled class teaching restarts (block 2)
  • January 2023 (TBC) LNAT deadline for applicants to Law degrees
  • 24 March 2023 Teaching ends
  • June 2023 (TBC) Final grades confirmed 

** N.B. This was previously advertised as being on the 14 September. Please note this date has now changed and will be on the 15 September.

How do I apply for university after Access?

All applications for full-time degree study in UK universities are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Students will be provided with support and detailed guidance on the UCAS process once their Access courses have started. Access students should plan to set aside sufficient time in November/December to complete their UCAS application by our internal December deadline. This allows us time to support students to submit good quality applications.

For entry to some degrees, for example Nursing and Teaching, successful interview will be required. Others may require you to take an additional test, such as the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) for Law.

Note that completion of our Access courses does not guarantee entry to any university, including the University of Glasgow.

Can I apply to other universities?

Yes, you can apply to other universities from this Access course. There are no guarantees, however, with any universities including the University of Glasgow.  We strongly advise that you check with the Admissions offices of the universities you want to apply to. It is your responsibility to check this before you enrol on Access.


Can I apply for Medicine/ Dentistry/ Veterinary Medicine?

No, there is no route to these degrees via this Access programme. We would encourage adult returners interested in these professional degrees to consider the Scottish Widening Access Programme (SWAP) instead.

Is there support available if I have a disability that may impact on my studies?

The University has a very supportive Disability Service. After enrolling on Access, all students can discuss any specific additional support needs they may have with Disability Service advisers. You should declare any disabilities at the time of enrolment, and you will receive information on the next steps you need to take.


Further information and advice

If you have questions regarding Access 2022–23, please email