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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 will 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.

Access students will study typically two Access subjects and engage in our Skills, Support and Progression programme (SS&P). Access is an accepted qualification for entry onto a wide range of University of Glasgow degree programmes. The Access subjects available are offered across a range of Arts, Social Sciences and Science subject areas and our SS&P programme will help students develop the skills required to be successful on Access, and provide support with making the progression on to undergraduate degree study.

We strive to make Access a supported, engaging and friendly environment where students can learn together with their tutors, peers and Access staff. Please make use of the Access webpages to get more detailed information on what it is like to study on Access. If you want to find out more, please join one of our Information Webinars or email


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 Access subjects will I enjoy studying?

Some degree courses have very specific subject requirements. Some also have additional requirements for entry (e.g. Teaching, Law, 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 the sciences, 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 Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Psychology on Access you must have previous knowledge at an appropriate level such as National 5, or GCSE. You can find out more on our Information for those wishing to study Science webpage.

We recommend that you refresh your knowledge and are ready to work at this level when Access begins, 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?

The Access Programme will run over two Semesters: Setember to December, and January to March; and you will attend one online class per week for each subject you are studying. Classes typically last for two hours, except for Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, which may be up to three hours. For more information on class times, see Access 2024-2025 Timetable section.

You will also need to spend significant amounts of time learning independently in each subject each week. The anticipated weekly time commitment to be successful on Access is 15 hours for Arts/Social Sciences students (5 hours of classes, 10 hours of independent study) and 17 hours for Science students (7 hours of classes, 10 hours of independent study). Please note that this may fluctuate at deadline times such as when submitting assessments or completing your UCAS application.

It is important not to underestimate the amount of time needed for independant 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 Access subjects, you will engage with our Skills, Support and Progression Programme. Skills, Support and Progression (SS&P) will help students develop the skills required to be successful on Access, and provide support with making the progression on to undergraduate degree study. SS&P is a core component of Access which all students must engage with. It is delivered in two ways:

  • SS&P sessions – one class, delivered fortnightly throughout Access, as well as one Campus Day per semester. The SS&P team will also provide Induction sessions before Access commences.
  • Access Essentials – an online module covering essential academic skills, and designed for students to complete through self-directed study throughout Access.

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.

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 IT equipment. We will provide information about this after enrolment.

Online learning will be delivered primarily through Zoom and 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. 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.


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

It is important not to underestimate the time commitment required to succeed on Access. Alongside the 5 – 7 hours per week of scheduled class time (across two Access subjects and SS&P sessions), students should plan in independent study time to ensure that they are keeping on top of coursework and skills development for progression.

The number of credits for a course does gives an indicator of the necessary commitment. Each credit is equivalent to 10 hours of study, which includes teaching time as well as individual learning. With students studying 40 (20 credits per academic subjects) credits across Access, plus time required to engage with the SS&P programme, students should expect to dedicate around 15-17 hours a week to studying Access (including class contact time). This may vary at different points throughout Access, depending on when assessments are taking place or when assignments are due, but ensuring that you have time available to commit to what is required for Access, over and above class times, is essential for successful completion.

Is study support available?

Yes! Equipping you to study successfully is at the heart of our Access programme. Alongside your subject learning, you will complete our Access Essentials module, which 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 on Access and beyond.

You will work through Access Essentials independently at your own pace, but there is also a dedicated Skills Co-ordinator on hand to support your skills and learning development. In addition, you can access support from the University’s central Student Learning Development service;, which covers everything from maths and stats support to academic writing and referencing.

Skills, Support & Progression (SS&P) sessions are also a key component of Access. These run live every fortnight, and you will register for a regular session time when you enrol on the programme. SS&P enables you to navigate the support services offered by the University, make informed decisions on your next academic steps, and make your UCAS application for your undergraduate degree.


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 the two University of Glasgow semesters. Provisional dates for 2024–25 are:

  • 16–20 September 2024 Welcome & induction week
  • 23 September 2024 Semester 1 class teaching starts (Semester 1)
  • 2 December 2024 Final week of teaching (Semester 1)
  • 13 January 2025 Semester 2 teaching restarts
  • 24 March 2025 Final week of teaching (Semester 2)
  • June 2025 (TBC) Final grades confirmed 

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 the Access courses has begun. Access students should plan to set aside sufficient time in October/November/December in order to complete their UCAS application before our internal December deadline. This will allow us to support students in submitting good quality applications.

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

All Access students are expected to apply for undergraduate study beginning in the following academic year. Whilst some students may have specific reasons for delaying progression, please note that Access results are only valid for entry to UofG undergraduate degrees for 2 years.

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. However, we cannot guarentee that other universities will accept UofG Access Programme for entry. If you may want to apply to any university other than the University of Glasgow, we strongly advise that you check with the Admissions offices of those specific universities as to whether or not they would accept the UofG Access Programme as a qualification for entry. 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, and after enrolling on Access, students can discuss any specific additional support needs they may have with advisors from the Disability Service. You should declare any disabilities at the time of enrolment, and you will receive information on the next steps you need to take. If you would like more information before you enrol about the disability support available for Access students, please contact Amy McDermott on


Further information and advice

If you have questions regarding Access 2023–24, please email