Access to
Social Care (SWAP) SCQF Level 6

An access course aimed at people who have been out of education for a number of years who are keen to gain qualifications in, or work in, a social care role.


Why take this course?

Aimed at those students who have been out of education for 3 years or more* (see below for more details), this course meets the needs of those who wish to pursue qualifications to enhance a career in Social Care.  Furthermore, successful completion of this course enables students to progress to  HNC Social Services, a qualification recognised by both Robert Gordon University and The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). 

Students will find this course gives both knowledge and skills required to move forward in the field of Social Care particularly those individuals who are looking for a change in career direction or indeed coming back into the workforce.  The course is dynamic in its delivery and hosts a range of interesting Social Care orientated subjects.  It is delivered to a high standard by lecturing staff who are experienced in the area of Social Care. 

This course offers an excellent opportunity for those who would like to pursue a career in social care and allows successful students to progress onto an HNC in Social Services.   Successful completion of the HNC would meet the entry criteria for application for 2nd Year of a Social Work Degree at RGU.  You may be considering a change of career or have worked in a support worker role and now wish to gain formal qualifications.

Subjects covered on this Access course are interesting and varied.  Throughout the academic year, you will gain knowledge in various different areas of social care.  You will look at psychology and sociology, the principles that underpin social care alongside the legislation that governs and underpins the industry.  The course develops employability skills and core skills including communication, numeracy and IT.  All students undertake a placement to enhance their transferable skills.  SWAP students also study “Preparation for Higher Education” which will help support those returning to education after a break.

What you will experience

Students will have the opportunity to gain up-to-date knowledge on areas of social care from lecturers who are expert in their field. 

Students will also experience a placement within the discipline of social care.  This will be organised on your behalf and monitored by an experienced placement co-ordinator. 

a person in a care uniform smiling at another person who is seated

Key facts

Mode of study
Subject area

Entry requirements

*If your last course of study was up to SCQF Level 5, you must have been out of full-time education for three years or more. If your last course of study was at SCQF Level 6 or above, you must have been out of full time education for at least five years.

You do not require any formal qualifications, although a proven record of being able to study at this level is required.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, please view the specific English language requirements for this course.

What you need to know

Next steps


Successful completion of this course will give you the opportunity to apply for the HNC Social Services course at NESCol.  This is a level 7 course and articulates into the second year of a social work degree at Robert Gordon University.

At University



This course is currently unavailable. Please contact the Student Advice Centre for more information.

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website:, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.