Progression Routes

Progression to HN or Degree

Successful completion of the SWAP programme qualifies you to apply for an HN course at college or degree programme at university.  

Going straight to university is not for everyone; some programmes (e.g. Access to Childhood Practice) lead straight to the HNC exclusively and others (e.g. Access to Nursing) give routes to university courses via HNC that cannot be accessed otherwise. In addition, many SWAP students opt to stay on an extra year at college because they feel more comfortable doing that, while others don't quite make the grades they wanted on their SWAP Student Profile to qualify for their chosen university courses, so they stay on to do an HNC/D at college before moving on the following year. Keep an open mind and take guidance from your tutors. 

Trust your Tutors 

It is important to understand and accept that SWAP and your college tutors know from years of experience what it will take for you to be successful at university, so if they say that you ought to stay on at college one more year, you can be confident that it is good advice.


Progression Agreements

Your college tutor and SWAP will provide you with a list of progression routes around the end of October, which you will also find linked below. These progression routes specify the exact courses that you can apply for with your SWAP qualification. 

You may find it useful, especially when you first get started doing your research, to download the full list of Progression Routes for your curriculum area using the links below. Then, systematically investigate each option until you have narrowed down the list to your five UCAS choices. 

Researching Your Choices:

You will prepare your application to university before your college closes in December for the winter break. Although the deadline for applications is January 25th of next year, your college will set you an earlier deadline to ensure that everything is in order well beforehand. 

So...that means you have several weeks to do a bit more research. Investigate the different types of degrees available in your subject area. Check with tutors and universities. University web sites
 are full of information about the courses listed on the SWAP progression routes, and some uni web sites offer first-year course documents (reading lists, assessment information, etc.) and other details that can help you decide:

     * Do you already know what you want to study or do you need to explore your options?

     * Which colleges/universities offer courses that interest you? 

     * What additional materials do you need in order to apply to your subject (if any)? (For example, do you need work or volunteering experience for professional/vocational subjects?) 

     * Are there any other steps you can take now to put yourself in the best position for applying to university? 

You may change your mind, and that's okay:

You may find as you go along (as many of our students have) that there are hundreds of very interesting and worthwhile degree courses available to you, including some you haven't even thought of yet, so keep an open mind. Try to avoid being too fixed upon a single course to the exclusion of all others and you may find that your original plan for university changes as you learn more about what is available. 


NB: The progression routes linked below apply to students in college 2023-24.

The University of Glasgow now offers a number of articulation routes with direct entry to Year 2 of a select number of degree courses via bespoke HNC courses. Click the link below to download the information leaflet. 



Life Science – GCU
Life Science – SRUC
Life Science – Glasgow
Life Science – Stirling
Life Science – Strathclyde
Life Science – UWS
Life Science – Open University (Chemistry, Biology, Life Science)


STEM – Glasgow
STEM – Stirling
STEM – Strathclyde


Humanities – GCU
Humanities – SRUC, GSA & RCS
Humanities – Glasgow
Humanities – Stirling
Humanities – Strathclyde
Humanities – UWS
Humanities – Open University (Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences)
Humanities – Open University (Business)

ACCESS TO NURSING Progression routes: 

Nursing – GCU
Nursing – Stirling
Nursing – UWS
Nursing – Open University (Nursing & Health Sciences)

Frequently Asked Questions:  

Can I apply to a course not listed on the Progression Routes?

The SWAP student agreement that you receive at the beginning of term relates to progression routes agreed by the partnership. If you want to apply to one of our partners for a degree that is not listed on the progression routes then you must contact the SWAP office. We will check if the university will accept the SWAP programme for that course, and on what conditions. We cannot fulfil the conditions of your student agreement if we have not checked the position for you prior to submitting your UCAS application. 

Can I apply to a university outside the West of Scotland?

We do not have progression agreements with institutions outside the West of Scotland. If you do decide to apply to a university outwith our partnership, you must contact the SWAP office by email in advance, providing details of all five of your choices, at least two of which MUST come from the SWAPWest progression routes.

If you do not contact the SWAP office first (i.e. before you submit your UCAS application) to clarify the position with a university outside the partnership, we will not be able to fulfil the conditions of your student agreement, and you may find yourself without an offer of a place at university. Likewise, if you fail to apply to any of our partner universities. If in doubt, contact the SWAPWest office for clarification.


More Questions?

If you have questions about the Progression Routes or need guidance in making your choices, speak to your tutor or call the SWAPWest office on 0141 564 7206. You can also email us on 

Please read the advice below and keep it in mind when reviewing your options: 

 <number_5.jpg> Making good choices: 
During the months of October/November, you will need to set aside some time to give careful consideration to all of the courses that are available to you. Don't dismiss any course until you have  engaged in some research.

Choose Wisely:
Remember, you have up to five choices available on the UCAS application form and you are advised to use all of them, if possible. If your preferred degree course isn't available at all five partners, you may apply to only three or four; just take care to ensure you have a progression in place on completion of the SWAP programme. 

Choose a Range of Courses/Universities: 

As you review the Progression Routes, you will notice that different universities have different entry requirements for similar courses. Sometimes the difference is between the profile grades; in some cases the difference is in the 'designated units' that are required for progression. See below: 

Profile Grades:  

 University A (Social Sciences) requires 
A A B 
     (Example) University B (Social Sciences) requires 

In the examples above, you can see that there are different requirements for the Social Sciences degree courses at the two universities. One is higher than the other. Keep this in mind when you're selecting your choices; you do not want to choose five courses that all have the same entry requirements. Instead, you want to choose a range of courses that have different requirements. If you do not achieve the higher profile grades for one, you would have a "back-up" plan in the course that has lower entry requirements. 

Designated Units: 

You will also notice that some options have comments in the column entitled "Designated Units for Progression". These are 
additional requirements for entry that vary from institution-to-institution and course-to-course. For example: 

 University C requires a 'Pass' on your student profile and Higher Maths or equivalent for the BSc in Computing

It is a good idea to ensure that your five choices include a range of subjects and universities with differing entry requirements to give you the best chance of securing a place at university on a course that you will enjoy.  


Why is this important? 

     Consider what would happen if all of your choices have the same entry 
     requirement (e.g. '
A A B') but your final profile grades are lower than that (e.g. 
B B B'). 

     If you do not have among your options at least one university/course 
     that would accept '
B B B' then you would have serious difficulties 
     progressing to university, and that is a situation that no one wants to see you 
     facing at the end of the year. 

     Certainly you should apply for the courses that interest you most, even if they
     are asking for the highest profile grades (e.g. '
A A A') and extra conditions (e.g. passing the external Maths  but be sure to also apply for a few courses with lower entry requirements...just in case.


Avoid wasting a choice:

Be aware that some universities do not have separate entry requirements for each individual course. Instead, they offer a single set of entry requirements for a group of courses that belong together. This grouping of courses is usually referred to as a "Faculty" or "School" (or sometimes, a "College"). 

If your chosen university operates this kind of admissions policy, it would be pointless for you to apply to 2 or 3 courses within the same faculty at that university, because the entry requirements for all of those courses would be exactly the same and if you fail to meet the requirements for one, you would fail to meet the requirements for all of them. Similarly, if you meet the requirements for one, you would meet the requirements for them all. 

There are exceptions, of course, particularly with regards to applying for a place on highly-competitive courses such as Psychology or Film & Television Studies. Check with your tutor if you are unclear about your chosen universities' admissions systems, or contact SWAPWest or the university recruitment and admissions office directly for advice. 
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