Access to Nursing

Course Introduction

The programme is made up of national units at Higher level, Higher Human Biology and Higher Care. The range of subjects includes Social Influences, Human Development and Behaviour, Values and Principles in Care, Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness. Students will also study Communication, Numeracy and ICT. There will also be external assessments for the National courses. The course also includes a care work placement. *Please note you may be allocated to a course called Access to Nursing/Higher Health/Higher Social Care – this will not affect your progression or your SQA award. Please read the Important Notice at


Higher Qualifications at SCQF Level 6


Full-time 36 week course, 3 days per week in College , 1 day per week on placement


Scottish Borders Campus

Entry Requirements

4 Standard Grade passes at Credit level or 3 Intermediate 2 passes, to include both English and Biology, although those with relevant work experience may be eligible for interview.

This programme is allied to the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP). SWAP exists to help promote access to higher education to adults who have been away from education for some time and who may have little or no qualifications. Further information is available on the SWAP website at

Students will also be required to complete a PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) form.

Applicants may be required to complete a preparatory course as a condition of being placed on this course.

Progression Opportunities

The course is suitable for applicants who wish to prepare for further studies in Health or Social Care, e.g. HNC Care and Administrative Practice at Borders College, or a Degree in Nursing Studies, or for those who wish to go directly into employment in health-related areas, e.g. as a Health Care Support Worker.

Progression to Edinburgh Napier University: Students will be interviewed by Edinburgh Napier University in the Spring of the academic year. Successful completion of the interview and all units plus 1 Higher will allow progression to the first year of the Nursing Degree programme in one of the following: Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing or Learning Disability Nursing.