Centre for Lifelong LearningPre-entry access course

Online applications for 2021/22 will be available from February 2021. 


What is the Pre-Entry Access Course?

Would you like to study for an university degree but don’t have the necessary qualifications?  Maybe you have been away from full-time education for a long time?

We’re here to help.

Our Pre-entry Access Course is designed to help people get into university degree programmes.  We help people from a range of backgrounds with different learning needs and objectives, including:

  • those with no qualifications
  • those with qualifications that are out of date (normally more than five years old)
  • those interested in finding out what university-style study is like before applying for full-time study.

To be eligible for entry, at least three years must have elapsed since you left school or full-time education. This is because our experience indicates that such a period allows people to develop their abilities in time management and “juggling” various commitments. In addition, it allows you time to decide upon your chosen study route and formulate your career aspirations. It is therefore important that you have adequate work or life experience outside the school system.

The University is committed to Widening Access and in line with Scottish Government policy, prioritise students who reside within the bottom 40% of the most deprived areas in Scotland as outlined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). Further information can be accessed at the University's Widening Access webpages.

The course aims to equip you with the necessary skills for undergraduate study within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Business School, as well as familiarising you with studying at a university.

Take a look at some more course information below.

The course offers a broad introduction to a range of subjects in the fields of Business, Law and Humanities & Social Sciences.

You are required to attend three modules of academic disciplines each lasting 7 weeks over the academic session. The following choice* of disciplines are on offer:

  • Module 1: History, Business Management or Social Policy
  • Module 2: English, Politics or French
  • Module 3: Psychology or Law

*Please note that the subjects on offer and their module allocation may change.

NB. If you wish to apply for the LLB degree, the Law and English modules must be taken.

If you wish to apply for degree programmes within the Business School you must take Business Management as a module choice.

The following modules are recommended if you wish to study Speech & Langauge Pathology: Module 1: History Module 2: English Module 3: Psychology.

Students for whom English is not their first language are expected to have at least 6.5 IELTS before commencing on the course.

In addition, to module classes a range of Learning Support Evenings are provided giving advice on essay writing, time management and preparation for examinations. Many students have not written an essay for several years and these classes are designed to enable students to master the skills needed in handling information which is vital for undergraduate study.

The course is offered in the evening, making it ideal for working students who are attracted to academic study (as well as those who are out of work). It is taught by University lecturers and also offers study advice and guidance on what to expect as an undergraduate student. Classes are held within the University’s John Anderson Campus in Richmond Street, off George Street, in the centre of Glasgow and within easy reach of railway stations and bus terminals.

The course runs on Monday evenings and consists of 25 x two-hour meetings (6pm to 8pm). Further private study of three to five hours is expected of students. You'll therefore require around five to seven hours of commitment per week.

Attendance at classes is monitored because they are an essential part of your learning experience. There is a minimum attendance requirement which must be met in order to be awarded credit.

The next intake of the course will commence mid September 2021.

There are no formal entry qualifications for the course. Students on our Pre-entry Access Course come from a range of backgrounds with different learning needs and objectives.  Our students come from all walks of life, comprise of a wide range of ages but are all keen to return to learning with a view to working towards a degree course at university.

Pre-entry applicants should have had at least three years break from full-time education and will have developed the maturity and independence needed to cope with university-style learning.

Applicants whose first language is not English must be able to satisfy us that their spoken English is good enough for them to have a realistic chance of doing well on the course. The minimum requirement is 6.5 IELTS or equivalent.

The Application Form you complete is used to assess your suitability for the course and for onward study as entry into Strathclyde degree programmes is extremely competitive. You must fully complete the online Application Form paying particular attention to the sections asking about your study goals and onward career aspirations. Due to demand for places on the course, these sections in the Application Form are crucial when making selection decisions regarding places. Some applicants may be invited for an informal interview.

Assessment is based on the following:

  • a general essay of around 1,000 words which is unassessed numerically but treated as a learning exercise. It will not count towards students final mark but must be completed in order to achieve a pass
  • three further pieces of course work ie one for each module
  • a written exam of three hours duration, held in May

The Final Mark for the course will consist of a weighted average of your coursework (50% of final mark) and the final exam (50% of final mark).

If the Pre-Entry course is completed successfully, the student may, dependent on the level of performance and UCAS Personal Statement, be considered for entry to:

  • the full-time and part-time BA degree in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • the full-time and part-time BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • the full-time and part-time BA degree in Psychology and Counselling
  • the full-time and part-time LLB degree in Law
  • certain courses within the School of Education
  • certain courses in the Business School

Students who do not have English as their first language must take the English module unless they have an alternative English qualification.

LLB Degree Course Students who wish to be considered for the LLB degree course must take both the Law and English modules as part of the Pre-entry course.  The full-time and part-time LLB requires an overall mark of 70% for the Pre-entry course. 

Strathclyde Business School Students wishing to apply for degree programmes within the Business School must take Business Management as one of their Pre-entry module choices and obtain a mark of 65% or more in this.  Students hoping to choose Accounting as their Principal subject will require to have a current Higher Accounting pass at B. International Business and Modern Languages degree requires a current pass at B in the language to be studied.  

Humanities and Social Sciences Pass mark of 60%. Students hoping to gain admission should make enquiries in advance, in writing, to the relevant department to ascertain the competitive standard required by that department and any other qualifications required. 

BA (Hons) in Social Work requires an overall mark of 60% for the Pre-entry course plus 6 months' work experience.  There is also a mandatory requirement for a pass in Maths at National 5 at C grade or above or equivalent to study the BA (Hons) Social Work degree.

Speech and Language Pathology requires an overall mark of 60%.  Suggested Pre-entry subjects: Module 1: History Module 2: English Module 3: Psychology.

BA (Hons) in Primary Education Students are expected to take three modules from Business, Psychology, History and English as part of the Pre-entry course.  Primary Education requires a pass at 60% plus 3 Highers (including English) and relevant Maths requirements. The Scottish Government has a mandatory requirement for passes in Higher English at B grade or above (or Communication 4 and Literature 1) and Maths at National 5/National 5 Lifeskills Maths.  Please note Higher English at A/B is required for the BA (Honours) Primary Education degree at Strathclyde.   

Students should also note that due to the demand for places entry is competitive and that the UCAS personal statement will be used as a further selection criterion in addition to the Pre-entry course result.

We are unable to guarantee that attainment of the required mark will result in an offer of a place on your chosen degree programme.

The Pre-entry Access Course is also recognised for the purpose of consideration for entry to degree programmes at other universities. Entry requirements may differ and it is suggested you contact the university of your choice to confirm these.

The Pre-entry Access Course is worth 30 university credits at SCQF Level 7 under the title 'Access to University Study'. This means that on successful completion of the course you will be awarded this credit.

Should you take up a place on an undergraduate degree programme at Strathclyde, you will surrender these credits upon entry to University. If you do not take up a place at the University of Strathclyde, you may be able to take these credits to another institution.

The fee for entry in 2019/20 is £508. Payment is due after you have been formally accepted onto the course.

If you earn £25,000 or less, funding may be available to you through Student Awards Agency Scotland’s (SAAS) Part-Time Fee Grant (PTFG). This will fund a maximum of £321 of the course fee. Find out more information about the grant and how to apply.


A refund (of the fee paid less a £25 administration charge) will be provided if a cancellation request is received more than 7 days before commencement of the course

If you have to withdraw after commencement of the course on medical grounds, a medical certificate must be provided.  Upon receipt of this, a partial refund will be issued.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and the difficuties encountered with face-to-face teaching during this crisis the course will not be delivered for session 2020-2021.    

The online application for 2021-2022 will be open in February 2021.  If you wish to be alerted when the online application opens for session 2021-2022 then please email lisa.donaldson@strath.ac.uk and ask for your name and email address to be added to our alert list.

The Centre for Lifelong Learning is committed to promoting and improving opportunities for students with disabilities.  We therfore welcome applications from those who have needs which may affect their ability to complete the course successfully.  Please indicate this on your application form and then, if you are offered a place on the course, we will provide you with contact details to discuss the support you may need. 

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