Centre for Lifelong LearningPre-entry access course

Online applications for 2024/25 are now open.

Our Pre-entry Access Course has been designed to reflect the increased use of a blended learning approach in undergraduate teaching. Student feedback and working closely with academic staff have influenced and shaped the enhanced offering which combines the best of online and face-to-face teaching.  We now offer an enhanced course with a blended learning format, revised assessment and greater subject choice. 

Your future starts here!

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  • those with qualifications that are out of date (normally more than five years old)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 8 weeks over the academic session. The following choice* of disciplines are on offer:

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

*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.

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

If you wish to apply for the BA Primary Education, the Education module must be taken.

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 compulsory 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 the centre of Glasgow and within easy reach of railway stations and bus terminals.

The course runs on Monday and Thursday evenings and consists of 30 x 2 hour meetings (Monday 6pm – 8pm, campus based) and 15 x 1 hour meetings (Thursday 6pm-7pm, online). 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 module classes and Learning Support sessions are 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 Monday 9 September 2024 (to be confirmed).


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. Typically, you are considered a mature student if you are over the age of 21 at the beginning of your studies.

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. Tests are valid for two years and documentary evidence is required to support your application.

Please note evidence of your residency status may be required once your application has been reviewed.

Some applicants may be invited for an informal interview.

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. 

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
  • as assignment in each module which replicates those at undergraduate level
  • an online examination in May consisting of a seen paper

The Final Mark for the course will consist of a weighted average of your coursework and the final exam. 

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 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 and students must achieve 60% in the English module. (TBC for 2023/24 Entry)

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 Maths 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. (TBC for 2023/24 Entry)

BA (Hons) in Social Work requires an overall mark of 60% for the Pre-entry course plus 6 months recent, relevant Social Care work experience or volunteering with vulnerable groups prior to application. The Scottish Service Council have a mandatory requirement for a pass in English and Maths at National 5 at C grade or above, (or equivalent) SCQF level 5 to study the BA (Hons) Social Work degree. Students must select the English module on the Pre-entry course if they don't have an existing English qualification. Highly competitive entry, therefore a strong personal statement is required. Candidates require experience or volunteering with vulnerable groups prior to application. Applicants for the BA in Social work will need to undertake second stage selection which includes completion of a further information request (FIR) and possible interview. Email enquiries can be made to enquiries.swsp@strath.ac.uk.

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

BA (Hons) in Primary Education Students must take the Education module plus two further modules. Primary Education requires a pass at 60% (in the Pre-entry Access Course). The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) has a mandatory requirement for passes in Higher English (or Communication 4 and Literature 1) and Maths/Application of Mathematics at National 5. The Primary Education programme at Strathclyde requires Higher English (grade B or above) and National 5 Maths (grade B or above) or equivalents.

As well as meeting the academic entry requirements, candidates must demonstrate professional suitability through their Personal Statement and reference which must show evidence of commitment to primary education and the appropriate personal qualities.  Experience of working with children in a formal situation or informal voluntary capacity is not essential but highly desirable. Where the UCAS application includes the standard Pre-entry reference, a further reference focussing on professional suitability will be requested.

Students studying the BA (Hons) in Primary Education will undertake a general first year, studying three subjects from the HASS catalogue. A progression interview will take place at the end of Year 1 for those continuing with the BA (Hons) in Primary Education as a single honours subject, in line with national guidance.  Students will be supported in preparing for this selection process.

University Entry

Students should also note that due to the demand for places entry for all degree programmes at the University of Strathclyde 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 valid for entry to the University of Strathclyde in the year of completion and also for the following academic year.

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 full fee for the course in 2024/25 is £612.  Payment is due after you have formally been accepted onto the course and this will secure your place. There is an option to pay the full fee or pay the fee in three instalments (in September, December and March). The first instalment must be received prior to the course commencing in September.

If you earn £25,000 or less, funding may be available to you through the Student Awards Agency Scotland’s (SAAS) Part-time Fee Grant (PTFG). This will fund a portion of the course fee (e.g. £321 in 2022/23). Find out more about the fund and how to apply.

Please note the Pre-entry Access Course is worth 30 university credits at SCQF Level 7. 

Note that if awarded SAAS PTFG funding (you will be issued an Award Notice as confirmation of funding which must be submitted to Lisa Donaldson), you will still be required to pay the balance of the course fee. It is in your best interest to apply as early as possible for the PTFG as you are liable for the course fee until SAAS funding is in place and we have received your Award Notice. 

Please contact us if you have any questions about funding.


If you withdraw 7 days before commencement of the course a refund (of the fee paid less a £25 administration charge) will be provided.

No refunds will be given after the course commences unless on medical grounds (a medical certificate must be provided at the time of withdrawal), a partial refund will be considered in such cases.  A £25 administration charge will also be applied.

Applications for 2024/25 are now open.

The closing date for applications is Monday 12 August 2024.

Click here for the application form. 

EU/EEA/International Applications 

Please note that this course does not meet the eligibility requirements for a Student Visa and therefore application is only available to those with settled or pre-settled status in the EU Settlement Scheme, and those with indefinite leave to remain in the UK.


References may be requested as part of the application process in order to assess your suitability for the course.  Select people who honestly know you and will speak objectively. Avoid using family members or close friends as references.  An academic reference or employment reference is acceptable.

The Centre for Lifelong Learning is committed to promoting and improving opportunities for students with disabilities.  We therefore 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.

Please visit the University's Data Protection webpage for updated Privacy Notices for Students and Website Privacy Policy for information on how we will use your personal data and your rights under data protection legislation.