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Entry requirements and routes to university

There are plenty of ways you can land a spot on your dream college or university course. We've broken down what you need to know.

Entry requirements for college and university

Our course search lets you explore thousands of college and university courses across Scotland!

The 'entry requirements' section will let you know what qualifications you need to apply.

You'll also find this information by searching for courses on college or university websites.

You can compare qualifications in Scotland based on their SCQF Level. This can be handy when applying for a course as you might have qualifications at the same level as those in the entry requirements.

Find out how qualifications compare on the SCQF website.

Use your college qualification to progress to university

If university is your goal, you might be able to get there by going to college first. This is a great option if you don't have the qualifications to start university yet, but still want to go.

Colleges often run Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses. These often have an agreed pathway to a related degree course. When you earn your HNC or HND you could apply for a degree course, even going in to second or third year.

You might also hear these called 'articulation routes'.

You can check college and university websites to see what articulation routes they offer.

Pathways gives you a list of agreed college to degree routes in some Scottish regions.

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Widening access

Colleges and universities also offer routes in for students who have faced challenges which affected their learning.

They'll accept lower grades for entry to courses, this is sometimes called 'adjusted entry' or 'widening access'.

You might meet the criteria for this if you:   

  • have been in care   
  • are a carer   
  • have been in a university preparation programme, such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West or ASPIRE North 
  • come from an area where few people go to university or you're the first in your family to do so   
  • experienced disruptions in home and family life that affected your learning 
  • are a refugee or asylum seeker