SCQF Level 6
Community Based ESOL and Modern Languages

Course Overview
The SWAP Access to Languages with Business is a full-time course (18 hours a week) running from the end of August to the middle of June. During Semester one you will be at College for up to 4 days a week with some mornings and afternoons off. During Semester two you will be at College three or four days a week with further independent study involved.  

This course is open to those who are at a beginner level in a language. Previous qualifications or experience in modern languages may be beneficial but is not required. You will study a range of units at SCQF Levels 4 to 7 in order to prepare you for further study at a university level. Language study (French or Spanish) may be combined in different ways depending on previous knowledge of a language and the levels available. We may be able to provide additional units or modify the programme to suit your own progression routes. All units are internally assessed unless external assessments are required to satisfy particular progression routes. In addition to these units, you will attend weekly tutorials, open days and study skills events held by universities and colleges as part of your preparation for higher education. 

This is a Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) course meaning if you have few or no formal qualifications and have been out of full-time education for at least three years (five years if studied Highers or a Higher National course or similar level) you can apply. 
SWAP courses provide you with an alternative route into higher education and are designed to give you intensive academic preparation as well as the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence you need for entry into higher education through recognised progression routes at colleges or universities in Scotland. For more information on SWAP courses please go to and click on the SWAP East Portal.
What You Will Learn
  • Literature
  • Communication
  • Core Mathematics 3 and 4
  • Business Management
  • Business Decision Areas: Finance
  • Business Decision Areas: Marketing and Operations
  • Investigating Europe
  • Language
  • Developing Study Skills
  • Preparation for Higher Education
Entry Requirements
  • To be eligible for SWAP, an applicant MUST have been out of full-time education for 3 years if they already have qualifications at SCQF Level 5 or equivalent. Or 5 years if they already have qualifications at least SCQF Level 6 or equivalent 
  • This course is open to those who are at a beginner level in a language, previous qualifications or experience in modern languages may be beneficial but is not required for entry 
  • If you do not meet entry requirements your application will still be considered on an individual basis 
  • If your first language is not English you should hold one of the following ESOL qualifications as proof of English Language competence: IELTS 6 or above; Cambridge First Certificate or above; SQA ESOL National 5 (external examination grade A) or SQA ESOL Higher; other equivalent English qualification e.g. university degree in English 
  • If you are unable to provide evidence of ESOL level as above you'll need to do the college ESOL level test and any offer of a place is conditional on passing the test 
English Proficiency Requirements
  • IELTS 6
How the course is assessed
  • All units are internally assessed unless external assessments are required to satisfy particular progression routes. 
Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements
  • If selected for an interview you will be asked to complete written assessments in literacy and numeracy to ensure you have the appropriate level of skill and knowledge to meet the requirements of the programme.
Progression And Articulation Routes
Access a wide range of degrees at: 

  • The University of Abertay 
  • University of Dundee 
  • University of Edinburgh 
  • Edinburgh College of Art 
  • Heriot-Watt University 
  • Edinburgh Napier University 
  • Queen Margaret University 
  • University of Stirling 
  • University of St Andrews 

Progress to HNC/D programmes in a further education college. Study other qualifications in modern languages, arts or social sciences. 
Career Opportunities
With further study you gain employment in the following: 
  • Tourism officer 
  • Teacher 
  • Interpreter 
  • International relations 
  • International business 
Number Of Days Per Week
  • 18 hours up to 4 days per week  
Course Cost And Funding Options
Student Stories

Rory Whyte is 29 years old and lives in Dundee. Rory decided to come to Edinburgh College as it was the closest college to him that offered the Highers he needs to go to university. After a successful year, Rory was awarded the Student of the Year Travel, Tourism & Modern Languages Award at this year’s Prize Giving ceremony. We caught up with him about his experience at Edinburgh College. 

“I feel honoured. I’ve worked extremely hard this year and it means a lot that the college has taken notice. Nowhere in Dundee offered Higher Spanish outside of High School, and I needed an A at Higher for my university application. I did look at other options but, ultimately, I was attracted by Edinburgh’s reputation and facilities. 

Thanks to the kind recommendation on the part of my Spanish tutor at the College, I’ve been lucky enough to receive a conditional offer to study Interpreting with French and Spanish at Heriot-Watt University. Languages have become my passion, and interpreting has been my goal since returning to education.” 

Read more of our student stories here. 

Scott came to College to change his career following an injury which prevented him from working in his previous role. Following three years of study, he graduated and was awarded the Chair’s Award for Academic Excellence in Tourism, Hospitality and Business, and has already started working as a HR Administrator for NHS Education. Scott says: 

“Returning to education with three children and a mortgage seemed crazy yet, it was the best option I had. The best thing about studying at Edinburgh College was the culture and the people. The course and the teaching were centred on the students which made learning effective and enjoyable. It created a cohesive team-like environment in which I made many friends.” 

Read more of our student stories here. 
Course Delivery
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Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

What is SWAP?
Is SWAP for me?

​SWAP programmes are designed specifically for adult returners and dedicated college staff are there to support your progress, and  give advice on taking the next step. 

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

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