Access courses

The University of Stirling's Access courses offer the only campus-based part-time pathway to degree studies in the Forth Valley area.

Our Access courses are for anyone who wants to study an undergraduate degree course, but has few or no formal qualifications and has been out of full-time education for more than three years. Successful completion of the course guarantees a place on a degree course at the University of Stirling.

Apply now for an Access course

Key facts

Start date: August 2024
Duration: Two semesters
Mode of study: Part-time
Delivery: On-campus and online classes on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings
Class time: Two 3-hour classes each week
Independent study: 6-10 hours each week

Fees and funding

Course fee: £575 (2024-25)

SAAS part-time fee grant may be available - find out more on the SAAS website.

Degree routes

You can select from three Access pathways leading to a wide variety of degrees at the University of Stirling. Select a pathway to see entry requirements, course details and start dates.

Access to Nursing Studies

Nursing students can go on to study Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing or Paramedic Science at Stirling.

Access to Science Studies

Science students can go on to study most degrees with the Faculty of Natural Sciences and some with the Stirling Management School.

Access to Degree Studies

A gateway to degrees in Psychology, Education and Social Work as well as most degrees in Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Business and Management, Law, and Sport.

As well as learning subjects necessary to join a degree course, the Access courses offer tailored support, guidance and study strategies making sure you're ready for university study.

While studying with us, you will have full access to all of the University’s facilities and services, including the library, accessibility, inclusion and mental health services, career advice, student learning support and sports facilities. All students are allocated a Personal Tutor to provide advice and support.

We are a supportive learning community where you can gain the academic skills and knowledge required to be a successful undergraduate student, with each course preparing you for degree study by teaching foundational subjects.

We welcome all applicants including: 

  • Care experienced students
  • Young or adult carers
  • Members of the armed forces community including those currently serving in the armed forces and service leavers/veterans
  • Refugee and asylum seekers
  • Disabled students - adjustments for disabled applicants, including those with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, can be put in place before the course starts. Please contact the Course Director for more information.

Progression to degree study

To pass the Access course you will need to: 

  • Fulfil the attendance and assessment requirements for each module
  • Pass the course with a grade average of 50% (for students wanting to study a Law degree they must achieve 60%)

For progression on to Nursing, Paramedic Science or some Education courses you will also have to complete an interview or for Social Work there is a written task.

Students who complete the course successfully are guaranteed a place on an undergraduate course at the University of Stirling.  

The University aims to offer you a place on your chosen degree, but it may not always be possible as some courses are competitive, with a limited number of places available. You will be given support and advice when you apply for your undergraduate degree.

The Access course is recognised by many degree courses at other Scottish universities. Please check admission policies with the university you want to go to before you accept a place on the University of Stirling’s Access course.

Why choose Stirling Access courses?

Image of Shumela Ahmed

Shumela Ahmed

BA (Hons) Journalism and Politics

Shumela, 35, left school at the age of 14 with no formal qualifications and initially assumed that was the end of her academic journey.

“I always assumed an academic career was out of the question because of my lack of education. The University’s Access program significantly changed that and, once I had completed it, I chose to stay at Stirling for the duration of my undergraduate degree."

Student support

As an Access student you will be able to use all the University student support services. Our dedicated student support team is here to listen and offer guidance. See more about the different services provided:

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Access courses please email You can also contact Dr Sarah Galloway who is the Course Director.

Please email our Admissions Team at if you have specific questions about your qualifications or entry requirements.