Access to Skills and Learning SCQF 1/2 (Fort William, Portree and Ullapool) Access

What is special about this course?

Supported Learning Programme is for you if you have recognised support needs. You can attend some or all classes in a range of subjects. You will take part in creative and social activities and develop new skills and also have the chance to meet with friends in a friendly and supportive environment.

This course provides a positive environment where students with additional support needs can learn and achieve. Our classes are designed to enable and empower you to reach your full potential by developing your knowledge and skills for independence through a broad range of subjects.


Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements. An informal interview with the course leader will give the learner and carers, as appropriate, the chance to identify interests, skills, readiness for college, support needs and suitability of available classes.

Depending on classes attended, students will achieve one or more units at SCQF Access 1 -3, including the new SQA Personal Achievement Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards which reflect the values and aims of Curriculum for Excellence. They are designed to encourage learners to develop confidence, independence and to communicate and respond to others in their own way. Learners will have the chance to take part in a range of new and familiar activities, and to experience and contribute to their community in various ways.

Learners will have the opportunity to discuss personal interests, goals and aims and will work towards agreed individual targets which reflect their needs and wishes and respond to Curriculum for Excellence principles.

The classes running will change each year but currently on offer are:

  • Art and Design
  • Life in Another Country
  • Digital Photography
  • Computing
  • Craft with Enterprise
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Gardening Skills
  • Personal Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Social Events
  • Performance

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

Students will have the opportunity to take part in weekly connected learning time and flexible learning time.

Connected learning is when you learn together with lecturers and other students. It may include: 
•    Tutor presentations
•    Group discussions
•    Sharing ideas
•    Small group or pair work 
Connected learning will take place at a scheduled time and could take place in a classroom or an online classroom.

Flexible learning will be set weekly and can be completed at a time that is convenient for you. Flexible learning could include: 
•    completing a quiz
•    practising a task or activity
•    watching a video or reading
•    discussing and working with someone at home (a parent/carer/sibling/support worker)
•    researching and gathering information
•    completing an assignment or project-based task or workbook.

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

It is a part time programme, made up of several classes over 1-5 days a week in Fort William and Portree and 1-2 days per week in Ullapool depending on the venue. Students can choose to attend all or some of the available classes.

Where can I study my course?

    • Fort William
    • Portree
    • Ullapool

Start date


This programme runs for the academic year. It is on-going and students can return each new academic year.


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.

What can I do on completion of my course?

For some learners it may be appropriate to attend other college classes with appropriate support. Talk you your local tutor for more information.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

My favourite things are drama and current affairs. They are highlights as they intertwine with each other. We did pantos which are a lot of work and we gave the money we raised to charity. We chose the Red Cross and we had a trip to Glasgow to meet the people who work for the charity. 

I like making things and I always enjoy the arts and crafts classes that we do. We all enjoy each other’s company and the social aspect of our classes is important. There’s a comfortableness about it. We had been using computers in the class and that was handy when we went into lockdown because we were able to cope with online classes. It’s great to see faces and keep in touch. The lecturers are so supportive and have sent us activity packs with workbooks and materials which we get on with at home and then chat about online. I am looking forward to coming back into class in the autumn –fingers crossed. 

Ceitlin MacMaster

I’ve been coming to college in Gairloch for 8 years. We do all sorts like baking, writing, music, games, cutting and making films. Most of all I like using the alphabet when I am writing. I love my college. UHI West Highland is the best. 

Charlie Mays

Apply for Access to Skills and Learning SCQF 1/2 (Fort William, Portree and Ullapool) Access

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI North, West and Hebrides. UHI North, West and Hebrides operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.