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Information on the College Application Process

  • What colleges can I apply to in this area?

Colleges within commuting distance from Falkirk-

  • Forth Valley College- – campuses in Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa-  within commuting distance by bus or train
  • New College Lanarkshire- – the nearest campus is Cumbernauld (train = 20-30 mins, bus = 40 mins)
  • City of Glasgow College- – Glasgow city centre campuses (train = 20 mins)
  • Edinburgh College- - the nearest campus is Sighthill (train = 30 mins)
  • Scottish Rural Agricultural College (Oatridge College)- – based in Livingston (train + bus = 50 mins)
  • West Lothian College- – based in Livingston (train + bus = 1 hour)


  • When should I apply to college?

Applications for courses starting Aug/Sept tend to open from the previous October onwards. Most colleges operate on a first come first served basis and they all have different opening dates for applications- see below for more info. Top tip- there are no exact deadlines for college applications but courses fill up fast so the earlier you apply the more chance of a place.


- Forth Valley College- Open now!

- New College Lanarkshire- Open Now!

- City of Glasgow College- Open Now

- Edinburgh College- Open Now!

- West Lothian College- Open Now!

- Oatridge College- Open now!



  • How do I apply to college?

All college applications are online. College applications will ask for your contact details, current qualifications and a personal statement. Top Tip- when applying make sure you have a sensible email address!



  • What do I need to include in my personal statement?

This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants, so make sure it’s a good one by using the following structure-

  • Why you are applying to the course/courses (make sure you read over the course information so that you know what you are talking about)
  • Your career goals for the future (if you would like to go to university following college mention this too)
  • Why you would like to go to that particular college
  • Examples of extracurricular activities i.e having extra duties at school or raising money for charity etc
  • Work experience (remember volunteering counts too!)
  • What you like to do in your spare time, i.e hobbies and interests, clubs you have joined etc


  • How many colleges can I apply to?

As many as you like! I would recommend applying to at least two-three colleges to increase your chances of getting a place


  • How many courses can I apply to at college?

Each college has a different answer to this

- Forth Valley College- 2 courses (NB you will get an interview for your first choice only)

- New College Lanarkshire- as many as you want

- City of Glasgow College- 2 courses

- Edinburgh College- 3 courses

- SRUC (Oatridge)- 2 courses (all HNC/HND courses must be applied to via UCAS for this college only!)

- West Lothian College- 2 courses


  • What level of course should I apply to?

The easiest way is look for courses that have entry requirements at a level you can achieve. Here is more info on what these levels actually mean

                Introduction/NC/NQ courses


  • SCQF Level 4= equivalent to Int 1/Nat 4 level of study
  • SCQF Level 5= equivalent to Int 2/Nat 5 level of study
  • SCQF Level 6= equivalent to Higher level of study


  • These courses are level 7/8 on the SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) and are for applicants that will have two or more highers in relevant subjects. They can lead on to university as they are roughly the equivalent of 1st/2nd year of university study. Top tip- If you are applying to university and will have conditional offers make sure you also apply for HNC/HND courses.



  • How long do courses last and how many days a week do you study?

Most college courses last one year at a time and a full time course can be anything from 3- 5 days a week depending on the level of study.


  • What happens next?

Colleges will take some time to process applications, so if you don’t hear back straight away don’t panic. You will usually get an email to let you know they have received your applications. Most college interviews take place from Feb- June and you will get an email or letter to confirm your interview date. Top tip- make sure you check your emails on a regular basis so that you don’t miss your college interview!