Adult learners are a diverse group – typically age 25 and older – with a wide range of cultural and educational backgrounds, abilities, responsibilities and experiences. Adult Learners return to education for personal or professional reasons.

The Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development offers adult learners flexible, part-time courses in a wide range of areas through many different modes of study.

People often confuse an adult learner with a mature student. The mature student entry route refers to full-time undergraduate students only.

Anyone who is interested in progressing to third-level education, but who may not have the conventional entry requirements, and/or who has experienced educational and socio-economic disadvantage (including chronic illness or disability) can apply to participate on an Access course (also known as an Access programme).

Entry requirements
If you are 21 years or more by 1st January of the year you commence your part-time course, there are no formal entry requirements. If you are under 21 years you will be asked to fulfil the matriculation requirements for NUI Galway, find out more in our FAQs section.

Additional entry requirements
Some courses will specify specific work experience as part of the entry requirements (e.g. Social Care, Early Childhood Studies and Community Development Practice). Other courses will require a pass in Maths at Leaving Certificate or equivalent to gain entry to the course (e.g. Science & Technology, Commerce).

You will need to refer to the individual course pages for specific entry criteria.