Course Overview

This course is designed for individuals who have been out of the formal education system for some time and now wish to begin third level studies in the areas of Business, Law or Arts.

The preparatory nature of the course builds up participants’ confidence in their academic ability and equips them with skills that will help them to participate in future third level education courses in a business related area.

Applications and Selections

Please see the Mature Students webpage for further information.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

The course takes place over 26 weeks - Tuesdays and Thursday (7-10pm) and one or two Saturdays per month (10am-5pm).

Most modules on the course are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination. For modules where coursework counts for less than 100% of marks, exams take place at the end of each module or semester.

The courses are a recognised entry requirement at GMIT and NUI Galway and for full-time and part-time Business, Science, Engineering and Technology courses at both institutions. Participants on these Foundation courses must apply through the CAO mature students route for a place on a full -time course. Participants must apply to the CAO before 1st February in the year of entry to a third level course, that is, participants apply for a full-time, third level place that will start the following autumn while still completing the Foundation Course.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

No specific entry requirements but Leaving Certificate is desirable.

Additional Requirements


26 weeks, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

NFQ level


Mode of study


ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

To prepare students in academic and core modules to progress to degrees in Business, Law or Arts.

Subjects include Economics, Accountancy, Maths, Applied Writing, Study Skills, IT and Educational Guidance.

The aim of the teaching course is to foster in the participants confidence and enthusiasm for each subject and to introduce them to the conceptual framework and language for each subject area.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The Access course prepares students for re-entry to either full-time or part-time education and prepares students for future employment through its educational guidance, study skills and information technology modules.

Upon completion of the course students are encouraged to apply for degrees in Business, Law or Arts in NUI Galway or Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. A degree in Business leads to a wide variety of careers including accounting, public service, human resource management or marketing.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€380 if in employment and €60 if in receipt of Social Welfare.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

Further information on course fees

Find out More

 Trish Bourke 

Mature Students Officer
NUI Galway
Tel: 091-492695

Past students

Mairtín Ó Tuairisg

NUI Galway was the only University to teach Earth and Ocean Science which is what I really wanted to study. I participated in theFoundation Course in Science and Engineering for one year in advance of starting the full-time degree so that I could prepare myself academically for this course. At first it was difficult to settle into my new life as a full-time student but I had great family support to continue with my studies, attend Lectures, and work out a healthy balance between home and academic life.


Caroline Gorman

My return to college first started with the NUIG Commerce Foundation course in 2009.  Successfully completing this course gave me both the opportunity and confidence to start a full time degree.  Thanks to the skills I learned through the part time access course, I found it much easier to make the transition into full time education, and subsequently succeed in my exams.  I’ve just begun the second year of my BComm degree, and I love every minute of it!  I would encourage anyone thinking of studying Commerce as a mature student at NUI Galway to take full advantage of these fantastic courses, and to explore the possibilities which they can create for the future.



Current students

Michael Richard

Foundation Diploma in Business/Commerce

"...I have great colleagues who are interesting to be with in sharing ideas and thoughts about college and life in general.. Commerce is an interesting and challenging course. The online continuous assessment helps to getting on track with my study and having a deep understanding of the course..."



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