Course Overview

The Access Course is a 1 year course that aims to provide mature students with the opportunity to prepare personally and academically, for an undergraduate course of full-time study of at least 3 years duration at NUI Galway.

The course is designed to meet the learning needs of the adult student and provide individual attention and assistance where appropriate.  Participants who successfully complete the Access Course receive a Diploma in Foundation Studies (Level 6 30 ECTs) from NUI Galway and are eligible to apply for direct entry via the CAO to full-time University degree courses in the Colleges of Arts, Business, Public Policy and Law, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, Science, Engineering and Informatics. In certain instances, interviews with the Department Head or School Head may also be required.

Applications and Selections


Application Procedure: Application forms can be downloaded from the following address:

Closing Date: End of May each year

Application Fee: Not applicable

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

The criteria for successful completion of this course involve satisfactory attendance and performance in all elements of the programme. Students’ academic progress is measured through a process of written and oral continuous assessment and examinations held at the end of each semester.

This course runs over the academic year from September to May.  Personal (home) study is an integral and important part of the course. Students also have the opportunity to attend some undergraduate lectures on campus, by arrangement.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

There are no specific entry requirements, such as Leaving Certificate or aptitude tests, but typically candidates have a keen interest in reading and learning in general and aspire to continue their education to degree level and/or beyond. Applicants must be 22 years of age or over on January 1st in the year of application.

Additional Requirements


The course runs over the academic year September to May. Part time students should note that this programme may be delivered on a day or evening basis and includes one Saturday per month.

Next start date

The programme commences in September of each academic year.

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

End of May each year

Next start date

The programme commences in September of each academic year.

NFQ level


Mode of study


ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

The course content consists of core subjects and academic options. The core subjects include:

  • Study Skills
  • Applied Writing
  • Information Technology
  • Educational Guidance

The academic options provide students with introductory University courses as a prelude to continuing their studies at a higher level. Students generally study four academic options, from the following subjects:

Arts: Philosophy, Sociology, History, Irish, English, Mathematics, Economics

Science/Engineering/IT: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology Commerce: Economics, Mathematics

Celtic Studies: Irish

The exact subjects on offer in a given year may vary, depending on the availability of specialist tutors. There may also be guest lectures in subjects such as Psychology and Archaeology or on other subjects.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The Access programme 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.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

Course costs for those selected to attend the course are borne by the University, subject to sufficient funding being available.

Find out More

Access Programme Coordinator

091 493553


Adult and Continuing Education - NUI Galway, Access Office