Course Overview

This programme 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 programme builds up participants’ confidence in their academic ability and equips them with skills that will help them to participate in future third level education programmes in a business related area.

Applications and Selections

Application Open Date: Thursday, 2nd April, 2015: DFS8 Apply here


Trish Bourke
Mature Students Officer
NUI Galway
T: 091-492695

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Most modules on the programme 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 programme, 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:
Tuesday 7pm to 10 pm
Thursday 7pm to 10pm
One Saturday per month 10am to 5pm

Next start date

Please contact the Programme Administrator

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please contact the Programme Administrator

Next start date

Please contact the Programme Administrator

NFQ level


Mode of study

Part-time, classroom based

ECTS weighting




PAC 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 programme 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 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.


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

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

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


Course fee details - click here

Find out More

Trish Bourke
Mature Students Officer
NUI Galway
T: 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..."