Application Criteria for 2021-2022 

Applicant Eligibility 

Before you begin your application, it is important to note: 

  • All applicants must be entering their first year of study to an accredited full-time NUI Galway undergraduate or postgraduate course. 
  • All applicants must meet the SUSI Total Family Income threshold (please see Section E below). 
  • Applicants must not have received a University of Sanctuary (UoS) scholarship for any course at the same level as the course which they are currently applying for e.g., applicants cannot apply for Level 8 if they have already received a UoS scholarship for a Level 8 course (or its equivalent) in the past.  
  • Please Note: Some undergraduate courses offer 4+1 model to progress to Level 9 but scholarship applicants must reapply for Level 9 if availing of the +1 option. Currently, the UoS Scholarship Programme excludes Level 8 Dual Degree. 
  • Applicants are welcome to apply for third-party scholarships or stipends, but any such applications must be declared to the UoS Steering Committee.  
  • Successful applicants to the UoS Scholarship Programme cannot accept the UoS scholarship while in receipt of a third-party scholarship or stipend of equal or greater value to the UoS scholarship. Any subsequent awarding of any third-party scholarship or stipend must be declared to the University of Sanctuary Steering Committee upon receipt of that scholarship or stipend.   
  • Preference will be given to applicants living within the direct hinterland of NUI Galway - that is the Border, Midlands, Western (BMW) region. 
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have been resident in Ireland for less than three years, as State supports are provided for individuals residing in Ireland for longer than three years.  
  • For information on SUSI, please see here. 
  • For information on the Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers, please see here. 
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are entering either a third-level undergraduate or postgraduate programme for the first time.  

Section A - Ethnic & Legal Status Requirements 

Applicants from one of the below groups residing in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to apply. Proof of ethnic/legal status will be required: 

A. Persons who are or who have been in the International Protection process, and who have permission to reside in the State and to study. 

B. Immigrants in an irregular situation who are engaging with the Minister for Justice to regularise their status (including undocumented). 

C. Irish Travellers.

Section B - Academic Requirements  

Undergraduate Applicants 

Undergraduate applicants must have come through one of three pathways to university: 

A. Scored above 300 points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. 


B. Attained at least 5 Distinctions in a FETAC PLC. 


C. Successfully completed an Access Programmes Office Foundation Course. 


Have applied for and, by mid-September 2021, meet all requirements to receive an offer of a place on a full-time undergraduate course in any one of the listed Colleges at NUI Galway in the current year, including meeting all points and entry and matriculation requirements. 

Postgraduate Applicants 

Postgraduate applicants must provide a clear and legible copy of undergraduate level 7, level 8 or level 9 results (some applicants may have studied at various levels of undergraduate). 


Have applied for and, by mid-September 2021, meet all requirements to receive an offer of a place on a full-time postgraduate degree course in any one of the listed Colleges at NUI Galway in the current year, including meeting all points and entry and matriculation requirements. 

Section C - Personal Statement  

All applicants must complete a 500-word personal statement in the form of written word or audio recording, detailing how they feel that the University of Sanctuary scholarship will benefit them. The purpose of the Personal Statement is to evidence through narrative the educational and financial need of the applicant for the University oSanctuary scholarship and support system. Please see Appendix 2 below for more insight into how your personal statement and conversation will be assessed.  

Section D - Conversation with Scholarship Panel 

All applicants are invited to meet with the UoS Scholarship Panel consisting of three members of NUI Galway staff to discuss their application. The meeting will take between 10-15 minutes and depending upon Covid restrictions may take place either online or in-person. 

Section E - Financial Requirements 

PLEASE NOTE: All applicants residing in the Irish State for at least 36 months of the past five yearmust apply for SUSI or the Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers before applying for the NUI Galway UoS Scholarship. 

Total Family Income must not exceed the SUSI Total Family Income Threshold for 100% Rate of Maintenance + Field Trip Element + 100 Tuition Fees or + 100% Student Contribution for the year January-December 2020. 

Please see Table: 


Less Than 4 Dependent Children 

Between 4 & 7 Dependent Children 

8 or More Children 

Income Threshold Increase per Additional Person in Charge 

100% Rate of Maintenance 

+ Field Trip Element 

+ 100 Tuition Fees or + 100% Student Contribution 

Reckonable Income must be under €39,875  

Reckonable Income must be under €43, 810 

Reckonable Income must be under €47,575 























Application Forms

  • Click here to apply for an undergraduate programme.
  • Click here to apply for a postgraduate programme

Appendix 1 Scholarship Programme Supporting Documentation 

Please Note: Applications can only be provisionally assessed when supporting income documentation is received. Documents must be received by Friday, 10th September at 5pm. 

Eligibility Supporting Documentation 

Proof of belonging to target groups must be provided – e.g. letter from Dept. of Employment & Social Protection (DEASP); letter from TUSLA; letter from Travellers’ Group; letter from Dept of Justice. Documents must be submitted by Friday 10th September 2021 at 5pm, before applications can be processed.  

Academic Requirements Supporting Documentation 

An official transcript of examination results must be submitted by Friday, 10th September 2021 at 5pm, before applications can be processed. 

Proof of Household Income Supporting Documentation 

The following Proof of Household Income Documentation relating to 2020 must be supplied by Friday, 10th September 2021, before applications can be processed: 

If you are under 23 years of age on application: Household income refers to both your parents and your own income.  

If you are a Mature Student (over 23): Household income refers to you and whoever is in your household (parents if living at home or partner if you are living with a partner). 

Only the following Proof of Income types can be accepted: 

  1. Dept. of Employment Affairs & Social Protection: 

Statement listing all payments, including the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), and number of weeks received in 2020; 


  1. Self-Employment/Farming Income/Rental Income: 

Notice of assessment for 2020; 


  1. Employment: 

Copy of P21 for 2020; 


  1. Redundancy Payment: 

RP50 (all pages) 

  1. Retired with Private Pension:  

Private pension provider statement 

PLUS - If applying for the University of Sanctuary Scholarship Programme, you must submit the full SUSI letter including reckonable income sheet once received, if your SUSI application has been approved for 2021-2022.  

All successful recipients must supply proof of qualifying for the SUSI Total Family Income Threshold for 100% Rate of Maintenance + Field Trip Element + 100 Tuition Fees or + 100% Student Contribution if approved. 

Appendix 2 Theoretical Underpinning for Assessing Personal Statement and Conversation with Scholarship Panel 

The purpose of the Personal Statement is to evidence through narrative the educational and financial need of the applicant for the UoS award and support system, and the conversation/interview will give each applicant with an opportunity to discuss their application. 

The UoS scholarship panel will utilise the Social Support Theory as developed by Cutrona (1996) to determine what might underpin the review process as to how the UoS Scholarships and pathways might offer the individual social support to flourish personally, socially and academically.  Cutrona developed the theory of optimal matching of social support in which she hypothesised that nurturing support (emotional and esteem) and instrumental support (tangible and informational) would be most beneficial following different kinds of stressful life events.  

1) Concrete support  

Concrete support is very visible and relates to practical forms of help such as loaning a neighbour a lawnmower, or giving a lift to an elderly relative to do their shopping. Concrete support is sometimes also referred to as tangible support and we can typically measure it in physical acts of helping between people, including loaning another person money, or minding a neighbour’s pet while he/she goes on holidays. 

2) Emotional support  

Emotional love would be when a family member is feeling ill and you as a carer offer emotional support to help them recover such as a hug and caring comfort to enable another individual feel sense of emotional wellbeing in your company. 

3) Advice support  

Advice or information support is sometimes referred to as guidance support and relates to helping someone with a decision, or giving them information on how best to complete a task. An example of this would be giving your brother advice on how to cope with his child’s behaviour, or advising a friend on how to apply for a bank loan. Emotional support is a more sensitive form of support. It relates to feelings, and usually involves intimate relationships. Typically, it is about being there for people we feel close to, listening to them if they are upset, and offering them unconditional love. 

4) Esteem support 

Esteem support relates to how others rate and inform a person in respect of his/her worth and competency. An instance of the provision of esteem support would be where a teacher tells a child that he/she has done well in preparing for an important exam, and of the teacher’s confidence in the young person’s ability.