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Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a range of key areas of expertise.
- Research & Innovation
- Business & Industry
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Diploma in Foundation Studies: Access Courses for Higher Education – School Leavers
The Access Course aims to provide school leavers with the opportunity to prepare personally and academically for an undergraduate course of full-time study of at least three years duration at NUI Galway. The course is designed to meet the learning needs of the student and provide individual attention and assistance where appropriate.
Applications and Selections
Application Procedure: Application forms available at www.nuigalway.ie/access
Closing Date: End of August 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.
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.
Students will normally have a minimum of 2C (higher level) and 4 (ordinary level) grades to demonstrate their ability to manage academically. Students cannot always be guaranteed entry at this level. Students who have completed a post-leaving certificate course of study are eligible.
The course runs over the academic year September to May annually. Students should note that this programme may be delivered on a part-time, day or evening basis.
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
End of August each year
Mode of study
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, Irish, English, Mathematics, Economics
Science/Engineering/IT/Health Sciences: 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, Classical Civilisation and Archaeology or on other subjects.
Why Choose This Course?
Participants who successfully complete an Access Course will be eligible to apply for direct entry to full-time University Degree courses in the Colleges of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic studies; Business, Public Policy and Law; Science; Engineering and Informatics; Nursing and Health Sciences (Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and Podiatry).
The criteria for successful completion of the Access Course involve satisfactory attendance and performance in all elements of the programme.
Who’s Suited to This Course
The Access course for School Leavers is a course specifically designed for students who have a real desire to study at third level, but are unable due to financial and social reasons. This scheme facilitates school-leavers from all schools in the Border, Midland and Western region and Co. Clare. This course targets those students who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who for a variety of social and economic reasons, are underrepresented at third level. Students should be highly motivated and interested in studying at undergraduate level in their chosen area.
The kind of socio-economic reasons that are considered
- Long-term unemployment
- Low family income
- Little or no family tradition of progression onto higher education
- Limited study facilities at home
- Family stresses (particularly those related to family finance)
This programme is also suitable for students with disabilities, whose background education has been affected by long-term absenteeism due to their illness.
Related Student Organisations
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.