Key Facts


years of age or over

Income assessed


year resident in BMW region


weeks full or part-time


normally September to May

What is the Access Course? 

The Access Course is a 1 year course that aims to provide mature students (aged 23 or over on year of entry to a degree programme) with the opportunity to prepare, personally and academically, for an undergraduate course of full-time study of at least three years duration at University of Galway. 

  •  Students who complete the Access Course receive a Diploma in Foundation Studies from University of Galway.
  •  They are also eligible to apply for direct entry (via the CAO) to full-time University undergraduate degree courses.
  • Read the Access Foundation Programme 2023 


Our programmes are offered in three locations:

  • Galway (Campus, University of Galway)
  • Tuam
  • An Cheathrú Rua (Outreach bi-lingual programme)

Follow these steps to apply:

1. Gather information that you will require e.g. PPS number, CAO number (if applicable), names and contact details of 3 referees (two academic and one personal)

2. You will have the opportunity to forward your financial documents after completing the application form.

3.  Check your email inbox for acknowledgement of your application and follow the information given to submit your addtional documentation.‌

Complete the Online Applications Form here

Deadline for applications is 15 September 2024

Is féidir d'iarratas a chomhlíonadh trí Ghaeilge ach Gaeilge a roghnú mar theanga ar an bhfoirm.

Any queries please contact the Access Programmes Office by emailing

Access Programmes Frequently Asked Questions‌‌


Caroline Giles |   Law (BCL)

I am the first in my family to attend university and I am currently in my final year of Civil Law in NUIG with hopes to continue onto a masters next year. I am a huge advocate for Access and firmly believe I would not be where I am today without it. It is an invaluable resource for those who may not have taken the traditional education route.

Tendai Muzunze |   Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience)

I am a Global Commerce student today but thanks to the education I am getting here at NUIG, who knows what greatness awaits after I graduate...I grew up watching my mother, work three jobs just to put food on the table. When she passed away, I lost my way but not the sound of her voice telling me that I have what it takes to do amazing things. I eventually took heed and applied for the ACCESS program at NUI Galway - my life has never been the same.

Jo Hatfield |   Masters (Philosophy)

Without the access course, the first year of the BA would have been much harder and stressful than it was. The access laid solid foundations for entering university life from knowing the dynamics of how lectures are presented down to the simple things like finding the lecture halls. It made the first year much easier to cope with as it allowed me to see what my academic skills were and let me know that I wasn’t a failure where learning was concerned.