For CAO decisions, how can I gain a better understanding of law?

The School of Law run summer schools in June each year.  These afford you the opportunity of taking part in lectures and classes delivered by lecturers from the School of Law in the real setting of University classrooms. You will be exposed to actual law subjects as opposed to ‘talks about law’.  This will allow you to make your own assessment as to whether or not the study of law will interest you sufficiently before making a choice through the CAO.

At the Law Summer School you will be advised on the law courses available at University of Galway and how we focus on skills based modules to ensure our graduates are highly skilled and employable.   You will receive information on the many opportunities that will be open to you as an University of Galway law student such as work placement or study abroad in destinations such as USA, Canada, China, Australia and mainland Europe.

In addition, you will also learn about how to qualify as a solicitor/ barrister/ judge and to find out about the supports available through the Law School to assist you in your transition into the professions place after you qualify.

Link to summer schools at University of Galway:

Open Days are also the perfect opportunity for you and your family to experience life at University of Galway. You can talk to our law students and staff, explore the campus, check out the facilities, and learn more about the law programmes you are interested in.  You can register to attend Open Day via:   

What are the CAO points?

Law (BCL) GY251:  451 points (2018)

Law and Business (BCL) GY251:  409 points (2018)

Law (BCL) and Human Rights GY252:  This is a new course

What are the specialist streams with the University of Galway law degrees? 

Law (BCL)

  • The Legal Professions
  • Business and Commercial Law
  • Public Law, Risk and Regulation
  • Human Rights, Crime and Equality
  • International, Comparative and Transnational Law
  • Language (Legal French / Legal German)

 Law (BCL) & Human Rights

  • The Legal Professions
  • Human Rights, Crime and Equality
  • Language (Legal French / Legal German)

Law & Business

  • The Legal Professions
  • Accountancy
  • Digital Business & Analytics
  • Economics
  • Management
  • Language (Legal French / Legal German / Spanish)

What are the career pathways with a law degree?

A law degree from NUI Galway provides a pathway to traditional law career i.e. solicitor or barrister. 

Examples of alternative careers with an NUI Galway law degree include: 

  • Business for example accountancy, banking, compliance, human rights, insurance, legal publishing, taxation, economic analysts / consultants, researchers, advocates, policy advisors or management consultants.
  • The Gardaí, military and prison service
  • Journalism  
  • Public sector such as Government Departments, Councils, Law, Reform Commission, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Court Service, Office of the Attorney General, Oireachtas
  • Legal research for example FLAC, Amnesty International and the Irish Council of Civil Liberties
  • International opportunities in organisations such as the United Nations, Council of Europe, the European Commission, Court of Justice of the European Union, European Court of Human Rights etc.
  • Academia / lecturing

 What is the difference between the law degrees?

Law (BCL) and Human Rights undergraduate degree is a new course and the first of its kind in Ireland.  The degree provides you with a firm foundation in human rights law and practice, drawing upon the ground-breaking and world-renowned research and advocacy in human rights within the School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights.  The Irish Centre for Human Rights is one of the world's premier academic human rights institutions, dedicated to the study and promotion of human rights, international criminal law and humanitarian law.

The Law (BCL) degree covers the foundations of Irish and international law to maximise understanding of the legal process.   You can tailor this degree to particular areas of law that interest you including human rights, international, commercial, public or international law. 

 Law and Business is an interdisciplinary degree (60% law and 40% business).  Students  study law modules as well as the principal commercial disciplines (accountancy, economics, management and digital business and analytics) or a language.  Graduates will understand not only the legal process but also the fundamentals of business. 

How have the Law programmes changed?

The School of Law has made significant changes to the structure and content of our law degrees.  We now offer fantastic opportunities for professional work placement or study abroad in year three of our undergraduate law programmes. 

University of Galway is the only law school in the country placing the development of these skills at the heart of our law degrees.  In first year, students will spend their first four weeks creating a solid skills foundation by concentrating on research, case analysis, statutory interpretation, legal citation and legal writing.  Once the foundational skills are in place we build upon them throughout the course of the degree.

 Skills based modules are core elements of our programmes to ensure our graduates become highly skilled and employable with both the academic and practical skills required for successful careers.

 Are work placements paid?

Every effort is made by our Placement Officer to secure paid work placements, however, paid placement cannot be guaranteed for all students.

Do I pay additional fees to my host institution on my study abroad?

No. Students pay their fees to University of Galway as per year 1 and 2 of the degree programme.  Study abroad is a fantastic opportunity for students, as they benefit from studying at world class institutions, whose fees for full-time students are significantly higher than University of Galway.

How many contact hours are there per week?

Depending on module selection, students can expect to be in-class approximately 18 hours per week.  Please note that this is a full time programme and students are expected spend additional time on individual research, study, group projects, assignments and class preparation.  The total time commitment is at least 40 hours per week.

What scholarships are available for students? 

A complete list of scholarship opportunities, such as sports, excellence, etc. are available on the University of Galway website.

University of Galway also offers an Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship Scheme, details of which can be found on:

Do I need to study a language before I apply?

Students must complete a modern EU language to be eligible for entry to our Law programmes.

Can international students enter directly into the School of Law after high school?

The School of Law does admit students directly into law school from high school.  International students should refer to the country specific information section of the International Office website:

Do international students have to take any examinations prior to entry into the undergraduate degree programme?

Entry as an undergraduate is based upon high school examination results along with a personal statement and other information supplied.  Country specific requirements for international students are detailed on the International Office website:

How do I know if law is the right course choice for me?

The best way to decide whether law is the best path for you is to consider your academic strengths.  Experience shows that good lawyers are comfortable using language.  Law revolves around language – lawyers must read cases and statutes, interpret texts, and persuade others to their point of view both in writing and orally.  So, a would-be lawyer should be good at English, and enjoy both reading and writing.

Second, a lawyer will often have to read through and assimilate large amounts of written material.  Studying subjects like history involve similar skills, so the would-be lawyer will generally have taken these kinds of subjects in school as well. 

A logical mind is also useful – legal arguments must be rigorous and analytical, and must follow a logical path.  Being good at maths (NOT necessarily at honours level!) will help with this.

Outside of classes, experience of debating or public speaking also would be useful.  This is especially the case for a would-be barrister, but solicitors will also have to make oral presentations too.

How can an A Level student apply for a law degree at University of Galway?

Applications for full-time undergraduate degree courses from students taking GCE exams in the UK or Northern Ireland are made via the CAO.  Please see the CAO Handbook and video guides for detailed information on the application process.    

You can also access the University of Galway website for our A-Level Quick Guide, which includes an 'A-Level to Leaving Certificate Grade Conversion' table.

How can an international student apply for a law degree at University of Galway?

Please see the Your Country section of our International Office website for detailed information on the University of Galway academic entry requirements specific to various countries.

Applications from EU undergraduate students must be made via the CAO Direct applications to University of Galway are not accepted. Information for EU applicants is available on our website. You should refer to the document “Guidelines for EU Entry Requirements” on that webpage to determine if your qualifications will be sufficient to gain entry to University of Galway. There is a wealth of other information on that page that will also assist you.

Applications from non-EU undergraduate students are made directly to the University of Galway International Office.  The following link provides a step-by-step guide on how to apply and the documentation required for the application.  Please post your completed application to:

Undergraduate Admissions
International Affairs Office
University of Galway
7 Distillery Road

Should you wish to contact the International Admissions Office, please email

All international students must prove their level of English.  The most popular test is IELTS, where we require a result of 6.5 or more and no less than 5.5 on each band.  You can find more information on the test and courses that are approved by our University here.

What are the application routes and fee categories at University of Galway?

The application route to University of Galway depends on your fee status. There are different routes for EU and non-EU applicants. Information on fees can be found on

EU student fee status
Applicants who hold an EU passport are also required to satisfy EU residency requirements in order to be eligible for EU fee status. For the purpose of application an EU Applicant is defined as a student who has been resident in an EU/EEA member state for three of the five years prior to application and whose parents have been in full - time employment in an EU/EEA member state for three of the five years prior to application. Please refer to the following website to help determine your fee status If you have any queries in this regard, we recommend that you contact the Fees Office at in order to confirm your fee status.

Details of the entry routes for EU and Non-EU applicants are outlined below:

EU applicants

EU applicants must apply via the CAO  Direct applications to University of Galway are not accepted.

Information for EU applicants is available on our website:  You should refer to the document “Guidelines for EU Entry Requirements” on that webpage to determine if your qualifications will be sufficient to gain entry to University of Galway.  There is a wealth of other information on that page that will also assist you.

EU Undergraduate application deadlines can be found on the CAO website 

Non-EU applicants

Applicants to all courses other than Medicine, should apply through our International Affairs Office. Information and contact details can be found on their website:  Should you wish to contact the International Admissions Office, please email

What are the requirements for first year and second year?

There are compulsory modules you must complete which are outlined on the course page of our website and also during first year induction.  There are also optional modules you can choose from.  The programme works on a 60 ECTS system, which is a credit system where all modules are weighted as 5 or 10 ECTS.  Once these amount to 60 ECTS not less, this is the aim for each year.

Can you transfer into the BCL?

If you achieve the CAO points for the BCL and your first year law degree modules are passed, there is an internal University system you can apply to transfer.  Changing programme is quite rare as students that start on a degree pathway tend to stay with it.

Do you study the same modules if you are studying law through arts?

The BA (Joint-Honours) in Law programme offers a choice of law and humanities subjects.  There is a difference in module choice in comparison to a full law degree.  If you wish to qualify as a solicitor or barrister you may proceed into the final year of the LLB programme which will cover the subjects required for professional legal training as a solicitor (with the Law Society of Ireland) or as a barrister (with the King’s Inns).

Frequently Asked Questions

Dr Connie Healy, Director of Marketing and Promotions at the School of Law, University of Galway addresses the most frequently asked questions from prospective students.