Course Overview

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

Applications and Selections

Applications are now open for this course, please visit the Mature Students webpage for further information.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

The course takes place over 26 weeks - Tuesdays and Thursday (7-10pm) and one or two Saturdays per month (10am-5pm).

Most modules on the course 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 ATU and the University of 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 course, 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

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


26 weeks, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date
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Mode of study

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Course 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 course 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 course 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 the University of Galway or Atlantic Technological University. 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

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

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

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

Find out More

Kathleen Hartigan

Mature Students Officer
Tel: 091-492695

What Our Students Say


Han Nguyen |   Graduate

The supports available to mature students in NUIG are second to none. There is always someone available to advise and assist with any queries. Completing the Diploma in Business Foundations course really prepared me for returning to full time education. I am currently enrolled on the Bachelor of Commerce course after completing the Diploma in Business (Foundation).