Access Students

Find out all you need to know as an Access Student: who is eligible, what is available at NUI Galway, how to apply, and more.

The Access Student

Access students can be both school leavers or a mature students (over the age of 22) who haven't been able to access third level education because of socio-economic reasons such as

  • Long term unemployment
  • Low family income
  • Little or no family tradition of higher education
  • Limited study facilities at home
  • Family stresses (particularly family finance)

This programme also covers students with disabilities, whose ilness has effected their background education.

Find out how to apply to NUI Galway as an access student

Access Courses

Core Courses

  • Access Core courses help an access student acclimate to the University.
  • Study Skills Course - equips students with skills they need for third level education
  • Applied Writing Course - helps students get into practice of writing regularly and in the styles necessary for third level study
  • Information Technology - gives students the required skills, as well as an understanding of the importance of Information Technology resources.
  • Educational Guidance - helps students understand their starting points and goals, as well as guide them through a study process and career guidance.


Academic Courses

Access Academic courses cover many subject areas.
College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies:

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Irish
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Legal Science
  • Spanish


College of Science:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology


College of Engineering and Informatics:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology


College of Business, Public Policy and Law:

  • Economics/Accountancy
  • Mathematics

Find out how to apply to NUI Galway as an access student

Access Centres

There are 4 Access centres around Ireland

  • Galway (NUI Galway campus)
  • Ballinasloe
  • An Ceathrú Rua (Outreach bi-lingual programme)
  • Sligo (St. Angela's College, Lough Gill)

 Higher Education Route (HEAR)

The Higher Education Route helps students from under-represented groups, successfully apply for places in Higher Education Institutions, including:


Contact the Access Office


Imelda Byrne, Head of Access Programmes
T 353 (0)91 493553 

Helena Moran, Executive Assistant  (On leave) 
T 353 (0)91 493553 

Kathleen Hartigan, Executive Assistant
T 353 (0)91 495804 

Sinead Higgins, Executive Assistant  
T 353 (0)91 493553 

Sinead Quinn, HEAR Administrator (On Secondment) 
T 353 (0)91 495263


Gearóidín Uí Loideain
T 353 (0) 91-494618

Sinead Campbell,  Access Programmes Co-ordinator St. Angelas College Sligo 
T 353 (0)71 9195575

Find out more

Imelda Byrne, Access Officer
Tel: +353 91 493553