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Thu., Mar 5, 2015
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Access Course
Course Code: IET11
Award: Diploma in Foundation Studies
Entry Requirements:

Young Adults (18-22yrs) 
Leaving Certificate:
2 HC3 + 4 OD minimum

Mature Students (+ 22 yrs)

Previous academic or training experience desirable.
Duration: 1 year part-time (September - April)
Two days per week 2pm-7pm and one to two Satrudays per month
Application Process: In Order to apply:
  • Complete and return an application form and two referee questionnaires as per the closing date.
  • Attend an interview.  
  • Write a short written piece on the day of interview.
Next Intake: September 2015

Programme Overview

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 under represented at third level.

What kind of Socio-Economic Reasons 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.

The aims of the course are to:

  • Prepare students with the necessary skills/knowledge required to benefit from, and participate in, a third level undergraduate course;
  • Build relationships with academic staff and other students;
  • Enhance students’ knowledge to the level expected of an undergraduate student;
  • Build students’ confidence in themselves and in their academic abilities and to get over any fears they may have about attending third level;
  • Assist students in identifying and choosing a third level course that best suits their abilities and interests.

    Students will study various modules throughout the course to include core and taster modules.

    Core Modules

    Study Skills
    Applied Writing
    Information Technology (ICT)
    Educational Guidance

    Study Skills
    This module aims to motivate students to study and to organise their work.  It equips students with the skills needed to succeed at third level and prepare students for examinations

    Applied Writing
    This module is designed to help students get into the practice of writing regularly and in the different styles necessary for third level study.  It also helps them with basic grammar and punctuation and how to formulate assignments properly.

    Information Technology (ICT):
     The ICT module will give students the skills required to use database, spreadsheets, e-mail and internet and basic trouble shooting and file management.

    Educational Guidance:
    This module will help students to identify their skills, qualities and to build a personal profile.  They will discover how to source information and to investigate the courses on offer in St. Angela’s College and NUI Galway.  Individual appointments will be arranged so that the student can discuss possible courses/career options.

    Taster Modules

    Home Economics
    Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics

    Taster modules are introductory modules in a number of specific disciplines which will be taught depending on the demand for a particular subject.  The aim of these options is to provide students with introductory University courses as a prelude to continuing their studies as undergraduates at St. Angela’s College, Sligo or the National University of Ireland, Galway.

    Students will have to complete assignments, examinations and practical activities in the various modules. 

Career Opportunities

Participants who successfully complete the Access Course will be eligible to apply for direct entry to fulltime University degree courses in the National University of Ireland, Galway or St. Angela’s College, Sligo.  Courses include:

St. Angela’s College, Sligo

  • Bachelor of Education
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Food and Business Management
  • Bachelor of Arts (Health and Disability Studies)
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science (School Leavers Only)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Textiles, Fashion And Design with Business Management

NUI Galway

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Civil Law and Corporate Law
  • Bachelor of Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science

Career Opportunities

Downloads & Other Information

Programme Brochure
Mature Student's Application Form


Making An Application - Guidelines)


Mature Applicants Referee's Letter (2 copies required) And Questionnaire (two copies required)


Mature Applicants Grant Applications Details


Useful Link:

Access Course School Leavers Brochure


Postgraduate / Adult and Continuing Education Prospectus

Contact Details

Access Office
Education Department
T: 353 71 9195575

FAQ – New Home Economics Programme

Why is the programme going from four to five years?
The programme is going from four to five years in keeping with Teaching Council recommendations in the areas of subject criteria and guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Programmes. Since 2014 all postgraduate teacher training programmes have become two years long, meaning the number of years of required study across the board has risen to five.

Will the student workload be lighter because of the longer duration?
The student work load will not change significantly.

What qualification will I have after completing the course?
The qualification will be a Professional Master of Education (PME) in Home Economics, NFQ Level 9. 

Can I graduate with a degree after four years and complete the Master of Education at a later date?
Yes. An Exit Award will be available at the end of Year 4.  This will be a BA (Education, Home Economics and Gaeilge or Religious Education or Biology or Economics).

Will I automatically progress into the Masters after the Undergraduate stage?
Students do not have to compete for a place in the fifth stage (Master of Education). However, students must reach the required standard of H2.2 after Stage 4 before they can progress into Stage 5.

Will I be qualified to teach after stage 4?
No, students must successfully complete Year 5, Professional Masters in Education (with Home Economics) to gain their teaching qualification recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

What fees apply to the restructured programme?
The current Registration Fee of €2,750 will only be applicable to the first 4 years of the programme. It is our understanding, at this time, that students will be liable for fees in the 5th year as opposed to the State. The fee structure has yet to be negotiated and agreed with the Higher Education Authority. The Registration Fee (€2,750) does not apply to Postgraduate Fees. Fees have yet to be set but we expect them to be in the region of €4,000 for Year 5 of the programme.

What financial assistance will be available?
For the first four years financial assistance will be the same as for other undergraduate courses and details can be found at the following link.
Financial assistance for fees is available to eligible students during the postgraduate year of the course. However, maintenance payments are not available for postgraduate courses. Please see details at the following link.
The Student Assistance Fund is also available to assist students who are experiencing financial hardship.  Please see details at and

Will there still be alternative entry routes such as Mature, Access, HEAR, DARE ?
Yes. Contact will need to be made with St. Angela’s Access Officer Karen Kennedy at 071 9195575 or email

When will the restructured programme come into effect?
September  2015.

What is the breakdown per year of school placements?
BA 1st Year – 3 weeks – Mainstream Post-primary
BA 2nd Year – 4 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary
BA 3rd Year – 4 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary
BA 4th Year – 4 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary and Special Community and Further Education settings (which are recognised in accordance with Section 10 of the Education Act,1998)
PME – 10 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary

What will the programme be called on the CAO form?

  • AS001 Home Economics with Biology – Second Level Teaching
  • AS002 Home Economics with Religious Education – Second Level Teaching
  • AS003 Home Economics with Irish – Second Level Teaching
  • AS004 Home Economics with Economics – Second Level Teaching

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