The Access Course for School Leavers is a course specifically designed for students who are aged 22 or under and have a real desire to study at third level, but are unable due to financial or social reasons. This scheme facilitates school-leavers from all schools in the BMW region and County Clare targeting 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. This under-representation stems from socio-economic reasons such as low family income, long-term family unemployment, family stresses, personal difficulties and little or no family tradition of progression onto higher education.
The programme also supports students with disabilities whose background education has been affected by long-term absenteeism due to their illness.
There are no specific financial supports available to Access Programme students other than philanthropic funds raised through Galway University Foundation. Students are not eligible for a maintenance grant until there are registered in the first year of their primary degree.
On completion of the programme and on the attainment of the required grades students are guaranteed a place in an undergraduate course in NUI Galway.