Qualifications & Entry Requirements

Academic Credit and Qualifications

The courses offered by the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development range from Level 7 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ Level).

The length of time it takes to complete each award varies (see table below).

As you browse our course information, you will notice that courses or their modules are often referred to in terms of ECTs (i.e. European Credit Transfer System) weighting.  ECT credits are used on a European-wide basis to place a value or size on the learning contained in a course of study.  Credits represent a standard number of class contact hours and average workload for every module on your course. Once you complete the required number of credits, you will receive your award.

Below is a sample table of levels, credits and timeframes.

  NFQ Level ECTs credits Timeframe
Foundation Diploma Level 7 10 Less than a year
Certificate Level 7 45 1 year
Diploma Level 7 90 2 years
Bachelor Degree Level 8 180 4 years
Postgraduate Diploma Level 9 60 2 years
Masters Level 9 90 2 years

 NB: This table is to be used as a guide only and varies for each programme.

Can I gain credit for courses I have undertaken previously?

Yes, if you feel that you have covered some of the course material previously or have significant work experience in a particular area, the university recognises this through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). This process allows you to gain direct admission to a course or to gain exemptions from some parts of a course based on demonstrated learning achieved prior to commencing your programme. This means that you will have a lighter course load for some elements of the programme and, in some cases, will be able to complete your award over a shorter period.

Click for further information on Recognition of Prior Learning.

Entry Requirements

What are the entry requirements for part-time students?

If you are 21 years or more by 1 January of the year you commence your part-time course, there are no formal entry requirements.

What are the entry requirements for part-time students under 21 years?

If you are under 21 years you will be asked to fulfil the matriculation requirements for NUI Galway. These include the following:

  • A pass in at least six subjects (including Irish, English and another language) in the Leaving Certificate Examination or equivalent
  • Grade C3 in two subjects on the higher course and
  • Grade D3 (ordinary or higher course) in the remaining four subjects

Additional entry requirements

Some courses will specify specific work experience as part of the entry requirements (e.g. Social Care, Early Childhood Studies and Community Development Practice). Other courses will require a pass in Maths at leaving certificate or equivalent to gain entry to the course (e.g. Science & Technology, Commerce).

You will need to refer to the individual course pages for specific entry criteria.