Foundation Course in Business/Commerce
Foundation Course in Science, Technology, and Engineering

Course overview

These programmes are 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 area of Business Studies, Science, Engineering, or Technology.

The preparatory nature of these programmes builds up participants’ confidence in their academic ability and equips them with skills that will help them to participate in future third level education programmes in a business or technology related area.

Key facts

Entry requirements

No specific entry requirements but Leaving Certificate is desirable.

Duration: 25 weeks, part-time

Next start date: September 2013. The programme runs on an annual basis from September to May.

ECTS weighting: 30

Average intake: 45

Closing date: 9th August 2013

NFQ level: NA

Mode of study: Classroom - based 

Course outline

The aim of the teaching programme 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.


The Foundation Course in Business focuses on three specific subject areas:

  - Mathematics

  - Economics

  - Accountancy


The Foundation Course in Science, Engineering and Technology focuses on the following four specific subject areas:

  - Physics

  - Chemistry

  - Biology

  - Mathematics

Applications and selections

Apply here



Trish Bourke
Mature Students Officer
NUI Galway
T: 091-492695

Requirements and assessment

The Foundation courses are 25-week, part-time introductory programmes, running over the academic year from September to May. Classes are held twice a week, from 7-10pm. There are also occasional Saturday sessions, one to two per month from 10am-5pm.


Assessment may be by means of written examination and/or continuous assessments.


The courses are a recognised entry requirement at GMIT and NUI 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 programme, that is, participants apply for a full-time, third level place that will start the following autumn while still completing the Foundation Course.

Find out more

Trish Bourke
Mature Students Officer
NUI Galway
T: 091-492695

Fees for this course

Course fee details - click here

Past students

Mairtín Ó Tuairisg

NUI Galway was the only University to teach Earth and Ocean Science which is what I really wanted to study. I participated in theFoundation Course in Science and Engineering for one year in advance of starting the full-time degree so that I could prepare myself academically for this course. At first it was difficult to settle into my new life as a full-time student but I had great family support to continue with my studies, attend Lectures, and work out a healthy balance between home and academic life.


Caroline Gorman

My return to college first started with the NUIG Commerce Foundation course in 2009.  Successfully completing this course gave me both the opportunity and confidence to start a full time degree.  Thanks to the skills I learned through the part time access course, I found it much easier to make the transition into full time education, and subsequently succeed in my exams.  I’ve just begun the second year of my BComm degree, and I love every minute of it!  I would encourage anyone thinking of studying Commerce as a mature student at NUI Galway to take full advantage of these fantastic courses, and to explore the possibilities which they can create for the future.



Current students

Michael Richard

Foundation Diploma in Business/Commerce

"...I have great colleagues who are interesting to be with in sharing ideas and thoughts about college and life in general.. Commerce is an interesting and challenging course. The online continuous assessment helps to getting on track with my study and having a deep understanding of the course..."