As Leaving Certificate students in Donegal wait for their CAO offers, it is worth looking at the other options for those who don’t get the results they hoped.

Students can repeat their school year or can choose from a range of PLC courses. Or they can do an Access Courses to help them on the road to third level.

St Angela’s College in Sligo offers a one year part-time Diploma in Foundations Studies. The course aims to give students the chance to prepare both personally and academically for an undergraduate course of full-time study at NUI Galway or at St. Angela’s College in Sligo.

It is for students from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have a conventional education or who don't have the points they need for undergraduate programmes.

This type of course is also for people who are not ready to go on to third level just yet for their own reasons; emotional, maturity, physical, mental, financial, health, family issues etc.


Access Officer at St Angela’s College Philip White said: “There are so many reasons people choose to do an Access Course. For some it is a direct route into the university undergraduate course. Some may have received the points but are not ready to go to college yet. Others may have made the wrong subject choices on their CAO and want to take the year to prepare.

“It is also suitable for students whose Leaving Cert may have been disrupted by a health issue or other family issues including bereavement.”

Some Access students have completed their Leaving Cert in previous years, but did not go to college at the time. They are now at a point where they want to go back to their studies.

The Access Course has taster courses which are taught at University level. This helps students with academic writing, computer and study skills so they can achieve their full potential at third level.

The Access Course can be a great stepping stone to college. Participants get a real taste of student life, while having support and guidance to help with the transition to university.


This free course is funded by NUI Galway, with eligibility criteria in place. In general, HEAR income thresholds will apply.

Applications for the Access Course in Sligo will open after the Leaving Cert results are out. Students can apply through

More information can be obtained by email at [email protected] or by calling  (071) 919 5575.


If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.