Access/Preparatory Studies Programmes at LYIT – Students’ Perspectives

Wilson, Julia (2016) Access/Preparatory Studies Programmes at LYIT – Students’ Perspectives.


There is little available research about the opinions and experiences of students who undertake Access/Preparatory Studies programmes in Ireland. This is an exploratory project which attempts to address this lack of information. The research includes students currently (2015-2016) undertaking one of the two Access/Preparatory Studies programmes on offer at LYIT, also, students who have previously (since 2011) undertaken either programme and subsequently progressed to undergraduate programmes at LYIT. It is hoped that this research will provide important information for educators and policymakers in planning, implementing and reviewing adult Access/Preparatory Studies programmes at third level in Ireland and beyond. Possible benefits of this research include enhancement of the programmes at LYIT in terms of teaching and learning, content and other factors impacting student experience.
The literature review primarily focused on mature students. A self-reporting questionnaire was completed, it comprised of two sections, the first to be completed by all participants, and the second by those participants who had progressed to undergraduate programmes. Data analysis involved descriptive statistics to summarise the data recorded from 100 participants. The research found that, overall, participants were of the opinion that both programmes were beneficial in terms of, for example, confidence-building and preparedness for progression. Additionally, all reported that they would recommend the programmes to someone considering a return to education. Recommendations include the need for: improved formative assessment and feedback; enhanced peer learning; reconsideration of module content; an exploration of the reasons underlying (some) students’ perception that progression is not viewed as a possibility.

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