Sandra Lally

sandra lally

Sandra Lally

Forensic Science and Analysis at ATU Galway-Mayo

The fantastic support systems in ATU enabled me to overcome personal challenges and made my college time a success.

I decided to get back into education at the age of 32. I was fortunate in that I’d had my two children when I was young. During these years I had also kept my brain active by doing lots of Level 5 courses. I also had two part-time jobs, neither of which were secure nor likely to help me progress in a stable career. It was always at the back of mind that I was missing out by not having a degree. So, it was at 32 that I finally felt ready to take the plunge into fulltime education.

I was both excited and apprehensive. I decided that doing a year in GTI, because I’d been out of education for so long, would help me build confidence. I also saw it as a stepping-stone to a higher education level at ATU. I knew that a year spent at GTI would give me much-needed experience in studying, learning, and doing exams. I’d always had an interest in science. Yet I never believed it was conceivable that I could study the subject at a college level. Armed with the experience from GTI, I had the confidence to enroll as a Mature Student, in a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Forensic Science and Analysis, at ATU.

I found ATU’s 1st year program to be well laid out. The fundamentals of the main subjects are taught Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Thankfully, there is a tremendous amount of support offered to students by all lecturers. ATU also offers more hours doing practical exercises in the laboratory. This hands-on experience is an essential element of learning and gaining real-world experience.

As an early school leaver, with no Leaving Cert, I felt I had a mountain to climb. It was a daunting amount of work with tutorials, online quizzes, lab time and lectures. However, by doing the hard work I managed to progress. Without this dedication to the task in hand, I do not believe I would have got through the first year. Now, as I approach the third year, I no longer feel nervous, instead I am enthusiastic and excited about the challenge ahead.

Student Services helped make life as a student a lot easier. They supported my childcare needs, which allowed me to remain at college longer when needed for lectures, laboratories and study time. They helped me get a replacement laptop when my old one failed on me.

The fantastic support systems in ATU enabled me to overcome these personal challenges and made my college time a success.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Forensic Science and Analysis