Peer support for 1st year students
previous arrow
next arrow

Benefits of attending CÉIM

Make Friends Icon

Make Friends

Settle in Quickly Icon

Settle in Quickly

Understand Coursework Icon

Understand Coursework

Develop New Skills Icon

Develop New Skills

About CÉIM

The CÉIM academic peer support programme for 1st year students at NUI Galway is being delivered online in 2020/21 due to COVID-19. Initiated by NUI Galway Students’ Union in 2013, CÉIM is run is run as a partnership between students, academic staff and the Students’ Union.

CÉIM supports 1st year students to transition successfully to NUI Galway, make friends and create connections within their subject area, develop a sense of belonging, gain a greater understanding of coursework and ultimately proceed to 2nd year.

About CÉIM - Students together

Here’s how 1st year students can connect with classmates via CÉIM:
– Small buddy/study groups for meeting other students
– Weekly online peer learning meet ups with fellow students and trained student leaders within the same discipline
– Lecture watch parties and discussion afterwards
– Group chat to ask each other questions and offer support

CÉIM is available to approximately 1,650 1st year students studying:
– Engineering & Construction Management
– Geography
– Law (all programmes including BA Law)
– Political Science & Sociology
– Psychology

Weekly CÉIM online peer learning sessions are student led and are about working collaboratively in small groups to develop independent learning skills, discuss new topics on the course, prepare for upcoming assignments and exams, and have some fun! The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly, and students are encouraged to ask any questions they may have about NUI Galway and their course. Regular CÉIM participants are awarded a Collaborative Learner digital badge.

How to take part in CÉIM
(1) Log into the YourSpace student portal www.yourspace.nuigalway.ie using your NUI Galway ID and password
(2) Click CÉIM
(3) See your CÉIM group and buddy/study group, find out when your weekly peer learning Zoom sessions are on and chat with your group


Find out about CÉIM activities and impact in 2020/21

Background & Impact

CÉIM, which means ‘step’ or ‘degree’ in Irish, is a form of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), also known as Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). It derives from the Supplemental Instruction model devised in the United States in 1973, which today can be found at over 1,500 universities and colleges in more than 29 countries. International research has consistently shown that PAL schemes deliver benefits for participants, student leaders and universities as a whole.

CÉIM won the ‘Student Engagement Activity of the Year Award’ at the Student Achievement Awards Ireland in 2016. In 2019, the external CINNTE institutional quality review and subsequent report commended the work conducted by CÉIM and recommended it be mainstreamed.


The research on CÉIM from various disciplines consistently shows that regular CÉIM attendees are more likely to perform better academically than those who attend irregularly or not at all. 1st year students at NUI Galway also consistently report that CÉIM has helped them settle into university life and make friends.

Read an article on CÉIM published in the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education in late 2015. ‘From students to leaders: evaluating the impact on academic performance, satisfaction and student empowerment of a pilot PAL programme among first year students and second year leaders’.