A mature student applicant is someone who is 23 years or older by January 1 in the year of entry to the University (in the case of part-time degrees the age is 21). There is no upper age limit; we currently have students who range in age from 23 to 73. Every year we welcome approximately 350 new mature students to Maynooth University. A certain number of places are reserved for mature students on all undergraduate degree courses.
Researching the options and selecting the best degree for you is the first step. To make this choice it is essential that you spend some time investigating and researching potential degrees.
2. Apply to the Central Applications Office (CAO)
All mature applicants must apply to the CAO before February 1. Late applications from mature applicants may be accepted after this date - contact the Admissions Office directly for updates. Application may not be made to the CAO after May 1.
Mature applicants are no longer required to submit a direct application to Maynooth University.
The following degree courses require mature student applicants to sit an entrance test as part of the application process.
- Candidates for MH103 Music are shortlisted for interview on the basis of a music test which will be held on 24th March 2018.
- Candidates for the following degree courses sit an entrance test:
MH102 Music Technology
MH103 Music (this is a restricted course on the CAO - applications must be submitted before 1 February on the year of entry to the University).
MH107 Social Science
MH116 (full-time) / MH802 (part-time) Community & Youth Work (these are restricted courses on the CAO - applications must be submitted before 1 February on the year of entry to the University)
All Science degrees (MH201, MH202 etc.)
MH209 Psychology (through Science)
MH304 BE Bachelor of Engineering
MH306 BSc Robotics and Intelligent Devices
MH404 BMA Business and Management
MH404 INB International Business
MH404 MKT Marketing
MH404 OPC (Business Open Choice)
MH405 Equine Business
MH501 Law (LLB)
MH502 LWA (Law & Accounting)
MH502 LWB (Law & Business)
MH502 LWC (Law and Criminology)
MH502 LWC (Law and Arts)
MH502 OPC (Law Open Choice)
MH601 CSA Computer Science & Software Engineering (through Arts)
MH601 MWA Multimedia Mobile and Web Development (through Arts)
MH602 CSS Computer Science and Software Engineering (through Science)
MH602 MWS Multimedia Mobile and Web Development (through Science)
MH603 Computational Thinking
Entrance tests take place in March/April 2018. In March the relevant academic departments write to all mature applicants to their degree courses, giving details of the date and time of the tests.
What does the entrance test involve?
- The tests for MH102, MH107, MH109 MED, MH109 MTH, MH109 OPC, MH116, MH404 BMA, MH404 INB, MH404 MKT, MH404 OPC, MH405, MH411, MH501, MH502 LWA, MH502 LWB, MH502 LWC, MH502 LWD, MH502OPC, MH801, MH802 take the form of “essay-type” questions related to the subject that you intend to study. For preparation applicants should read up on relevant material in the prospectus and also on the relevant Department’s website.
- Mature applicants to MH106 (Psychology) and MH209 (Psychology through Science) will be called for a test that incorporates a numerical reasoning assessment in addition to an 'essay type' question. For preparation, read up on relevant material in the prospectus and also on the Department’s website.
- Mature applicants to Science, Engineering, Robotics and Computer Science degrees: please note the test will determine mathematical aptitude and knowledge of science-related topics
All other degree courses are assessed on the basis of the application form and/or interview.
Note that Law and Psychological Studies are also available under MH101 Arts. Students who wish to transfer in second year into one of our specialised Law degrees (MH501 LLB & MH502 BCL Law courses) must achieve 40% or more in first year exams (and meet other MH101 subject requirements for progression to second year).
For further information or to speak to someone about your options please contact the Admissions Office or contact the Mature Student Office. Please see below for additional information on the procedure for applicants with disabilities to request examination supports.
This will be posted in February 2018.
Mature students may use the CAO's Change of Mind facility from May 1st to July 1st to make changes to their degree course choices at Maynooth University.
Restricted courses may not be added during the Change of Mind period however. These must be included in your list of course choices before the February 1st deadline.
There are different selection procedures for different degree courses at Maynooth University. Some or all of the following selection methods may apply depending on the course applied for:
- Interview only
- Written assessment + shortlist compiled for interview
- Assessment of application
Further information about assessment requirements available on the Course Finder.
Science degrees at Maynooth University require an aptitude in mathematics and science. For entry to the Faculty of Science and Engineering at candidates are expected to be able to demonstrate a motivation and aptitude to study science. This may be evidenced by previous studies in mathematics and science.
For mature students who wish to study for a degree in Engineering, a strong aptitude in mathematics is required.
The Maynooth University Certificate in Science provides a route for mature students, who may have been out of education for a number of years, to progress to studying Science and Engineering at degree level in Maynooth University.
All candidates are required to satisfy the University's English language requirement. Candidates whose first language is not English may satisfy the requirement through any of the following:
1. NUI Matriculation: English at Level 4 or above, before 1985; at Level D or above, in or after 1985
2. NUI Certificate in English language studies (currently awarded at Shannon College of Hotel Management)
3. Leaving Certificate: English at Grade D ordinary Level as a minimum
4. University of Dublin (Trinity College): English Composition (not English Literature) at Pass Level as a minimum
5. UK examining boards/bodies:
- GCE O Level English Language at Grade C or above
- GCSE English Language at Grade C or above
- GCSE English Literature at Grade C or above
- CSE Grade 1 Pass in English
6. EU countries’ matriculation examinations: matriculation examinations from European Union countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
7. The following standard in English language examinations set by certain examination boards – any one of:
- Assessments and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) C or above
- Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR) C or above
- Edexcel Foundation C or above
- University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES) C or above
8. Norwegian Certificate of Upper Secondary Education: a score of 4 or higher in English in the First Part 20
9. Hong Kong Education Examination Authorities
- Hong Kong Certificate of Education, English Language Syllabus B grade C or better
- Hong Kong Examination Authority, Advanced Level Use of English grade C or better
10. Sri Lankan National Certificate in English Pass level or better
11. Other English language examination
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 550 (213 for computer-based tests or 79 for internet-based tests) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Administered by Princeton University
- Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC). A minimum score of 750
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Test Patterns A and B, with an average score of 6.0 over all components
It should be noted that these are the minimum requirements in English and that faculties/colleges may set higher requirements. This information may be subject to change. Contact the Deputy Admissions Officer for further details
Applications are invited from mature applicants presenting QQI qualifications. Click here to see list of linked courses. In early August after the release of QQI results, places are allocated on the basis of merit, irrespective of age. However places on specific courses (MH107/ MH109/ MH801) are allocated in the first instance to non-mature students.
If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty and require examination support for the written assessments, please download the Request for Examination Supports Form. You should send in this completed form along with your supporting documentation to Bridget Gormley, Disability Office, MAP Lodge, North Campus, Maynooth University, Co. Kildare.
The closing date for requesting examination supports for mature and restricted entry entrance tests is 15th March 2018. Applications for examination supports after this date will not be considered.
Visit the Supporting Students with a Disability section of the website for further information about the supports we provide.
Mature applicants to MH001 Primary Education and MH002 Primary Education (Gaeltacht) must apply to CAO by 1 February of the year of entry.
A combined application process is run between Maynooth University, DCU and Marino Institute of Education. Application must be made to the CAO prior to February 1 2017. Candidates meeting the eligibility criteria will receive a supplementary application form.
For further information please contact the Admissions Office or the Froebel Department of Early Childhood and Primary Education.
Returning to education?
Many potential mature students opt for, or are required to take, a ‘preparatory course’ before embarking on a degree programme. These courses reintroduce students to the world of learning, while providing opportunities for gaining various important study skills such as note taking, writing, and research.
There are many different types of preparatory courses on offer to mature students. The course you choose may be dependent on course content, timing (part-time/full-time; day time/evening), cost, or where the course is held.
The following are the Foundation/Preparatory courses available at Maynooth University.
Fees for these Certificate courses are approximately €1000. For the Certificate in Science and Engineering, fees are waived for applicants who qualify for the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA).
Restricted courses must be added before the February 1st deadline and may not be added during the Change of Mind period. These must be included in your list of course choices before the February 1st deadline. Click here for information about restricted degree courses.