So you're thinking of starting a degree in UCD?

You probably have lots of questions, anxieties and, because you don’t have easy access to the types of guidance available to school-leavers, concerns that you might miss some vital information.

We admit hundreds of mature students every year aged from their twenties to well past retirement age and we are available to help YOU start your journey to a degree, both before and after you enter UCD.

The information below is an overview but you will need to look at the specific requirements for the courses(s) you are interested in at the Course Specific Requirements page

How old do I have to be?

If you are at least 23 years of age on 1 January of the year you want to enter, you can apply on grounds of mature years.

To enter in September 2023, you must have been born on or before 1 January 2000.

How do I make sure this is the right decision for me?

There is lots of information available to help you on this website but we would also recommend that you visit UCD either as part of a formal session or by arranging a personal visit.

UCD Open Day: Saturday 12 November 2022


How do I apply as a mature student?

To apply as a mature student to UCD, please follow these five steps: 

1: Research the courses offered by UCD and their requirements for mature applicants

The first step is to research what is on offer and decide which courses are best suited to your skills and interests. Take a look at the range of courses on offer in UCD. The UCD Undergraduate Prospectus gives detailed information on UCD courses plus additional relevant information for applicants.

The requirements for courses vary so please see the Course Specific Information section which gives details of what you need to do to apply.

2: Read the additional information for Mature Applicants

You will find detailed information on the requirements to apply for each degree programme as a mature applicant in the Course Specific Information section.

3: Apply to the CAO by 1 February

Applications to UCD on the grounds of mature years are made via the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

Full details of the application process and payment for EU applicants are available on the CAO website.

If you are a non-EU applicant you should visit the UCD Global website for information on applying to UCD.

Some courses may accept late applications until 1 May. Please note that late applications are subject to availability of places.

There is no separate application to UCD, although some courses require specific additional information or assessments (see below).

4: Apply for Assessments (if required)

Several courses in UCD require mature applicants to complete an assessment as part of the application process:

  • MSAP-Ireland (for Arts, Social Science, Law, Agricultural Science and Science applicants)
  • HPAT-Ireland (for undergraduate Medicine applicants)
  • Nursing Written Assessment - Please see Nursing Careers for details

5: Provide Supporting Documents

As a mature applicant you are seeking to be assessed for entry on more than just your academic qualifications. This means that you will need to provide supplementary information in addition to your completed CAO application form.

Information such as a CV, personal statement, certificates of any courses previously taken, or examination results (where necessary) should be sent to the CAO within 7 working days of completing your CAO application and no later than 15 February.

Detailed information on the requirements for each course can be found in the Course Specific Information  section. In particular, some courses require you to submit a separate Personal Statement.

To assist you in formatting your statement we have provided a Personal Statement Template

N.B. Applications are usually forwarded to the relevant Programme Boards for consideration in early March so it is important you submit your documents in good time, to ensure they are seen by the Programme Board.

If you have completed school leaving examinations, you may also be eligible to compete on points. If you completed the Irish Leaving Certificate in 1986 or later please ensure that you include your examination number in your CAO application. If the exams were taken prior to 1986, or are from another country, you should include an official copy of your results. Mature applicants can be considered on multiple grounds (e.g. mature, QQI-FET, Leaving Certificate) so please ensure you provide all relevant results.

Where can I find out more?

Applying as a Mature Student   Access Routes   Supports for Mature Students
Graduate Entry Routes   Important Dates   Finance
Personal Statement   Requirements for each Course   Frequently Asked Questions
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