Mature Applicants

In general you may be defined as a “Mature Student” if you are applying for first year and will be 23 years of age (or older) by the 1st January in the proposed year of entry. The term “Mature Student” has no meaning in relation to Advanced Entry.
Is there any advantage to applying as a Mature Student?
Yes. A limited quota of places is reserved specifically for Mature Students on all programmes. Mature candidates may be exempted from the standard minimum academic and can be admitted to this quota by random selection, regardless of whether or not they hold any qualifying exam results. Mature students can also compete, separately, for non-quota places based on their academic qualifications.
Will I have to start at the Bottom?
Not Necessarily.
Some mature applicants opt to start at year 1 and to study in full–time mode. If this is your preference you should apply for first year via the CAO., see below.
If you already have some form of Certified /Accredited Higher Education, you may be able to gain some exemptions.
If you have already successfully completed at least one year of Higher Education, in a programme closely related to the one for which you are applying, you may even be eligible Advanced Entry. Click here for information on Advanced Entry.
Even if you have no formal qualifications, if you can demonstrate that you have already achieved some of our required learning outcomes, say through work, self-study or even a via a hobby, you may be eligible have credit ascribed to this achievement and thus reduce you workload on registration. Click here for more information on Recognition of Prior Learning, (RPL).
How do I apply as a Mature Applicant for first year?
Mature applicants for first year should apply via the CAO system, preferably before 1st February.
We recommend that you apply via the internet, www.cao.ie.  It is cheaper, faster, and less error prone than paper-based applications. If you don't have internet access you can get a paper Application Form from: The CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway.
 What Supporting Documentation do I need to Supply?
  • Evidence of Age (Do not send the original Birth Certs., send copies).
  • Educational Qualifications/Certificates including:
    • Leaving Certificate,  yes - even if it was a long time ago, it may be important.
      • Mature applicants who did a Leaving Certificate examination in any year since 1985 should indicate the year and the exam number (if known) in the appropriate place on page 2 of the CAO application form.
      • If you did the Leaving Cert. before 1985, please  send a copy of the Cert
    • FETAC
      • If you did a FETAC course in 2002 give your exam /PPS number on  2.
      • If you did a FETAC course in 2001 or earlier, tick the box on page 3 of the CAO form and send copy certs
    • Other Educational Certificates/transcripts.   For instance, if you were previously in college but did not finish the course, you may have results for the years you completed..
    • If you are studying at the moment and awaiting results, on page 4 of the CAO application form please tell us what course you are taking and the date by which you expect to send your results to CAO.
    • Evidence of any Work, Training Courses, etc., that is relevant to the programme(s) for which you are applying
What is the CAO Closing Date for Mature Applicants?
Standard CAO closing dates apply:
On Time 5.15 February 1st This is the final date for applicants for any restricted programmes, including the mature nursing codes.
Late 5.15 May 1st It is more expensive to apply as a late applicant.
Applicants for any restricted codes, may not avail of this late date.
Any course for which you hope to be selected at random must be listed by this date.
Change of Mind 5.15. July 1st Application for restricted codes, may not be added at this point.
Any course added at this time will not be included in random selection.  Course for which you hope to be selected at random must be listed by May 1st.
You may add courses for which you have qualifying academic results.
Will there be an interviews or other form of assessment?
For most courses there is no interview or other form of assessment for mature applicants. Mature applicants may be either be offered a place via the Random Selection process on rounds A or Zero or, where applicable, they may be offered a place based on qualifying exam results on rounds 1 and later.
However, there is an additional assessment for those who apply for  mature nursing. After applying via the CAO, and receiving a CAO number, applicants for mature nursing must also register with PAS (the Public Appointments Service) and apply, via PAS, to take the assessment test for mature candidates. There are 4 steps required:
1. Apply to CAO
Apply via the CAO before February 1stat 5.15pm.
2. Register with PAS
Register with the PAS via the web site, www.publicjobs.ie.  You will need your CAO number, a valid e-mail address and you PPS number to complete registration.   You can register from February 15th. When you register with PAS you will be given a username and password which you should note for future reference. You will need these to access the PAS Message Board and to receive communications, confirmations and notifications from PAS.
3. Apply for Test
Having first registered as a PAS user, you must then access the application form for the nursing test.This will be available under the job category ‘Medical’, in the sub category ‘Nurse/Nurse Management’.  Complete and submit the application form. A correctly completed application form must be submitted before March 5th at 5.15pm
4. Check
If you apply correctly you should receive confirmation via email within 2 days.  After you have submitted the test application form, check the PAS message board, (located within your personal profile).  If your application has been successfully submitted you will receive a confirmation by email.  Retain a copy of this confirmation for our own records. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 2 days it is important to contact 01 8587480 immediately. 
If you fail to complete all steps correctly and on time your application will be invalid. 
The test normally takes place in April and there are usually 3 test  centres:-  Dublin, Galway and Cork.   An invitation to attend the test will be sent to you via you PAS message board in Mid April.   If you fail to attend the test your application will not be processed any further.
Results of the test will be available via the PAS Message Board in June.  
First offers will issue via the CAO in July.
Random Selection of Mature Candidates (for course other than nursing)
For all other programmes we have a limited quota of places reserved for applicants who are admitted on the basis or maturity only.  Selection for this quota takes place on Rounds A and Zero.  Once the May 1st late deadline has expired, all mature applicants on file at that time will be assigned a randomized  rankings for each course cited.   (Note:  this means mature applicants hoping to be selected for the random quota,  must have finalized their choices by May 1st.  Changes entered thereafter will not be included in random selection).  The rank order is worked out separately  for each course.  Thus an applicant who applies for several courses could be at the top of the ranking for one of their choices and at the bottom for another.  The rank order for each course is worked out at random by computer, it has nothing to do with either academic  results or preferences.   When making offers,  we start at the top of the randomized list for each course and work down through it until we fill the quota.  Random selection normally ends a round zero.
Mature Applicants Selected on Results.
Mature applicants who have qualifying exam results will also be eligible to enter a separate competition for non-quota places, on Round 1 and subsequent rounds.  Selection on Rounds 1 and later is competitive and is based on points from qualifying exams. Remember, you can only be included in these rounds if we have  evidence of your exam results.
What if I miss the Application Deadline?
After Round 1, if there are Available Places remaining on any programme, a new application window will open. In general Available Places are only open to applicants with qualifying exam results. These will get offers automatically and may quickly fill any Available Places. However, depending on demand, additional mature applicants may be considered for Available Places. Mature applicants are strongly advised not to depend on Available Places but to adhere to normal application deadlines.
When will I know if my Application has been Successful?
The earliest offers to mature applicants will issue on Round A, in July. There are several rounds of offers. If a quota/programme is not filled on one round then further offers will issue on subsequent rounds until the quota/course is full. Those presenting qualifying exam results who do not receive an offer in July should not panic. They may well receive an offer at a later date. However if you have not presented qualifying results and do not receive an offer on Rounds A or Zero, then you are unlikely to receive an offer.
The vast majority of offers issue on round 1, in mid August, after the Leaving Certificate results become available and ranking can be completed.
After Round 1, if you have still not received any offer, you can contact admission to find out your place on the waiting list.
RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)
ACCS (Accumulation of Credits and Certification of Subjects)
The Access Office and Mature Students
23% of students at LYIT are mature students. The Access Office provides some special services to Mature students, see the Access Office; for more information.
What about Fees/Grants etc.?
For student grant purposes,  student may be assessed as an independent mature student if
  • S/he  has attained the age of 23 on 1 January of the year of first entry to an approved course, (or of re-entry to education following a break in studies of at least three years) and
  • S/he has not ordinarily been resident with  parents or guardians from the previous October.
Otherwise s/he continues to be assessed on the basis of the parents' or guardians' income.
There’s more about fees here.
For more on grants see www.susi.ie or www.studentfinace.ie
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Updated: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:00:18 GMT