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Mature Student Entry

Mature Student Support Decorative Banner | Two students walking the grounds of UCC

Welcome to our information hub for mature students. This page is designed to provide you with all the information you need to understand the opportunities and process for mature students at University College Cork. Whether you are considering returning to education or starting a new journey, we are here to support you every step of the way. By reading this content, you will gain insights into the application process, statement of interest requirements and available support resources.

Investing your time here will ensure you are well-equipped to make an informed decision about your educational future at University College Cork.

Please follow the links below to locate the specific information you need on this page.

Am I a Mature Student?

In University College Cork, a mature student is someone aged 23 years or above on 01 January in the year of entry; who wishes to pursue a full-time undergraduate degree programme. 

How Do I Apply?

All interested applicants must make an application through the Central Applications Office (CAO). 

The CAO is an online application form that opens in early November and closes on 01 February each year. 

How Can I Contact Mature Student Support?

Mature Student Support is located in the Access Department on the 1st floor, The Hub Building, UCC Main Campus, College Road, Cork, UCC.

Please get in touch with with your full name, surname and CAO number if you have any queries, and we will get back to you within 1-2 working days during regular daytime office hours.


Statement of Interest

Below, you will find information about our application process. Simply click on the question below to reveal the answer in the accordion menu.

Your statement is submitted as part of your application. It is possibly the single most important document that you will write to gain entry to UCC. It is a letter, job application and interview all in one. 

The most useful information to include is your previous work experience (paid or voluntary capacity) and any life experience that is relevant to your chosen course. Your aim should be to demonstrate to the university that you really want to study your chosen course. 

It can be helpful to write about your aims, what you hope to gain from your course, and your long-term plans if you were to get your chosen course.

Part 9 of the Mature Applicant section on the CAO application form asks you to provide a Statement of Interest. The space allocated here is approximately 200 words. This space is not sufficient to allow the academics assessing your application to make a decision on your readiness for a full-time degree. We ask that you provide a Statement of Interest of up to 1500 words to support your application. This must be then posted to the CAO making sure you clearly state your CAO number on the top of every page. 

Book an appointment on our homepage to discuss your application with our Support Officers

  • Show your motivation and enthusiasm to study your chosen course. 
  • Show your academic enthusiasm – hopefully, you have already demonstrated this to your school / college through examination results or your life experience to date. 
  • Show non-academic achievement. The university wants to know what kind of person you are. This could include insights into your personality, interests, achievements, and relevant work experience. 
  • To clearly state how you meet the entry requirements (if applicable). 

Find out as much as possible about your chosen course and structure your personal statement under the following headings: 

  • Why – why have you chosen this course? 
  • What – what have you done to demonstrate your passionate interest in the course? 
  • Academic – how do your academic subjects/results relate to this course? 
  • Interests – what have you learned from your activities that is relevant to your chosen course and university life? 
  • Future – what do you plan to do on completion? This does not have to be set in stone 
  • Conclusion – what personal experience or ambitions can you link to your chosen course to give your personal statement a sense of completion. 

Information on Tests and Interviews

Entry into some of our undergraduate programmes is only possible on completion of an examination. The list below provides confirmation of which examination is relevant to which course(s). 

MSAP – Up until 2023, the MSAP exam was required for entry to our undergraduate programmes in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences. From 2024 onwards this will be replaced by a new internal assessment. More information will be added here soon. 

NMBI Nursing – Entry requirement for all mature student nursing applicants. 

HPAT – Entry requirement for all mature student applications to Medicine (CK701). 

Some of our degree programmes require mature students to sit specific in-house tests. You will be contacted directly by the relevant department in UCC with details of these tests, if applicable to you. 

CK104 Arts with Music – Music Entrance Test Information

CK112 Drama and Theatre Studies - Follow this link for further details.  

Some of our courses require an interview. Follow this link for further information in the Entry Requirements section.   

There is also information on interview techniques on our Careers Service website.

Further Information

CAO Mature Applicants

Explore the CAO Website

Find Out More

Undergraduate Mature Entry Requirements

Admissions Office webpage for the Mature Student Application process

Find Out More

Access UCC

First Floor, The Hub, Main Campus, UCC, T12 YF78,