We have set out below an overview submitting an application to the CAO as a Mature Student and information on the assessment tests that may apply to your chosen course.
To be considered as a mature student, you must have reached 23 years of age on or before 1st January of the year of proposed entry.
Applications are made through the Central Applications Office (CAO) Tower House, Eglinton St., Galway. Tel: +353 (0)91 509 800.
All applications should be made online at www.cao.ie
It is important to note that the application closing date for the 2019 Mature Entry Route will be 5.15pm on the 1st February 2019. Applications open early November 2018.
When completing your application make sure that you select Option 8 for Mature Applicants in the Qualifications and Assessment Summary (see image below). Note: Mature students can also apply on the basis of their Leaving Certificate results (post 1985) if they have the required CAO points for entry to the degree programme of choice and/or on the basis of a FETAC/QQI Level 5 or 6 course undertaken. You are allowed to submit your application under all three pathways if you so wish and you can do this by selecting options 1 and 2 of this section.
When you have specified that you are applying as a Mature Student you will be required to complete a statement of interest. The importance of the statement of interest cannot be underestimated as in some cases it is the sole basis for selecting successful applicants for certain degree programmes.
When completing the statement of interest the following areas should be included if applicable:
- Relevant life experience
- Educational goals and objectives
- Relevant work experience
- Voluntary work experience
- Previous academic history
- Hobbies and interests
You also have the option to send hard copies of your statement of interest by post, if you feel that you do not have sufficient space online. Please include any documentation that is relevant to the application. Remember to send copies of your documentation and not originals as you will not get them returned to you. Include your name and CAO number on all additional documentation sent to the CAO. Further details on completing the statement of interest can be found in the CAO handbook on www.cao.ie.
MSAP assessment for admission to the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Mature students applying to the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences (all course codes from CK101 to CK118) must complete a written assessment - Mature Student Admissions Pathway (MSAP). This will consist of a two hour paper designed to determine the candidate's verbal reasoning; candidates will also be required to complete two short essays. The MSAP is independently administered by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research). Click this link for further information.
Application procedure and cost:
In addition to their application to the CAO, students must also apply directly to ACER to complete the MSAP assessment. Applicants for the assessment must apply on-line to ACER at www.msap.acer.edu.au. The cost of applying for the MSAP assessment in 2018 will be €78.00 per candidate within the normal registration period. This fee will cover on-line registration for the test, materials required for the paper test, provision of test results to the candidate and the transfer of results to the CAO.
For students with a Disability click here
MSAP test registration period:
The only sitting of the MSAP assessment in 2019 will take place in early March 2019. There will be no alternative assessment date.
Details of the exam time and venue will be send to applicants by the MSAP organisers.
The application period for the MSAP registration will commence in early November 2018 and will close in early February 2019. Late registration will incur an extra cost.
Test centres will be located in Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Galway (details of your test centre will be emailed to you by ACER closer to the test date). Every effort will be made to accommodate applicants in their preferred test centre. However, as capacity in some test centres may be limited, places in those venues will be allocated on a first-come basis. Early application for the test is advisable.
The test date for the MSAP will be in early March 2019.
HPAT assessment for entry to the Honours degree in Medicine CK 701
The admissions test selected by Irish Medical Schools is called HPAT-Ireland (Health Professions Admissions Test-Ireland). This test is independently administered by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research). The HPAT-Ireland test measures a candidate's logical reasoning and problem solving skills as well as non-verbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people. It does not test academic knowledge and candidates do not require special understanding of any academic discipline. However, some familiarity with the question types typically presented in HPAT-Ireland would be an advantage and therefore sample questions will be available at www.hpat-ireland.acer.edu.au. The test results will be the criterion for the selection of mature applicants for interview.
Format of test:
The HPAT-Ireland test is a 2-hour paper-based test consisting of three modules or sections:
(i) Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving
(ii) Interpersonal Understanding
(iii) Non-Verbal Reasoning
All questions are in multiple choice format with 4 or 5 possible responses, from which the candidate is asked to choose the most appropriate response. There is only one correct response. Further details regarding the test, including the approximate number of questions in each section, can be found at www.hpat-ireland.acer.edu.au Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with a physical and/or specific learning disability.
Scoring of test:
Each of the three sections of the test is given equal weight. The maximum score a candidate can receive is 300. In addition to their overall score, HPAT-Ireland candidates will also receive an overall percentile rank to give them an indication of how well they performed against other HPAT-Ireland candidates.
Application procedure and cost:
In addition to their application to the CAO students must also apply directly to ACER to complete the HPAT-Ireland test. Applicants for the test will apply on-line to ACER at www.hpat-ireland.acer.edu.au. The cost of applying to the HPAT-Ireland test in 2018 will be approximately €135.00* per candidate. This fee will cover on-line registration for the test, materials required for the paper test, provision of test results to the candidate and the transfer of results to the CAO.
HPAT test registration period:
Registration opens in early November 2017 at a cost of approximately €135*.
The closing date for registration will be 5.15pm on the 20th January 2018.
Late registration closing date will be at 5.15pm on the 24th February 2018 at a cost of approximately €205*.
The very late registration closing date will be at 5.15pm on the 3rd February 2018 at a cost of approximately €235*.
The only sitting of the HPAT-Ireland test in 2018 will take place on the 24th February 2018. There will be no alternative assessment date.
Test centres will be located in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford (details to be confirmed). Every effort will be made to accommodate applicants in their preferred test centre. However, as capacity in some test centres may be limited, places in those venues will be allocated on a first-come basis. Early application for the test is advisable.
*Subject to change
Some UCC degree programmes require Mature Students to sit a specific in-house assessment test. In these situations you will be contacted directly by the relevant department with the details of the test.
Here are the UCC degrees that will require you to sit an in-house assessment test:
CK104 - Arts - Music (Click here for more information)
CK112 - Drama & Theatre Studies (Click here for more information)
CK210 - Government
CK301 - Law
CK302 - Law & French
CK307 - Law & Business
If you have any questions with regard to this you should contact the faculty or course coordinator directly. Click here for contact information.
Having applied through the CAO by 5.15pm on 1 February 2018, Mature Applicants must also register and apply through the PAS between specific dates (tba) in 2018, via the Public Jobs website www.publicjobs.ie. This is required as the PAS undertakes the assessment on behalf of NMBI (http://www.nmbi.ie/Home). Firstly you must log-on to www.publicjobs.ie and if you have not previously registered and you are a New User you must ‘Register’ before applying. The PAS undertakes the assessment stage on behalf of NMBI, you therefore must remember your User Name and Password for this process. Please do not confuse Registering with Applying. Once you have registered you must then access the application form, complete and submit it. Failure to register and apply may lead to disqualification of your application. The application form will only be available on www.publicjobs.ie between specific dates (tba) in 2018, under the job category ‘Medical’, sub category ‘Nurse/Nurse Management’ To register and apply with the PAS you should have to hand your CAO number, a valid e-mail address and your Personal Public Service (PPS) number (if you have one). Please note that once you have applied, you are advised to check your Message Board (located within your personal profile) for communications from PAS.
Please note: your application will be invalid if you do not complete all three steps
1. Apply to CAO;
2. Register with PAS;
3. Apply to PAS for assessment test.
Applicants will receive an immediate email confirming that their application has been successfully submitted. This message should be retained. If the confirmation email is not received within two days please contact General Service Recruitment in the PAS at (01) 858 7730 immediately.
Please note that this application will only be available between specific dates (tba) in 2018.
The booklet can be downloaded from the NMBI website (here)or obtained via post from:
Nursing Careers Centre, An Bord Altranais, 18/20 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
Tel: +353 (0)1 639 8528
Please click here for the Programme Requirements, Application and Selection Methods and other details about your preferred degree(s).