How to Apply

Application Procedure

Application Procedure

Am I a Mature Student?

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

Central Applications Office (CAO)

All interested applicants must make an application through the CAO to be considered for a place in UCC as a mature student. The CAO is an online application form that opens in early November and closes on 01 February each year.

Please check out the CAO website for more information on the application process as a mature student. There is a specific video guide for mature applicants, which can be accessed HERE. There is also an easy to understand presentation available HERE.


Statement of Interest/Personal Statement

Part 9 of the Mature Applicant section on the CAO application form asks you to provide a Statement of Interest. There is space here for 200 words (approx.).

In UCC, we require a more in depth Statement of Interest. We are looking for you to provide up to 1,500 words if the Statement is stated as a requirement (check out the entry requirements section for this information). This should be sent to the CAO by post, with any other documentation that you may be required to provide.

Please note that a Statement of Interest is not needed as part of the application for every course so please check to make sure it is relevant to you.

Important Information about the Statement of Interest

  1. Ensure that the Statement of Interest is no longer than 1,500 words.
  2. On the CAO application (Part 9) state that you have sent your Statement of Interest by post. If you are applying to more institutions than UCC, you should check with the institution's Admissions Office for their requirements.
  3. Always put your name and CAO number at the top of each page that you send by post to the CAO.
  4. You can only send one Statement by post. Therefore, if you are applying for more than one course in UCC, you will have to explain this within your Statement (see Anatomy of Statement of Interest below).
  5. This must be sent within 10 days of the closing date for CAO applications (01 February). We advise that you send by registered post to ensure it is uploaded on to your application.


Anatomy of the Statement of Interest

We offer the following for guidance purposes only. We strongly recommend that you research your course choices and get someone to proof read your statement before you send it to the CAO. Some of our courses require very specific information in the Statement. Make an appointment to speak with our Recruitment Officer if you are unsure about this part of the application, as it is very important.

Our advice is to formulate your Statement under the following 3 categories:

  1. Past – What has led you to this point where you have decided to return to education as a mature student. You should always remember to relate what you write here, to the course(s) that you are applying for.
  2. Present – Why this course(s), what do you know about the content and what makes you stand out as an ideal candidate (it is a competitive process so this is your opportunity to explain why you should be given a place). If you are putting more than one UCC course choice on your CAO application, you should use distinct headings to explain why you are applying for each individual course.
  3. Future – What are your overall aspirations? What do you plan to do once you complete the degree programme? For some, this will be easy to explain. However, we always advise applicants to be open minded about this part of the Statement. The process of pursuing a degree is at least three years so your future goals can change dramatically in this time.

External Assessment Tests

Entry in to 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).


External Examinations 

MSAP – Required for entry to our undergraduate programmes in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Click HERE for further information. 


NMBI Nursing – Entry requirement for all mature student nursing applicants. You can find out more HERE. 


HPAT – Entry requirement for all mature student applications to Medicine (CK701). Click HERE for further information 

Internal Assessment Tests

A number 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. Further details can be found HERE. 


CK112 Drama and Theatre Studies - Further details can be found HERE. 



Some of our courses require an interview. You will find this information in the Entry Requirements section HERE 

There is also information on interview techniques on our Career’s Service website HERE. 

Mature Student Office

Oifig na Mac Léinn Lánfhásta

Room 1.10, The Hub, College Road, Cork, T12YF78