Frequently Asked Questions

Click below for more information.

When do I qualify to become a Mature Student?

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. The mature student entry route refers to full-time undergraduate students only. To be considered for 2020 entry you must have been born before 1st of January 1997.

How do I apply?

Applications are made through the Central Applications Office (CAO) Tower House, Eglinton St., Galway.    
Tel: +353 (0)91 509 800. An application may be made online at

All applications for full-time degrees at NUI Galway go through the CAO only; You do not need to apply directly to NUI Galway. 

All applications must be submitted before the 1st of February 2020 in order to be considered on the grounds of mature.  Applications after this date are considered on a points basis only

When do I apply?

The latest date for applications is 1st of February of the year in which you wish to commence your studies. However, it is recommended that you submit your application by mid-January. If you apply online before the 20th of January there is a discounted rate.

How can I improve my chances of getting a place in NUI Galway?

Put time and effort into your CAO application. Your completed form is an important component of the selection process. Pay particular attention to the final page of the form where you are asked for details of your education, life experience, hobbies etc. The question on your educational goals and objectives is particularly important in the assessment of your application. Please supply additional pages with your application if necessary, particularly for Health Sciences. Please read the Mature Students Guide 2020  for a detailed account of the criteria or assessments involved in the degree you wish to study.

How do I find out more about NUI Galway and about degree programmes?

See the Undergraduate List of Programmes for details on all degrees. Attend Open Days and Information Sessions listed at:

Is there any financial assistance available for Mature Students?

There are various schemes designed to enable you to participate in the degree programme.

Fees for degree programmes in NUI Galway consist of three elements; Tuition, Student Contribution Charge and Student Levy. The Government Free Fees Initiative means that tuition, by far the major component of fees, is free for all fulltime, non-repeat students from Ireland and European Union countries who do not already hold a degree and who have been resident in an EU Member State for three of the last five years.

If you are eligible for and receive a Local Authority Higher Education Grant, the Registration component of the fee, €3,000 in 2019 will be covered by the grant. The Student Levy Fee, in 2019 is €224 and must be paid by you.

For information on eligibility for Susi Grants you must see

Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) is also available for some students who have been in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for at least 9 months prior to starting college. Also if you have been awarded statutory redundancy and are entitled to one of the qualifying social welfare payments you may be eligible for the Back to Education Allowance.  Please click here for more information.

Further information on Fees is available from:

Practical Preparation

No amount of written information can really convey to you what it will be like to study at NUI Galway. You should visit the campus to see for yourself, to look at the facilities and to explore the environment. NUI Galway hosts annual University Open Days on October 5th and 6th which Mature Students are most welcome to attend.

As a starting point it may be useful to check out the Mature Students Guide 2020‌, which is available from the Mature Students Office and is also available on this web site. This gives information about degree programmes, assessments,entry requirements, application and selection procedures and financial support.  

Does NUI Galway have many Mature Students?

In 2019, NUI Galway took in over 102 mature students.

How do I find out which degree programmes are most suitable for me?

You must research your options. Read the Prospectus in full at and talk with Adult Guidance Counsellors in your area or set up an appointment with the Mature Students Officer.

How will I find my way around campus?

You will be given tours of the campus during Orientation week.

If circumstances allow do try to visit the university campus before registration.  The environment is easier to explore in the summer months when it is infinitely less crowded and consequently easier to identify buildings and facilities

How can I meet other Mature Students?

There is an active Mature Students Society that is run by students for students. They organise social events and activities and have links to Mature Students Societies in other Universities.

How can I avoid common pitfalls?

A major factor in non-completion of degrees is the question of inadequate financial preparation. Prospective students are urged to investigate the expenses involved in entering university and to plan accordingly.  Depending on your circumstances, coping financially may present difficulties, but don't let these problems automatically deter you. The secret of success is adequate preparation and many mature students have successfully coped with the financial demands imposed by the change in lifestyle involved in becoming a student. 

Mature students are likely to have more responsibilities than their school-leaving fellow students and should prepare partners and family members for the changes resulting from the return to education. It is vital to obtain support from those who play an important part in your life as without it the transition to the academic world may present difficulties.

In NUI Galway we encourage you to invite a partner, family member or supportive friend to a social function during Mature Student Orientation so that they can experience, in some small way, the environment in which you have committed to spending the next few years of your life.

Does NUI Galway provide services for students with disabilities?

There is a dedicated Disability Officer on campus. Details are available on the Student Support Website. See

Can I talk to anyone if I have problems?

There is a dedicated Counselling Service on campus, academic advisors, mentors and others to whom you can speak.

Does NUI Galway have any accommodation on campus?

NUI Galway offers Student Accommodation and has many student residences. See for more information.

Does NUI Galway provide careers advice?

NUI Galway has a Careers Centre for registered students only. 

Is there a creche at NUI Galway?

There is a creche just off campus. For more information call 091-493739

Tell me more about the library service at NUI Galway.

For more information on Library Services see

Tell me more about sports facilities at NUI Galway.


Tell me more about the Student Union.

The Students' Union provide a wide range of services and support for students.  See

Do I have to do an Access Course completed before  applying as a mature student?

If you do not meet the criteria listed on the Degree Programmes section on this website then an Access Course or further education is advised. 

Can I add new courses on to my CAO application after I have submitted it?

You must have all your choices on your CAO application by the 1st of February.  Once submitted, the CAO will send you a notification of your course choices.  Only at this point you may add new courses.  You cannot add new courses after this.  You may only re-order your choices.

How do I defer a programme?

Do not accept your offer but go to, and complete the on-line deferral application and submit.

What career is there for me after my chosen studies?

Please read the Postgraduate Prospectus for career options.

Can I do a degree part-time?

To find information on pursuing a part-time degree please see our Adult Education page.

How many hours will I be at lectures per day?

Student Information Desk for sample timetables. Pending on the subject selection and the degree programme timetables may vary.

When do I get offered a place? 

Mature Students are offered their places in Early July. Acceptances must be accepted by the specified date on the CAO notification of offer slip.

Where can I get my Leaving Cert results?

You can get these from the State Examinations Commission.  See below:

Applying for a copy of your exam results

To request a certified statement of examination results from the State Examinations Commission you can either apply online or download and complete an exam statement application form (pdf). Your application should specify the following personal details:

  • Full name of the candidate
  • Name at the time of the examination (if different)
  • Current address
  • Day-time telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Year of examination
  • Name and address of school attended
  • Examination number (if known)

Paper application forms should be sent together with the fee of €13.50 (if applicable) to the State Examinations Commission at the address below.

Where to Apply:

State Examinations Commission

Tel: +353 (0)90 644 2700
Fax:+353 (0)90 644 2744

Can I make a late application?

Please note that it is not possible to consider late applications on grounds of Mature Years. However, one may submit an application up to May 1st, 2020 to be considered on the basis of School Leaving Certificate results only and compete for a place on points in competition with all other applicants and in accordance with the faculty and N.U.I. regulations and the selection scheme of the University.
Application by this method is also through the Central Applications Office.

I was at third level before and completed a level 7 degree. Can I do a Level 8 degree now?

The level 8 degree must be an add on to your existing Level 7 degree.

I started a Level 8 degree previously but dropped out before completing. Does this affect my CAO application?

This will not affect your CAO application. However, please note in order to avail of Free Tuition Fees and Grants you must be over 5 years out of this programme to qualify again.

I hold a Level 8 Honours Degree and now wish to pursue another degree as a mature student, what is the procedure?

Mature entry to undergraduate degrees is generally for students who do not have a degree already.  The reason for this is as you hold an honours degree already you will be liable for all tuition fees of another degree at the same level.  Also there is no funding through grants for studying  another degree even if it was elsewhere in the world or from several years ago. The fees of the course can be seen at . If you can afford to study a second degree then apply in the normal way as a mature applicant through the CAO or look into postgraduate options.

Do I need evidence of English Proficiency in may CAO application?

Nursing and Medicine degrees only require evidence of IELTS 6.5 in all components if English is not your first language.

I have FETAC qualifications, can I apply as a Mature Student and on the results of my FETAC qualifications?

Yes you may apply through both routes in the one CAO application.  However not all FETAC courses are recognised for entry. To see if your qualifications are valid please see

I have been shortlisted to the Multiple Mini Interview for Medicine. What does this mean?

Click 2020 Mature Entry to Medicine on the MMI.


  • Mature Students Guide 2020

    Mature Students Guide 2020 PDF (16MB)

  • Access Diploma Programmes Guide 2020

    Access Diploma Programmes Guide 2020 PDF (16MB)

  • QQI

    QQI PDF (16 MB)