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Mature Students

  • Who is a mature student?

    Any applicant 23 years of age or over on 1st January in the year of entry to first year of a fulltime programme is considered to be a mature applicant. Dundalk Institute of Technology actively encourages applications on mature grounds and we reserve a minimum of 20% of places on all programmes for applicants who access the programme via the mature entry route.

    Mature students register on all programmes and contribute positively to academic and campus life. In recent years, mature students have represented approximately 15% of all first year entrants. We offer a specialised induction process for mature students on entry and provide a range of learning supports designed to assist mature students reach their full potential.

  • How to apply as a mature student?

    All mature students must apply to the Central Applications Office before 1st February or at Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway.   

    Applications must be made to the CAO by the 1st February deadline.  You will then have until just before 31st March to send any further documentation which may be required to the CAO - the deadline of 31st March is the date by which the information must be received by CAO - documentation posted on that date and possibly the date before (if in Ireland) will be received after the deadline and so will not be taken into account . After 31st March, DKIT staff will download documentation supplied to the CAO by that date and it will be forwarded to the relevant members of academic staff. Details of documentation that should be provided are provided below.

    NOTE: Please ensure that you write your CAO number clearly on every piece of documentation that you forward to CAO in order that it be added to your record. Your CAO number is unique to you. No documentation is to be sent to DkIT.

    NOTE: Programme-specific application advice is given below and all mature applicants are strongly advised to read this section of the website in its entirety.

    Please note that Nursing and Midwifery programmes are managed by the Nursing Board and mature entry route into these programmes is not managed by DkIT. Please contact the Nursing Careers Centre of the Nursing Board (tel. +353 (0)1 6398500) for information on the mature entry route onto nursing and midwifery programmes.

    Please note that for programme DK860 (BA Hons in Music) auditions are held for all applicants and the mature entry route into these programmes takes place as part of the audition process - the individual academic department contacts mature applicants directly. This is also the case for DK767 (BA in Community Youth Work) - all applicants are interviewed (mature and non-mature) - again, the individual academic department contacts mature applicants directly.


  • How do I decide which programme to apply for?

    It is important that you are able to make an informed choice. Our Admissions Handbook provided contact details of academic staff in each department. You should make contact with the relevant person – ideally, arrange a mutually convenient time to meet. You need to make sure that the programme is what you imagine it to be and that you are suited to it.


  • Do I have to apply to the CAO?

    Yes. All applicants, including mature applicants, must apply to the CAO by 1st February.

    All programmes for which you have applied at DkIT by 1st February will be assessed on mature grounds. (The CAO allows applicants to add more programme choices up until the 1st July but any programmes at DkIT added to your CAO record after 1st February will not be assessed on mature grounds).

    DkIT reserves a minimum of 20% of first year places on all programme for mature applicants who are academically prepared.

    Late applicants (i.e. those who apply after 1st February) would only be considered in the event that places remain unfilled on a programme in September. Please note there is no entitlement to assessment on mature grounds if your application is made to the CAO after 1st February.


  • How does the mature entry route operate?

    Mature applications are considered on the basis of Portfolio Assessment - quite simply, this means that the academic staff assess all documentation which you provide to the CAO by 31st March.

    Please ensure that you clearly write your CAO number on each piece of documentation which you provide to the CAO to ensure it is added to your CAO file.

    Note: your application must be made to the CAO by 1st February; however you have until 31st March to send further documentation to the CAO. (DkIT cannot accept documentation directly from the applicant, nor can documentation supplied to the CAO after 31st March be taken into account.)

    Every programme for which you apply to DkIT will be assessed on mature grounds.

    Due to the numbers of applications involved, it is not possible to provide individual guidance to applicants. The applicant should consider what documentation best supports his/her application. As a general guide, the following is required:

    • your education record to date (copies of examination transcripts, etc.)
    • relevant skills to date (copies of training certificates, CPD certificates, etc.)
    • your employment history and how it may be relevant to the programme you wish to study at DkIT (written employer references, etc.)

    As well as the above documentation, you should also send a personal statement(s) which outlines your reasons for choosing a programme(s) of study at DkIT and the ways in which your experience and achievements to date support your application. Your personal statement(s) should also outline your motivation and knowledge of the programme(s) and subsequent career paths.

    You may decide to send in one general personal statement or may choose to send in more than one personal statement (clearly marking each statement for a particular programme e.g. "Personal Statement for Vet Nursing" or you may choose to provide a personal statement for a group of programmes e.g. "Personal Statement for Business Programmes"). This is an individual choice for each applicant to make and DkIT cannot make recommendations to an applicant in this respect.

    The personal statement should make reference to the supporting documentation provided in order to clearly illustrate the points being made.

    Please note the following:

    In the interests of fairness and transparency, only information that is backed up by evidence will be taken into account. Evidence includes copies of employer references (which should ideally provide detail of the work you carried out and illustrate how this is relevant to the programme for which you wish to be considered at DkIT). Claims regarding academic achievement to date should be supported by certificates, examinations transcripts, academic references, etc. as appropriate. If you are currently studying for examinations, you are advised to supply an academic reference from someone who is currently teaching you. Please note that depending on the programme(s) for which you have applied to DkIT, some areas are considered particularly critical e.g. engineering programme staff look for evidence of mathematical proficiency, creative arts programme staff look for evidence of creative work to date, etc.

    Original documentation should not be sent to the CAO as it cannot be returned. Photocopies of documentation suffices -it is important that the photocopies are legible and of good quality.

     Applicants for programmes DK863 (BA Hons in Creative Media)DK864 (BA Hons in Film  & Television Production) and/or DK769 (BA in Creative Media) must submit a 500-700 word statement as part of their documentation. This statement must address the following questions:

    1) Why do you want to undertake this programme?

    2) What kinds of contemporary creative work do you enjoy and why?

    3) What creative activities have you been involved in over the last few years?

  • Will there be an interview?

    Academic staff assessing applications for Veterinary Nursing and for Social Care may decide to interview shortlisted applicants. Interviews will also take place for Arts. Shortlisting will apply based on documentation supplied by the applicant to the CAO. If you are to be called for interview, the academic staff involved will contact you directly. All queries regarding interviews should be directed to the relevant academic department and not to the Access Office.


  • Qualifications from Outside the Republic of Ireland

    For qualifications from outside the Republic of Ireland to be taken into account as part of the assessment of your application on mature grounds, you must provide a certified copy of the transcript in the original language and this document must show: the name of the examination, the name of the awarding body, the year of the award, the subjects taken and the grades received. If the original language is not English, a certified translation must also be provided. Both a certified copy of the original language version and the certified translation must be provided.

  • Proof of English language proficiency

    Applicants whose first language is neither English nor Irish and who do not hold a Leaving Certificate qualification or who have not undertaken their matriculation examinations through English are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 5.5 or equivalent is required for entry to level 6 and level 7 programmes and a proficiency score of 6.0 on the IELTS scale or equivalent is required for level 8 programmes.  The applicant should produce certified evidence of English language proficiency with their application where such is necessary in order or their application to be assessed.


  • When will I get the result of my application?

    The results of the Portfolio Assessment process are communicated to the CAO. All successful applicants will receive an offer through the CAO - usually in Round 0 or Round A of the CAO.

    However, if academic staff decide to make a conditional offer, the offer will not be made to the applicant until Round 1 of the CAO. Conditional offers are made when the academic staff are willing to offer a place to an applicant but wish to make the offer conditional on the applicant gaining certain grades in examinations which are yet to be taken (usually that year's Leaving Certificate and/or FETAC examinations).

    Unsuccessful applicants can email the Access Officer ( after 14th July in each year in order to obtain feedback from academic staff regarding their application. Please note that emails sent before this date will not be answered due to the volume of admissions queries when the earlier rounds of the CAO system are in operation. Please place the following words into the subject title of your email "Unsuccessful Mature Application - Feedback". In the interests of Data Protection, please ensure that you quote your CAO number in the email communication, that you use the name that you gave to CAO when you made your application, and that where possible, you use the email address that you gave to CAO. These stipulations exist to protect your information. Please note this facility only applies to programmes whose mature entry systems are managed by the Access Office. Queries on unsuccessful mature applications for nursing and midwifery programmes should be directed to the Nursing Board; likewise, such queries relating to Community Youth Work, Performing Arts and/or Applied Music should be directed to the relevant academic staff member (see our Undergraduate Prospectus and/or website for details).


  • Additional questions?

    Please feel free to contact:
    Eileen Lynch
    Access Officer
    +353-0429370236 ext. 2883


  • Late Applications to the CAO i.e. after 1st February and by 1st May late deadline.

    In order to ensure your application is considered on mature grounds you are advised to apply to the CAO for a programme at DkIT by the 1st February deadline. Applications made to the CAO after this date are only considered on mature grounds, with the agreement of academic staff, provided the mature quota on the programme has not been filled. (On high-demand programmes, the quota is filled by 1st February applicants.) Late applicants should ensure that they have all relevant documentation (see sections above) submitted to the CAO by 1st May - this documentation will be downloaded in the event that late applicants are to be considered on mature grounds; documentation submitted after this date cannot be taken into account.