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Mature Student Access Certificate

The Mature Student Access Certificate (MSAC) is a one year full-time pre-degree course designed for mature students who wish to develop or refresh key learning skills, and to undertake some foundation level academic studies, before applying directly for a degree programme.

Applications for the Mature Student Access Certificate 2020 programme are now closed. If you would like to put your name on our mailing list for the 2021-22 Academic year, please email the Mature Student Office: 

Check out our Maths for STEM Certificate here.

(updated 12.10.20)


The programme is open to mature students who, for reasons of social, financial or cultural disadvantage, were unable previously to avail of a third-level education.

  • Candidates must be at least 22 years of age on or before 1st January 2021 to be considered eligible for the 2021-22 course.
  • Candidates must have been resident in an EU/EAA/Swiss States for at least two of the previous four years.

The MSAC gives you an opportunity to develop core skills which will be very useful to you in third-level, such as study skills and IT skills, as well as giving you an opportunity to study a specialist subject area such as Humanities, Business, Science or Engineering. You also get to experience life on campus in UL as a full-time registered student before committing to a full four years of study on a degree programme.

The next available MSAC commences in September 2021.

Applications are now closed. Information for next years programme will be made available from January 2021.

Please email ( if you wish to be including on our mailing list. 

There are 18 programmes to which direct progression is offered from the Mature Student Access Certificate. The progression opportunities available are dependent on the elective you complete on the MSAC.

"UL has a world class reputation and pursuing a degree here is a great step to a successful career. Doing the Access course at the university better prepared me for a degree here than say one elsewhere. It exposes you to the UL environment gradually...Without question the best decision I have taken."

"The location gives you a great idea of what studying in UL would be like, and you can hit the ground running next year as you know the lay of the land. The direct access from this course is good motivation to do well also."

"I believe I have access in this institution to the best educators and facilities that are available. Also it is great to achieve a Certificate from a University. All of the tutors and admin staff really have the best interests of the students at heart. All of them have been there to assist at all times."

"All lectures are excellent, the course management is very good, the course is an introduction to college life and I find it fitting that I am not over-loaded with study. There I feel that the amount of material fed to me is bang-on."