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Preparing for third-level study

There are a number of key things which you can do to prepare yourself to make an application to UL as a mature student:

Have a look at the UL Prospectus to see the variety of programmes on offer and think about what area(s) are of most interest to you. Is it engineering, science, health, humanities, business, education - or it may even be a combination of these? Take time to look at the detail of the programmes and not just the titles, as the information the title provides you with can be limited. Look at how a programme is structured, what subjects are taught, when and where work placement (Co-Op) takes place, whether there are specific entry requirements (e.g. Higher Leaving Cert maths for Engineering) and what career options are available afterwards.

If you are interested in where a particular degree may take you, have a look at the Using Your UL Degree page on the Co-Operative Education and Careers website.

Check out the entry routes and application processes for various HEIs across Ireland here - MSI Mature Students Ireland Admissions Summary 2018

UL will host a Virtual Open Day on Friday 12th & Saturday 13th October 2021. 

More information to follow shortly.  


If it has been a long time since you did your Leaving Cert, or if you didn’t complete your formal schooling when you were younger, it can be a good idea to consider doing some preparatory study before applying for a degree programme. By doing this, you will get an opportunity to build up your confidence, particularly in relation to your learning skills. It can also give you the opportunity to experience the commitment required to undertake study on a full-time basis.

Useful courses to undertake can be third-level ‘access’ courses such as UL's Mature Student Access Certificate,

FETAC programmes (offered by post-leaving cert colleges or adult education centres - see below), or Leaving Certificate subjects which can be studied for either independently or through your local adult education centre or VTOS programme.

UL has developed a number of entry routes to first year of undergraduate degree programmes for students who have achieved a relevant QQI award. These entry routes are to a range of programmes in the Humanities, Nursing and Business disciplines. While mature students are not required to have prior qualifications prior to applying to UL, the information on linked programmes in these disciplines may be useful to mature students who are considering undertaking some preparatory study before starting on a degree programme. Further information on these QQI linked programmes is available from the Admissions Office

Having basic computer skills before you start on a degree programme will make your life so much easier! Computer skills really are a 'life skill' when it comes to studying in third-level. It is highly recommended, if you do not currently have good computer skills, that you undertake some basic computer skills courses before starting your degree programme as these skills will be invaluable to you during your time at UL and will give you much more confidence when starting in first year.