Mature Student

Making the decision to return to education, after a number of years, is not easy.  At this stage you have more than likely put a lot of thought into it, and no doubt you have put off making the final decision several times!  Don’t despair! You are not alone!

Returning to learning, especially to third level, is a big step.  It is hard work, but it is a fascinating and worthwhile journey.  It is a most rewarding and fulfilling experience.


Take a look at this article written by a mature student:
It’ll All Come Together in the End


Maynooth is the perfect environment for mature students. It is Ireland’s only University town which means you can escape the hassle of long city commutes or you can use the handy bus and rail links to the Campus.

Our unique, historic and beautiful campus is the ideal location for reflection and  learning.

During your time in Maynooth we will support and assist you in your new life as a student. We have a Mature Student Society where you can meet friends and catch up on what’s happening at the society coffee mornings.

The Pontifical University has close links with Maynooth University (National University of Ireland Maynooth).  Both universities share the same campus and facilities.

We have a crèche on campus.  Other supports include counselling, academic support, disability/access office, career development centre, and a medical centre.

Are you a Mature Student candidate?

If you are 23 years of age or over on 1st January in the year of proposed entry, and you do not fulfil ordinary entry requirements, you may apply for matriculation on the basis of mature years.  In other words, you can apply for one of our courses as a mature applicant even though you may not have completed a Leaving Certificate.

Applications are processed through the CAO, by 1st February. Late applications will be accepted up until the CAO late application closing date of 1st May.

Please contact the Admissions Office before submitting a late application or before entering our courses on your CAO application using the Change of Mind Facility after 1st May. An application fee is applicable when applying through the CAO. All mature applicants will be interviewed.

For more information on applying as a mature student, contact the Admissions & Marketing Officer
Ms Barbara Mahon
Tel: (01) 708 4772


  • Interviews for mature applicants will be held in March 2017.  All mature applicants are invited for interview.



Student Testimonials:

Michael Ormonde
Graduate (BATh)

Michael OrmondeI have just finished my three years of lectures and am about to sit my final exams. In the past three years I have had the most fulfilling, exciting and rewarding time of my life. Studying at St Patrick’s College Maynooth has been an exhilarating experience. When I first started, all the apprehension and nervousness was very quickly dispelled and I felt at ease with fellow students and the tutors and lecturers. In St. Patrick’s, making you feel welcome and the willingness to help you seems to be as important as the academic training. As a mature student I thought the fitting in would have been difficult, but I could not have been more wrong.

My three years here have been, as I said, rewarding. As part of that reward, as well as the academic training, I have gotten to know many new friends in both fellow students and lecturers. I have to say that I was never apprehensive in asking either students or lecturers for help and assistance, as their willingness to help was always forthcoming.

I shall be sad when I am finished but I look forward to my graduation in November. My memories of St Patrick’s College will live with me forever. I am delighted to have studied the two subjects that I am passionate about, theology and philosophy. It is true what is said that if you are studying something you love it is half the battle. I will be forever indebted to all my fellow students and all my lecturers and tutors, without whose help I could not have achieved so much.


Terry Judge
Graduate (BATh)

Terry JudgeI had always wanted to study Theology and History. So when it came to choosing a university, after reviewing all of the options, it soon became clear to me that St. Patrick’s College Maynooth was the best choice. But the thoughts of returning to College as a mature student, years after l had left school, filled me with apprehension. Yet any fears I had quickly evaporated. Before I knew it, St. Patrick’s College was a home away from home. In its sublime surroundings, I found a place that welcomed students of all ages. In the relaxed atmosphere I quickly settled in and made some great friends without whose support and help I doubt whether I could have got through.

But the real secret of St. Patrick’s is its lecturers. They were a great support, which for someone who had been out of formal education for years was absolutely crucial. Brilliant scholars and communicators, they were as engaging as they were encouraging. Always approachable, no matter what my question, they never made me feel stupid. Studying Theology under their guidance has been a profoundly enriching and enlivening experience. I have as a result begun to really appreciate the depth and richness of my Catholic faith, and grown immeasurably in confidence. I also have a degree, which sometimes I still can’t believe. I can honestly say that these three years have been the best in my life. I simply cannot recommend highly enough to any mature person the study of Theology, at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.

Yvonne Myles
Graduate (International Award BATh) – Erasmus student, Salamanca, Spain

Yvonne Myles

Making the decision to go on an Erasmus year was a difficult one for me. As a single mother with responsibilities I knew I was not the typical student to avail of this opportunity. However, opportunity was the key word for me and I knew a chance to study at one of the most prestigious colleges in Spain would not come my way again. Therefore, I made the decision to go and I brought my nine year old daughter Abby and our dog Toto.

Arriving in Madrid, we got the train to Salamanca and began the search for accommodation. One thing that was noticeable from the outset was the sheer beauty of the city. Also known as the city of gold, Salamanca resembled an old Roman film set. When I saw the Pontifica for the first time I was in awe at its beauty and felt so grateful at the chance to study there. Although I was initially worried by the lack of spoken English it was the best environment to improve my Spanish. The staff at the Pontificia were very welcoming and the Erasmus co-ordinators in Ireland and Salamanca were always at hand to help with any issues. There is a wonderful “Departamento de Idiomas para Extranjeros” where classes are held throughout the year. I would highly recommend these classes unless you have a very good level of Spanish. There is a fee, however, it is a reduced for Erasmus students. Credits from the language courses can be earned to go towards your total ECTs for the year. In second semester I focussed on Theology when my level of Spanish improved. Although it was still a huge challenge the teachers and students were very friendly and encouraging. My daughter and I took part in monthly trips organised by the college and were supported and included in everything.

Going to Salamanca for my Erasmus year proved a challenge but it was one of the best years of my life. I would highly recommend that students avail of the opportunity as not only will you broaden your Theological studies, you will also engage with a different culture and language. No doubt by the end of the year the people, the place and the experience will retain a special place in your heart that will last a lifetime.

Studying Theology has been a life-changing experience for me. I cannot recommend it or St Patrick’s College, Maynooth highly enough.