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 the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM). 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, but prospective candidates must also complete one of our Mature Student Application forms (download below) and return same to the Admissions Officer, Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, by 1st February. Mature Student Application forms may also be obtained from the Admissions Office, Pontifical University.
Late applications may be considered up to the late CAO 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 not required with our Mature student application form, however an application fee is applicable when applying through the CAO. All mature applicants will be interviewed.
Download Application Form:
3rd Year BTh (2010-2011)
Coming to study in St Pats I really didn’t know what to expect. Third level education was a daunting prospect but one which I was determined to see out. On the first day we were shown photos of past graduates and told that in three years time this would be us, something at the time I very much doubted! My fears, it turns out, were greatly exaggerated. With the familial atmosphere and academic support, I took little time in adjusting and learning to enjoy and savour every moment which has passed here in Maynooth. The diversity of students and beautiful campus grounds puts St Pats in a league of its own in my opinion, and truly is a life-enriching experience for anyone considering exploring the Christian faith through academia. Apart from the academic side, I have been fortunate to travel to three different continents with the Maynooth Mission Outreach, an experience which has challenged and nurtured my own faith and taught me to see things from a different perspective. Whatever one’s reason for studying theology, it gives great insight into the world in which we live, as well as being a personal journey of self-exploration. The sense of satisfaction and array of possibilities that come with studying here are testament to what a fantastic place it is.
2nd Year B.Th. (2006-2007)
My name is Damien Daly and I’m 65 years of age. I’ve just finished my second year at Maynooth. It seems like only yesterday that I applied to do a degree. It was something I always wanted to do but I never had the time.
I thought I would be out of place in the College. Well, I wasn’t. There were plenty of mature students of all ages in exactly the same position as myself, that is, not knowing what to expect and full of fear and trepidation. There were plenty of "ordinary" students as well!
The first year is by far the hardest because it’s like a new job. It’s not that you are not qualified, it’s that you have to learn the ropes. I never knew what an essay was, and I had to learn the hard way by trial and error. I had not studied for years and years, and so I had to learn a system. I also had to learn how to take notes in class. It’s a learning process and it’s hard to explain it, but take it from me, you muddle through. Why? Because there’s a great bunch of people in the college who want to help and who want to see you succeed.
My dad always said, "education is no load to carry", and I agree with him.
1st Year B.A.Th. (2006-2007)
After ten years of studying part-time, working part-time and being a full-time mother, I finally got a chance to enter full-time education. I chose to study Theology and Arts in the Pontifical University and it was a wonderful choice to make. Maynooth has everything to offer the future Theologian. The campus is very friendly with excellent lecturers and tutors. The minute I walked onto the campus I knew that I had made the right choice. During the first year I had my ups and downs, but I expected that. The staff and other students were a breath of fresh air and they gave me the encouragement and support that I needed to keep going. I will not say that it was easy because it wasn’t, but then again, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. But I made it through one of the toughest years of my life and I am ready to take on the second and third year with enthusiasm and dedication.
I would encourage anyone with a love of Theology or even an
interest in it, to take a look at what Maynooth has to offer. It
is a wonderful experience and one that I will never forget.