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Mature Students

Whatever your reason for coming back to education, updating your skills, gaining a new qualification, achieving a personal goal or ambition, DIT welcomes all mature students.

Mature Students / Thinking of returning to study?

Whatever your reason for coming back to education, updating your skills, gaining a new qualification, achieving a personal goal or ambition, DIT welcomes all mature students.

We know it can be daunting, but you are not alone and DIT has a range of supports in place to help you decide what course to take, get through the application process and get settled into college life.

To be classified as a mature student and wishing to enter the 1st year of any undergraduate full time course in DIT you must be 23 years of age or older on or before 1st January 2017 and be an Irish/EU citizen. You make your application for admission to the 1st year of any undergraduate full time course through the Central Applications Office (CAO) 

Submitting an Application

Applying as a Mature Student is different to those who are applying directly from School. As part of your application you will be asked to include:

  • Courses you are applying for.
  • Details of your schooling. 
  • Any further education you may have completed*
  • Details of any current studies (if you are currently studying)*
  • Information about your work and life experience &
  • A personal statement about how these relate to your current application

*If you have any documents you think will support your application (transcripts, certificates etc.) you can send these by post, clearly marked with your Application Number. DIT staff receive your information from CAO. 

CAO Applications must be submitted before the 1st of February each year.

Late applications will be accepted on behalf of DIT through the CAO up to the 1st of May (subject to the payment of a late fee). Please note that places are limited and there is no guarantee late applications will be considered especially in popular courses. No late applications will be accepted for restricted programmes where candidates are expected to attend suitability test, audition or submit a portfolio.

Part-time Study: Applications for part-time courses are made directly to the relevant department. Applications can be accepted much closer to the starting date for the programme, but you are advised to make contact as early as possible and to request course details and an application form.

Access Foundation Programme 

Applications are curently closed for the Access Foundation Programme 2016/17 at DIT.

The Access Foundation Programme organises a number of information events and offers opportunities for prospective students to meet current students and experience classes on the programme. To receive an invitation to these events please email Bobby at and ask to be added to the programme mailing list.

What is the Access Foundation Programme?

The Access Foundation Programme is a one year full-time preparation for higher education programmes at DIT. The programme prepares students personally and academically to pursue undergraduate programmes at DIT.  It is a multi-disciplinary programme preparing students for entry into programmes in Science, Engineering, Business and Applied Arts.  Students who have successfully completed the programme are guaranteed an offer of one of their DIT CAO undergraduate course choices. 

Why was the Access Foundation Programme set up and who is it for?

The programme forms part of DIT's commitment to extending access to education to people and groups from areas and communities where there has not been a strong tradition of participation in third level education. The course is of particular benefit to adults who have been out of education for a long time, or who did not complete a Leaving Certificate in the past. In addition we welcome applications from people whose skills no longer allow them to access the labour market. The Programme welcomes applications from Mature Students (22 years or over on 1st January 2016). If you are under 22 on 1st January 2016 you can click here for information.  

What do students study on the programme?

Semester One & Semester Two

Core Modules (Compulsory)

  • Introduction to Higher Education
  • Applied Writing
  • Communications

  • Study Skills (Semester 1)/ Research Skills (Semester 2)

  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics

Optional Modules (Choose 2)

  • Introduction to Humanities
  • Introduction to Social Science
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • Computer Science Fundamentals (Networking Technologies)
  • Engineering (Electronic and Electrical)
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Fundamental Physics
  • Human Biology
  • Art Portfolio Preparation (year long)

Semester Two

Optional Modules (Choose 2)

  • Introduction to Economics
  • Introduction to Management
  • Applied Social Science
  • Approaches to Humanities 
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Applied Chemistry
  • Applied Physics
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science (Programming)

What is the time commitment?

The programme is full-time and runs from September to May. There are approximately 20 hours of classes a week. These are made up of lectures, tutorials and laboratories (in science and computer science). Students are expected to undertake 20 hours of independent learning and studying in their own time.

How are the students assessed?

Students are assessed through a combination of participation in class, continuous assessment (essays, projects, presentations) and examinations.

How much does the programme cost?

The programme is free.

What supports does the programme provide?

Students have access to all college supports and services. The programme also offers additional supports.

What happens after successful completion of the programme?

Upon successful completion of the Access Foundation Programme students have facilitated entry into undergraduate programmes at DIT. Students who successfully complete the programme are guaranteed an offer of an undergraduate place in DIT.

What are the entry requirements?

This programme is designed specifically for applicants who have experienced socio-economic disadvantage and/or educational disadvantage. Each candidate is screened at the short-listing stage to determine eligibility for the programme.

Mature student applicants are required to meet 3 of the following indicators to be considered eligible;

  1. Family circumstances (adverse family circumstances affecting participation in Education). This may typically include circumstances that affected one’s ability to participate in education such as a family divorce or separation, family finances (where one could not fully participate in education due to financial difficulties), multiple changes in school due to family relocation, living in a family environment which has a negative effect on participation in education.
  2. Parental Education. The highest level of parental education is considered with consideration given where parents have not participated in higher education and do not hold higher education qualifications.
  3. Being from a family which expected the person to begin work early and therefore discontinue education.
  4. Living with a disability which has negatively affected participation in education.
  5. Suffering from an illness that affected their ability to attend school.
  6. Applicant in receipt of Social Welfare, BTEI, VTOS, BTEA payments
  7. Skill loss due to Life History. Typically this includes applicants that are in recovery from addiction or have experienced adverse circumstances that have significantly impacted on their life.
  8. Spent time in a state institution. Typically this includes applicants that have spent time in prison or have been in the care of the state.
  9. Has the applicant attended a Designated Disadvantaged school (DEIS scheme) or are they resident in an area under-represented in higher education. See:
  10. Current skills are no longer transferable into an employment sector. Where the applicant holds a level 6 qualification but is unable to access the labor market due to the economic downturn. Typically this applies to skilled workers holding a level 6 Craft Certificate.
  11. Early School Leaver. Applicants who did not complete secondary school.
  12. The primary carer in a family which prevented them from participating in education.

How do I apply?

Applications are now open for the Access Foundation Programme 2015/16. Download an application form here

Late applications may be considered in some circumstances. As part of the application form you must:

  • Write a personal statement outlining your motivation for wanting to study on the programme, the reasons you may not have gone to college before, why now is the right time to do the programme etc.
  • Write a short essay (a list of topics is provided).
  • Attend an interveiw if you are requested to do so.

Application Process

Applicants apply directly to the DIT by way of a paper application form. Applicants are screened for eligibility and suitability. Applicants successful at this stage are called for interview. Offers are made to candidates based on the application form and interview. 

Mature Students (22 years of age or over on January 1st 2016) can download an application form below

Candidate Brief for all applicants to Access Foundation Programme
‌Applicants are advised to read through the Candidate Brief before attempting the application form. This will give you advice and guidance on how to apply for the programme. Download the Candidate Brief by clicking the blue link below. 

How are students selected?

We review all applications and then contact you if you have been shortlisted for an interview. Offers are made to candidates based on their application form and performance at interview.

What our former students say

"It was one of the best experiences of my life. All the students were in "the same boat" so to speak, really nervous starting out, not knowing what was ahead or how we would cope. We became like one big family, helping and supporting each other" - Karen, 3rd year of DT491 Environmental Health.

"From the first day of attending the programme to the very last, one word captures that experience, it was the opening and the last word of my reflective journal, WOW! I can't begin to explain completely the effect the Access Foundation Programme has had on me and the confidence it has instilled in me. I've never been happier in myself and the with the significant difference it has made in my relationships with my wife and our children" - John, 3rd year of DT571 Social Care.

Need more information?

Please vistit our school webpage and our webpage on Access and Civic Engagement.

For further information contact Bobby Maher

E: T: (01) 402 4222 / 7611  or 087 2904609

If you would like to add your email address to the programme mailing list please email Bobby requesting to be added.

All information about the application process, information events, shadowing and taster events will be promoted through the programme mailing list.

Play the video below to hear from some of our current Mature Students.





Current Students:

There's lots of information available to you, including:

Find out what you need to know, including:

  1. Financial Information & Support
  2. Academic Support
  3. Regular Contact & Weekly Campus Visits
  4. Mature Students Society
  5. and more


Access Foundation Programme:

Bobby Maher

T: 01 402 4222/7611 M: 0872904609

Prospective Students:

  1. Am I a Mature Student?
  2. What courses can I do?
  3. How to Apply
  4. Advanced Entry
  5. What happens next


Admissions Office

143 - 149 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6
T: 01 402 3445