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CAO Handbook
Page 7 of 23

Mature Applicants Normally mature applicants should be 23-years-old on or before 1 January in the year of entry (e.g. 1 January 2019 for admission in Autumn 2019) and must apply by 1 February 2019 at 5:15pm. However, some HEIs may have a different age requirement, different definitions of mature applicants, etc., and some will consider applications received after the 1 February closing date. Further details on the criteria set by each institution and consideration of applications after 1 February is available from

For mature applicants applying to the institution listed in Table 1.2 below, a CAO application must be made by 1 February at 5:15pm and a separate application form must also be obtained from the Admissions Office of the relevant institution and returned to the HEI by 1 February*.

Table 1.2 Institutions requiring CAO and direct applications from mature applicants by 1st February 2019


CAO Application by 1st February (at 5:15pm)

Direct Application by 1st February

Trinity College

*not applicable for application to mature nursing or mature midwifery

If you are applying for mature entry to primary teaching in Dublin City University, Marino Institute of Education, Mary Immaculate College Limerick or Maynooth University, you must apply to CAO by 1 February at 5:15pm. In March, those meeting the eligibility criteria will receive instructions from these HEIs for completing and submitting a supplementary form.

If you are applying for entry to primary teaching on the basis of mature years you must apply for these courses through CAO by 1 February 2019 at 5:15 pm.

Mature applicants who wish to be considered on the basis of mature years must make a direct application to the following HEIs (please contact the institutions directly for more information and closing dates):

Table 1.3 HEIs requiring direct application from mature applicants

Direct Applications for Mature Applicants

National College of Ireland

American College Dublin

College of Computing Technology

Dublin Business School

Griffith College

ICD Business School, Dublin

Irish College of Humanities and Applied Science

Dorset College, Dublin

However, mature applicants who wish to be considered on the basis of school leaving qualifications for the HEIs listed in Table 1.3 should apply to CAO – you may apply both directly to the HEI and to CAO. The HEIs not mentioned in Table 1.3 require mature applicants to apply through CAO.

As well as completing the online CAO application, including sections 1 – 11 of the Mature Applicant section, applicants must post the following supporting documentation to CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway, Ireland:

  1. Evidence of any qualifications that you have indicated in your online application.

  2. Supplementary information that you were unable to include in the space provided.

  3. Any documentation required by each of the institutions to which you are applying – details of same are available from

  4. If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of competency in the English language.

  5. Please include your CAO application number on all supporting documents being sent to CAO.

The above mentioned documents must arrive in CAO within 10 days of registering online with CAO. See page 12 of this handbook for more information on submitting supporting documents.