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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered a mature student?

A mature student is a person over 23 years of age on the 1st January in the year of application. There is no upper age limit. To be considered as a mature student you must also be an EU applicant.

What is meant by an EU applicant?

An EU applicant is a person:

  • who is ordinarily resident in the EU and who will have received full-time post primary education in the EU (see note 1 below) AND/OR
  • who is ordinarily resident in the EU and has worked full-time in the EU for three years of the five years immediately preceding admission (see note 2 below) OR
  • who has official refugee status OR
  • who has been granted humanitarian leave to remain in the State and has been resident in the EU for three of the five years immediately preceding admission (see note 3 below)


  1. EU or EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) or Switzerland.
  2. Where an applicant can show that they have been in receipt of social welfare payments this may be taken in lieu of fulltime employment.
  3. Applicants who have written confirmation that they have been allowed to come to Ireland as part of the family reunification scheme may also be eligible.

Children of emigrants can be assessed as EU applicants if they can provide documentary evidence of having completed 5+ years of primary and/or secondary education in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and have no previous third-level attendance.

The Admissions team may contact some applicants in order to seek supporting documentation regarding their status.

All other applications are considered to be non-EU Applications.

Please visit Study at Trinity for more information.

Do I need my Leaving Certificate to apply?

The Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for mature student entry to Trinity. However, some courses, for example Engineering, request specific subject requirements (H4 grade in higher Leaving Certificate Maths or equivalent).

Please consult the current Mature Student Guidelines 2022 (pdf, 4MB) for more information.

Can I study part time in Trinity?

All honours degree programmes are four years and full-time day courses. There is no option to study these courses in a part-time capacity. A wide range of extramural courses take place in Trinity throughout the year. Information on these courses can be found on the Courses web site. Additionally, a number of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are available that may be of interest.

How do I make an application as a mature student?

Mature students should apply to the Central Applications Office (CAO) before 1 February 2022. Late applications will not be accepted. Trinity course choices must be included by this date. All relevant information on making an application can be reviewed on the CAO website.

The CAO Handbook is an important document and has been prepared to provide information about the CAO application process. By reading the CAO handbook carefully you will find out the information that you need to assist you with your application.

Please consult the current Mature Student Guidelines 2022 (pdf, 4MB) for more information.

What are my chances of being offered a place?

There are places reserved for mature students on every course in Trinity. However, there is great competition for places and not everyone who applies will be offered a place. It is important in your application to demonstrate that you have a keen interest in the course and, if possible, relevant work or study in the area. Applicants will be short listed on the basis of the information contained in their CAO application form and, in most cases, will be called for an interview. In the interview you will be required to demonstrate your passion for and knowledge of the course. The interviews take place from mid-March to the end of May each year. Offers are made via the CAO.

How many mature students are there in Trinity at present?

Approximately 7% of each course allocation is made up of mature students, but this percentage varies from course to course. There are currently nearly 700 mature students registered in Trinity.

How many hours a week will I spend in lectures?

This depends on the course you are undertaking. For example, a course in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences may only have 12 contact hours per week while a course in the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science may have up to 26 (including tutorials and labs). However, it is important to point out that although a degree may not be 9 am to 5 pm, five days per week, it is still classified as a full-time degree and should be treated as such. You will be required to study outside the contact hours and to keep up with reading and assignments. Therefore, consideration must be given as to whether or not working during term time will be possible.

Are there childcare facilities available in Trinity?

Yes, Trinity has a day nursery on campus. It caters for children from three months to four and a half years. There is considerable demand for places and you are advised to book early. For more information, call the day nursery on (01) 896 1938 or (01) 896 2277.

Is there accommodation available on campus?

Yes, campus accommodation is available although due to the large volume of students it is limited. First year student accommodation is located in Trinity Hall, Rathmines. You are advised to contact the Trinity Accommodation Office upon acceptance of your CAO offer.

Will I have to pay fees?

Fees for degree programmes in Trinity are made up of: tuition fees, student charge, membership of the Union of Students of Ireland and the Sports Centre Charge. The Government Free Fees Initiative means that tuition is free for all full-time, non-repeat students from Ireland and European Union countries who do not already hold a degree (please see “What is meant by an EU applicant?” above).

Students who are not eligible for inclusion in the Free Fees Initiative will be required to pay EU tuition fees. Click here for more details.

Are there any grants available?

Please visit for more information on student financial support, including scholarships and grants.

Will I fit into the university and student life?

In Trinity we pride ourselves on supporting students to settle into college life as quickly as possible. The Mature Student Office runs a Welcome Programme for incoming first year students in September; we engage a successful student led Peer Mentoring Programme and have an active Mature Student Society. These are just some of the supports you can rely on to make your transition to college a smooth one.

What other supports are available to me when I enter college?

All students entering Trinity are allocated a tutor, a member of academic staff, to support them and advocate for them, during their time in the University. In addition, Trinity has a student counselling service, a careers office, a Disability Office, college chaplains, among others, and of course, a Mature Student Officer to look after your needs.