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Mature Applicants to CAO – Athlone

Returning to full-time studies can sometimes be stressful and can involve a significant change in personal circumstances – anything from a change in your financial situation and sacrifices in leisure time to a change in location. This is not always an easy transition, but there are extensive support services available at TUS Midlands Midwest to help you adapt successfully to student life.

Do I Qualify as a Mature Student?

In order to qualify as a mature student, you must be 23 or over on the 1 January of the calendar year you enter college. As a mature student, you need not present with the Leaving Certificate or its equivalent. Not all students applying on the grounds of mature years will have completed the Leaving Certificate examination. However, if you have completed the Leaving Certificate examination, you should include an official copy of your results. If you have mislaid your certificate, you can request a certified statement of your results from the State Examinations Commission. Further information is available from:

Statements Section State Examinations Commission, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath


Tel: 090 6442808/6442810


How do I find out about courses available in TUS Midlands Midwest (Athlone Campus)?

Please consult the website for detailed information about the content of each programme. Download or request a copy of our new undergraduate and postgraduate prospectuses on the following link: Prospectus. Make note of the course details, e.g. the course code, the course title; you will need all this information to make an application to the Central Applications Office (CAO).

 How do I apply?

For all full-time undergraduate programmes, mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO).

Application can be made online at Alternatively, paper application forms can be requested by contacting:

Central Applications Office, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway

Tel.: 091 509800


You need to complete the CAO application form carefully, making sure to give all the information requested. If you are applying as a mature student, be sure to tick the ‘mature student’ box. As a mature applicant, you have the opportunity to provide additional information about yourself which may help with your application. You can provide details on your employment history, your hobbies and interests, any voluntary work you have done etc. For applicants making online application, please ensure that you forward supplementary information to the CAO immediately after you have completed your online application.

When should I apply?

For most programmes, the closing date is 1 February. Completed application forms should be returned to the CAO no later than 5.15 p.m. on 1 February. There is no late closing date for mature applicants. However, if you wish to apply through the CAO using a Leaving Certificate or QQI-FET qualification, you can apply up to 1 May.

For further information, please contact:

Admissions Office Tel: 090 646 8130/8131


How are applications assessed?

Interviews normally form part of the selection process. Interviews are scheduled to take place during the months of April and May. Candidates are assessed on the basis of information supplied with the CAO application which can include:

Educational Experiences Evidence –  provided in relation to informal education, e.g. non-assessed adult education, interest/hobby courses etc.

Relevant Life Experience – Details of any relevant experiences gained through employment and/or volunteer work, which are relevant. Any other experiences (e.g. personal experiences, interests, activities etc.), which are relevant.

Motivation and Interest – Your interest in academic study. Your desire to return to learning. Your reasons for wishing to undertake this programme at AIT. Its potential contribution to your future career plans.

Some TUS Midlands Midwest undergraduate programmes require portfolio submission or aptitude testing. Any such requirements are clearly detailed in the prospectus.

Mature applicants who meet minimum entry requirements may also compete on the basis of their school-leaving examination results in competition with other applicants. The school leaving examination performance of applications is scored on the basis of the applicants’ best results in not more than six individual subjects taken in the Leaving Certificate examination in any one-year.

Can I use the ‘Change of Mind’ facility?

Mature applicants can use the ‘Change of Mind’ facility to re-order their preferences, but TUS Midlands Midwest (Athlone Campus) courses introduced for the first time after the 1 February will not be considered on the grounds of mature years.

Can I defer my place?

Generally speaking, you should apply to TUS Midlands Midwest (Athlone Campus) in the year in which you intend to come. However, if your circumstances change between application and the start of term, you may request a deferral for one year.

For full details on the deferral procedure, click here: Deferral Procedure