WELCOME TO MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY
                                   YOUR MAYNOOTH EDUCATION                                              4
                                   ONLINE LEARNING IN MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY                               8
                                   MU FUTURE READY                                                 10
                                   IRELAND’S ONLY UNIVERSITY TOWN                                  12
                                   FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS                                      14
                                   SUPPORTS FOR MATURE STUDENTS                                    20
                                   OTHER MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY SUPPORTS                              24
                                   MATURE STUDENTS WHO HAVE A DISABILITY                           28

                                   PROFILE OF A MATURE STUDENT

                                   CERTIFICATE IN SCIENCE FOR PROGRESSION

                                   TO SCIENCE & ENGINEERING DEGREES                                36

                                   EXPERIENCE (FROM CERTIFICATE TO DEGREE)                         38


                                   APPLYING TO MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY
                                   APPLYING TO STUDY AT MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY                        42
                                   LEVEL 8 FULL-TIME DEGREES                                       44
                                   LEVEL 8 PART-TIME DEGREES                                       60
                                   CERTIFICATE FOUNDATION/PREPARATORY PROGRAMMES                   62
                                   INDEX OF USEFUL CONTACTS                                        64
                                   TRANSPORT ROUTES                                                66
                                   CAMPUS MAP                                                      68

                                   In this booklet you will find lots of useful information regarding
                                   the application procedure, entry requirements and supports
                                   for mature applicants looking to return to learning and
                                   complete an undergraduate degree.

                                   MATURE STUDENTS ARE WARMLY WELCOMED AND
                                   THEIR PURSUIT OF STUDY AT THIS UNIVERSITY IS
                                   ENCOURAGED AND SUPPORTED.
MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY                                         WELCOME FROM THE
    ACCESS PROGRAMME                                            MATURE STUDENT OFFICE
    The Mature Student Office is part of the Maynooth
    University Access Office. The Maynooth University
    Access Programme (MAP) encourages under-
    represented groups to enter third level and provides
    these groups with support through their time at
    Maynooth. These groups include under-represented                                                      DEAR FUTURE MAYNOOTH STUDENT,
    school leavers, mature students, students with
                                                                                                          This booklet is designed to provide you with
    disabilities and members of the Traveller community.
                                                                                                          information regarding the entry process to
    MAP is founded on 4 pillars; outreach into the                                                        Maynooth University as a mature student and
    community, promoting pathways into University, easing                                                 the services a vailable to support you during your
    the transition for incoming students to Maynooth and                                                  studies. It contains advice, tips and information
    supporting our current students. MAP’s supports are                                                   which should answer many of the questions you
    personal, academic and financial in nature and are                                                    may have such as:
    designed to promote confidence and independence.
    Maynooth University is a national leader in both                                                      > Do I need a Leaving Certificate to gain entry to
    attracting and retaining school leavers from socio-                                                     Maynooth University as a mature student?
    economically disadvantaged backgrounds, mature              Emer Sheerin                              > How do I apply to Maynooth University as a
    students and students with disabilities.                    Mature Student Officer                      mature student?
    From a national perspective, MAP has taken a                                                          > What supports are available specifically for
    leadership role in developing national policy in the                                                    mature students?
                                                                Maynooth University greatly values
    area of widening participation. From an institutional
    perspective, MAP has developed a number of models
                                                                the particular contribution of mature     > What financial supports are available for mature
                                                                students to the academic and social         students?
    of academic support that support transition to higher
    education of under-represented groups and are               environment of the University.            > Is on-campus accommodation available for
    acknowledged as innovative models of outstanding                                                        mature students?
    good practice.
                                                                Up to 250 mature students begin           The staff in the Mature Student Office are
    Sometimes students fall into a number of categories,        their studies here each year. If the      committed to supporting the learning experience
    for example a mature student who also has a disability.     opportunity to return to education has    of our students. If you have any questions, please
    At Maynooth, a number of mature students are                                                          don’t hesitate to telephone, email or drop in to
                                                                presented itself to you, we hope you’ll
    registered with the Disability Office, some with specific                                             meet us. We are located in MAP Lodge (W23
    learning disabilities. Because of this, the Mature
                                                                choose Maynooth University.
                                                                                                          F2K8) on the North Campus.
    Student Officer works closely with the Disability Office
    in setting up the provision of an appropriate set of                                                  Wishing you every success.
    supports that address both the student’s disability and
    their status as a ‘mature’ student.                                                                   Contact us
    The collaborative approach to providing support within                                                  + 353 1 708 3307 /
    the Access Office means there is a huge wealth of                                                       + 353 1 708 4600 /
    resources at our disposal and this in effect means
    excellent support provision for all our students.                                                         on webchat                                                       

2                                                                                                                                                              3
    We are proud to have provided
    generations of students with an
    excellent education. Building on our
    proud past, we are constantly adapting
    what and how we teach to better equip
    you for the many opportunities and
    challenges you will encounter in your life
    and in your career. Maynooth University
    offers a curriculum and an intellectual,
    cultural and social environment that
    provides students with opportunities to
    reach their full potential.

    Because you are living in the diverse
    and ever-changing 21st century, we
    know we must continuously enhance
    the Maynooth Education to even
    better serve the needs of our students.
    Our revised curriculum, introduced
    in September 2016, offers you many
    opportunities to personalise your
    degree programme throughout your
    time with us; we have introduced
    more subject choice than ever before
    including a dedicated first year Critical
    Skills subject, flexible programme
    pathways, the opportunity to take an
    Elective and Experiential Learning
    opportunities to enhance your degree.

4                                                5
YOUR MAYNOOTH                                                                                                                                                                                 Maynooth University Mature Students 2021

                                                              the programme choices you will be asked to                       See individual degree information for details          SAMPLE 2020/2021 ELECTIVES
                                                              make during your academic journey at Maynooth                    on the availability of our 15 credit Critical Skills   > Accounting in Society
    At the start of second year, most students will
                                                              University. Continuing students may also avail                   courses in your preferred degrees.                     > Beginning Chinese / German / Spanish
    have the option to avail of the University’s flexible
                                                              of the service if you are unsure about your                                                                             > Creative Technologies and Digital Prototyping
    pathways structure. These flexible pathways                                                                                SAMPLE 2020/2021 CRITICAL SKILLS MODULES
                                                              programme options, for example if you have any                                                                          > Community Education
    allow students to choose how they will study their
                                                              questions about flexible pathways, or whether or                 > Globalization, Integrating Worlds                    > Continuing French / Spanish / German /
    chosen subjects for the remainder of their degree.
                                                              not to choose to take an Elective.                               > Universal Critical Skills (multiple classes)           Gaeilge / Chinese
    The various pathways create significant flexibility
                                                                                 > Creative Thinking                                    > Education Engagement and Equality
    within your programme of study. A range of options
                                                              advisory-office                                                  > Digital Critical Skills                              > Engaging with Civil Society
    will mostly be available, although not all options will
    be available for every subject and every degree.                                                                           > Social Analysis of Everyday Life                     > Equine Business
                                                              FIRST YEAR CRITICAL SKILLS COURSES                                                                                      > Film and Screen Studies
                                                                                                                               > Critical Skills for Science
    Students study 60 credits each year at University,        At third level it is expected that students will develop                                                                > Gender and Sexuality in Society and Culture
    your chosen pathway will allow you to divide this         skills that will not only enable them to successfully            > Critical Skills for Social Science
                                                                                                                                                                                      > Global Environmental Change
    60 credits between the subject(s) you wish to             negotiate their university experience but which will             For more details log on to                             > Great Books
    study for the remainder of your degree.                   also help them in other areas of their lives.                        > Introduction to Logic and Philosophy in the
    OUR FLEXIBLE PATHWAYS:                                    Our 15 credit Critical Skills courses are designed to                                                                     Digital Age
    DOUBLE MAJOR: Studying two subjects equally to            develop these skills early in our students’ university           SECOND YEAR ELECTIVES                                  > Irish language electives / Cúrsaí roghnacha
    degree level                                              experience. These optional courses are designed                  We are very excited to offer Electives to our            Gaeilge
                                                              to help first year students to learn, experience,                second year students as part of the Maynooth           > Perspectives of Poverty and Development
                                                              practice and develop various essential skills that               Education. An Elective is a great way to enhance       > Science Communication
    MAJOR WITH MINOR: Specialising in one subject             will support their ongoing studies.                              your degree by enabling you to develop new             > Service Innovation
    to degree level, while continuing with a                                                                                   skills and knowledge that will complement your
    smaller amount of a second subject                        Expect small classes and active learning. We                                                                            In all cases, the option to take an Elective
                                                                                                                               chosen programme. Electives allow you to
                                           SUBJECT 2:         want to build student confidence by providing a                                                                         is subject to timetable compatibility and the
          SUBJECT 1: 40 CREDITS            20 CREDITS                                                                          expand your university education by providing
                                                              learning environment that is both supportive and                                                                        requirements of your main subjects; for some
                                                                                                                               the opportunity to study an area outside your
    SINGLE MAJOR: Specialising in one subject to              academically Challenging. Critical Skills courses                                                                       students this may mean an Elective may not
                                                                                                                               chosen degree programme. An Elective is 10
    degree level                                              are available in second year for science students.                                                                      be compatible with their programme. See the
                                                                                                                               credits and so would make up 1/6 of your study
                                                                                                                                                                                      degree pages of the Undergraduate Handbook
                  SUBJECT 1: 60 CREDITS                                                                                        in second year.
                                                                                                                                                                                      for details on the availability of Electives in the
    See the degree pages of the Undergraduate                                                                                  Electives allow students to broaden their              second year of our programmes.
    Handbook for details of the progression options                              Teamwork      Speaking
                                                                                                                               perspective by studying across disciplines thus
    available in your preferred programme.                                                                                     learning how to think differently and appreciate       EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
                                                                                                                               different viewpoints. We know employers want           Maynooth students get the opportunity to
    GUIDANCE ON PROGRAMME CHOICES AND OPTIONS                        Research                              Evaluation
                                                                                                                               graduates who can look at the world in different       experience more from their degree programme
    AVAILABLE UNDER THE MAYNOOTH EDUCATION:                           Skills
                                                                                                                                                                                      with an enhanced range of high-impact learning
                                                                                                                               ways and find creative solutions to challenging
    The Programme Advisory Office is available                                                                                                                                        experiences, connecting classroom content
                                                                                                                               problems. Students taking Electives will be
    to assist and advise undergraduate students,                                                                                                                                      with real-world experience. These include
                                                                     Analysing                            Professional         introduced to the diverse fields of research
    including incoming first year students, with                     Arguments                              Writing                                                                   opportunities in undergraduate research,
                                                                                                                               underway at Maynooth as well as the excellent
    programme related decisions you may be unsure                                                                                                                                     professional development, student leadership,
                                                               “Critical Skills gives you the opportunity to                   lecturing staff throughout the University. You may
    about during your time at Maynooth University.              develop the core skills necessary for university.                                                                     study abroad and service learning, empowering
                                                                                                                               also choose to take an Elective because you are
    The Programme Advisory Office acts as a guide               It is applicable to every subject choice and allows you                                                               Maynooth students to develop their skills and
    to students as you navigate your own way                    to fully interact with every lecture. Taking it as one of my   intrigued by the topic.                                competencies for work, life and citizenship.
                                                                first year subjects helped me acclimatise to academia
    through your programme options.                             at university level. It has given me the confidence and                                                               For more details log on to
    Incoming first year students will be briefed by             skills to successfully approach my degree and further
                                                                learning.” – SARAH KILDEA, BCL LAW AND ARTS
    the Programme Advisor during Orientation about                                                                                                                                    learning
6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7
ONLINE LEARNING IN                                                                    Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


                            Our Virtual Learning Environment provides a range of tools and resources that
                            are being used to support online learning, teaching and assessment, including
                            quizzes, communication and collaboration tools, assessment and feedback
                            tools, and the dissemination of resources such as course files, videos, and links
                            to external resources.

                          > We use an online platform that has                 for their future careers. Technology can
                            been invaluable as a digital hub for               enable new opportunities for groupwork and
                                                                               collaborative learning and can generate new
                            groupwork and collaboration, and
                                                                               opportunities for conducting assessment and
                            for streaming live online tutorials                providing feedback, for example audio and
                            and classes and we use plagiarism                  video feedback. If utilised well, technology can
                            detection software for promoting                   improve access and support more inclusive
                            academic integrity.                                participation for students with disabilities.

                          > We use apps to create interactive                  In this new learning environment, we find that
                            polls during live lectures as well                 promoting student engagement and online
                            as various technologies to create                  participation is essential. Our staff are rising
                                                                               to this challenge by using technology to build
                            interactive videos and tutorials
                                                                               interactivity into live lectures, by providing
                            and to produce short screencasts,
                                                                               a range of media types and activities, by
                            lectures, and videos.                              encouraging collaboration and peer learning,
                          > Staff create podcasts using video                  and by leveraging technology to provide
                                                                               timely and effective feedback. Dialogue and
                            editing software and our ePortfolio
                                                                               collaboration with students has been key to
                            allows students to record and                      our approach.
                            showcase their learning.
                                                                               At Maynooth, a partnership with the Students’
                          Some of the benefits of course delivery online       Union has also been established, with our
                          include flexibility: students can work at their      educational technology team collaboratively
                          own pace, supporting independent and self-           developing a Top 10 Tips for Online Learning
                          directed learning, and allowing them to fit          and a Top 10 Tips for Online Assessments
                          learning around the rest of their lives; unlimited   and Exams aimed at supporting Maynooth
                          access to practice and revision resources.           University students in the context of the recent
                          Learning via technology can help students            to remote and blended learning.
                          develop the digital literacies necessary

8                                                                                                                                    9
MU FUTURE                                                                                   Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


     MU Future Ready is a
                                 These include:                                       EMPLOYABILITY PORTAL
                                                                                      A one stop shop for all things employability,
     HEA funded initiative,      A BLENDED E-LEARNING OFFERING                        which will include access to employability
     established to empower      The expansion of critical skills and employability   virtual fairs and events, in addition to valuable
     Maynooth University         programmes which are accessible in a flexible        resources such as an Online Simulated Interview
                                 format to a wider range of students.                 Platform to perfect video interviewing technique,
     students to enhance their
                                                                                      alongside a 24-7 online CV-review tool, that
     skills and competencies     CRITICAL SKILLS
                                                                                      provides instant personalized feedback.
     for work, life and          A subject dedicated to helping students
     engaged citizenship.        succeed academically and build transferable          Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning
                                 skills.                                              (EDTL) is a cross-institutional project bringing
                                                                                      together all seven of Ireland’s universities.
                                 LIVE PROJECTS
                                                                                      By promoting best practice in the use of
                                 This initiative provides our students with the
                                                                                      digital technologies for learning and teaching,
                                 opportunity to integrate theory and practice
                                                                                      the project aims to enhance the digital
                                 and have a real-world work experience in the
                                                                                      attributes and educational experiences of
                                 classroom, as they engage in high impact
                                                                                      Irish university students. A range of staff- and
                                 experiential learning experiences with our
                                                                                      student-facing activities have been initiated
                                 industry, community, voluntary and public sector
                                                                                      at Maynooth in respect of this aim. The
                                                                                      student voice is central to the initiative, with
                                 ALUMNI MENTORING                                     our Maynooth EDTL Student Interns ensuring
                                 This programme enables students from                 that the project is informed by our students’
                                 underrepresented backgrounds to access a             needs and perspectives. A partnership with
                                 professional network and support them to             the Maynooth Students’ Union has also been
                                 become more aware of their career interests          established, and has recently collaboratively
                                 and opportunities. It also includes an optional      developed resources aimed at supporting
                                 work-shadowing opportunity.                          Maynooth University students in the context
                                                                                      of blended and online learning.
                                 MICRO INTERNSHIPS
                                 This presents a range of short, flexible
                                 work experience opportunities, available
                                 to Maynooth University students on a
                                 co-curricular basis to complement their
                                 academic learning and enable them to get
                                 an insight into the world of work, whilst they
                                 develop a repertoire of professional skills.

10                                                                                                                                          11
IRELAND’S ONLY    Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


                              Located in the heart of
                              Ireland’s only university
                              town, we are just 25
                              kilometres from the city
                              of Dublin. Surrounded
                              by the rich heritage and
                              beauty of Kildare, the
                              university town has all
                              you could need and all
                              within walking distance.

12                                                                13
FREQUENTLY                                                                                                                                                   Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


                                                                                               Do I need a Leaving Certificate to gain                 The closing date for receipt of Irish based
                                                                                               entry as a mature student?                              applications is 1st February 2021.
                                                                                               Generally, no. Mature students apply on the basis
                                                                                                                                                       Late applications from mature students
                                                                                               of their ‘mature years’. This means that entry to the
                                                                                                                                                       may be accepted after this date - see www.
                                                                                               University is granted on the basis of experience to
                                                                                               date – academic, life experience and work history.
                                                                                                                                                       updates. Applications may not be made to the
                                                                                               However mature applicants do need Leaving
                                                                                                                                                       CAO after May 1st 2021. Mature applicants
                                                                                               Certificate for entry into B.Ed (MH001, MH002)
                                                                                                                                                       to Primary Education degrees MH001 and
                                                                                               and must meet matriculation requirements (but
                                                                                                                                                       MH002, who meet the entry requirements, will
                                                                                               are not competing on points). In addition, where
                                                                                                                                                       be requested to submit a supplementary form.
                                                                                               Mathematics is an intricate part of the course
                                                                                                                                                       For this degree there is also a specific interview
                                                                                               chosen, a Leaving Certificate Mathematics (or
                                                                                                                                                       process involving Maynooth University, DCU and
                                                                                               equivalent) minimum result may be required.
                                                                                                                                                       Marino Institute of Education for these degrees.
                                                                                               See the Applying section towards the back of
                                                                                               this booklet for further details.                       What undergraduate degrees can
                                                                                                   mature students apply for?
                                                                                                                                                       Mature candidates can apply for all degree
                                                                                               Are there many mature students                          courses provided by the University. Details of
                                                                                               in Maynooth University?                                 these degrees are in the Maynooth University
                                                                                               Yes! Maynooth University has the highest                Undergraduate Handbook 2021 and also in
                                                                                               percentage of mature students amongst all               the Applying section towards the back of this
                                                                                               universities in the country. We have a policy of        booklet. Further details are also available at
                                                                                               ensuring that 15% of places for new entrants to
                                                                                               first year are available for mature students. This
                                                                                               translates in numbers to approximately 250 new          Places are reserved for mature students
                                                                                               mature students arriving on campus each year.           in every degree programme available at
                                                                                                                                                       Maynooth University.
                                                                                               How do I apply to Maynooth University
                                                                                               as a mature student?
                                                                                                                                                       What is the English requirement
                                                                                               Mature applicants must apply through the
                                                                                                                                                       where English is not a mature
                                                                                               Central Applications Office (CAO) which can
                                                                                                                                                       student’s first language?
                                                                                               be done online. Alternatively application forms
                                                                                                                                                       All candidates are required to satisfy the English
                                         Who is a mature student?                              are available from: CAO, Tower House, Eglinton
                                                                                                                                                       language requirement. Candidates whose
     Have a question? The most           A mature student is at least 23 years of age on       Street, Galway.
                                                                                                                                                       first language is not Esnglish may satisfy the
     commonly-asked are answered here.   January 1st of the year of entry to a full-time                                                               requirement by obtaining one of a range of
                                                                                                 + 353 91 509 800
     If your question doesn’t feature,   degree at our University. There is no upper age
                                                                                                                                   qualifications. Full details of these are available
                                         limit. Mature students ranging in age from 23 to 75
     please let us know.                                                                                  at
                                         are currently enrolled at Maynooth. For part-time
                                                                                                  on webchat
                                         degree programmes the age requirement is 21.
14                                                                                                                                                                                                           15
FREQUENTLY                                                                                                                                                                    Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


     How do I research information about                                                                           only and so an interview may not be necessary.      > Interviews generally take place between
     degrees at Maynooth University?                           Please note that as a mature                        It is therefore very important that applications      February and May. Written assessments/
     1. Read the comprehensive information available           student applicant, the Leaving                      are comprehensive and completed correctly             tests, where required, typically take place at
        on all degree programmes in the current                Certificate entry requirements                      and in full. Mature applicants must therefore         end March/early April. An applicant may be
        Undergraduate Handbook. See also www.                                                                      ensure that they have completed all relevant          required to complete a short essay or maths
                                                               in the Maynooth University                                                                               sections of the CAO application form.                 course in advance of an offer being made.
                                                               Undergraduate Handbook,
        You can also contact the Admissions Office for                                                                                                                   These courses are free of charge.
                                                               and on the website, do not strictly               > Science degrees at Maynooth University
        information on subjects, as well as application
                                                                                                                   require an aptitude in mathematics and              > Notification of final decisions are issued in
        and selection procedures for mature students.          apply to you. These are for guideline
                                                                                                                   science. Candidates are expected to be able           June. All communication from the Admissions
     2. Research the information posted on the                 purposes and mature students are                    to demonstrate a motivation and aptitude to           Office is via email. The official offer of a place is
        academic departments’ webpages www.                    encouraged to apply.                                study science. This may be evidenced by a test        made through the CAO during the summer and
                                                                                                                   and/or interview, in conjunction with previous        this must be responded to by the ‘Reply Date’
     3. Contact the Faculty/Department of your area                                                                studies in mathematics and science subjects.          indicated on the Offer Notice. It is important
        of interest to arrange an appointment.               What is the University’s selection                                                                          that an applicant (or somebody on their behalf)
                                                                                                                 > For mature students who wish to study for
                                                             process for mature applicants?                                                                              is available to respond to the Offer Notice.
     4. Discuss your options with the Mature Student                                                               a degree in Engineering/Robotics, a strong
        Office in advance of the application deadline.       > Mature entry to many of our degrees is granted      aptitude in mathematics is also required.           > Applicants who are not initially successful are
        Request a Mature Student Information Pack              on the basis of an interview which explores the     This may be evidenced by a test and/or                sometimes advised to undertake a preparatory
        from the Mature Student Office or download             applicant’s suitability for the degree based on     interview. In addition, Engineering applicants        course such as the ‘Return to Learning’ course
        the publications from the website. We also             academic qualifications and/or life/employment      will also be required to pass the Engineering         to assist in their transition back to full-time
        run a series of Mature Student Information             experience.                                         Maths Exam in August.                                 study. Many of these applicants reapply the
        Sessions throughout the year. Details of             > Our interviews contain a strong advisory                                                                  following year and are successful in gaining
                                                                                                                 > The Maynooth University Certificate in Science
        these are posted on our website at www.                element. This enables us not just to assess                                                               admission. For information on the Maynooth
                                                                                                                   at Level 6 (see p. 32 & 36) provides an excellent                   the applicant’s readiness and suitability for                                                             University Preparatory/Foundation Year
                                                                                                                   foundation for mature students hoping to study
                                                               a course, but also to offer advice on subject                                                             Programmes, please see p. 62.
     5. Attend the undergraduate Open Days which are                                                               Science or Electronic Engineering at degree
        held over two days at the end of November              choice, on what to expect in college and on         level in Maynooth University.
        each year, and also in April and in June. Each         the more practical aspects of returning to                                                              What are the fees for taking a degree
                                                               education. For applicants requiring further       > Some academic Departments also have                 at Maynooth University?
        day includes a combination of tours of the
                                                               preparation before commencing their degree,         specific requirements regarding individual          The Irish Government Free Fees Initiative
        campus, exhibitions, demonstrations, talks and
                                                               we offer comprehensive advice on their options      subjects that form part of their degree             entitles eligible students to free tuition fees. Irish
        information sessions. Individual Departments
                                                               at interview.                                       programmes. Full details of the requirements        students who do not already hold a degree, and
        provide short sample lectures on the degrees
                                                                                                                   and selection process associated with each          EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in
        and subjects they offer. You can talk to students    > For degrees with special entry requirements,        degree are in the Applying section towards          an EU Member State for at least three of the five
        about their academic experiences and the               selection of mature students may be on the          the back of this booklet. A full list of degrees    years preceding entry and who do not already
        range of clubs/societies available. Staff are also     basis of a written assessment/test, after which     which require a written assessment can              hold a degree, should be entitled to free tuition
        on hand to discuss admission procedures,               a shortlist for interview is compiled.              be seen at               fees. If you are in any doubt as to your eligibility
        degree course details, accommodation,
                                                             > For some degrees a decision by the University       matureapplicants                                    for free fees, check out the ‘Free Fees Initiative’
        transport and anything else that is relevant to
                                                               for acceptance or non-acceptance may be                                                                 under ‘Course Fees’ at
        your application. Information particularly
        relevant to mature students is also available.         made on the basis of the application form

16                                                                                                                                                                                                                               17
FREQUENTLY                                                                                                                      Maynooth University Mature Students 2021

     Registration, exam and student                            What time commitment is involved
     services fee                                              in studying for a degree course?
     A Student Contribution charge of €3,000 plus              > Students should expect approximately 15 – 17
     a Student Levy of €150 are payable each year                actual class contact hours per week (more for
     (subject to change). Students eligible for a Student        Science, Engineering, Music, Psychology, Media
     Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant are only             Studies, languages). These are spread out over
     required to pay the Student Levy but must                   the week from Monday to Friday (9am – 6pm).
     produce, at registration, evidence of grant eligibility
                                                               > In addition to time spent in lectures/tutorials,
     from SUSI. For more information see:
                                                                 you will have to plan personal study and or
                                                                 research time. Studying for a full-time degree is
                                                                 a full-time commitment.
                                                               > Current timetables can be viewed on our website
     What financial supports exist for                 
     mature students?                                            examination-timetable Please note that these
     All students can apply for a grant under the                timetables do not include tutorials and are subject
     Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)                    to change. Timetables are finalised in September.
     Student Grant Scheme which is means-
                                                               What level of computer skills do I need?
     tested. Students who are on a Social Welfare
                                                               Information technology will play a central role in your
     payment may be eligible to apply for the Back
                                                               time as a student. Skills such as word processing,
     to Education Allowance. Students on the Back
                                                               using PowerPoint, emailing and researching on the          IS ON-CAMPUS ACCOMMODATION
     to Education Allowance are not eligible for the
                                                               internet are very important, as is the ability to access   AVAILABLE FOR MATURE STUDENTS?
     Maintenance Grant element of the Student
                                                               the Library’s learning resources and the University’s
     Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) student grant                                                                       Maynooth University currently offers
                                                               virtual learning environment, Moodle. In order to
     scheme. However, students in this category                                                                           accommodation to approximately 1,200
                                                               make the most of the resources here at Maynooth
     should still apply to SUSI in order to have                                                                          students on campus. Prospective students
                                                               University, it is imperative that students possess at
     the Student Contribution Charge paid, as                                                                             apply through the Accommodation Office for
                                                               least some basic computer skills prior to starting
     otherwise they will have to pay the charge of                                                                        campus accommodation.
                                                               their degree. IT support is available to help students
     approximately €3,000 each year (subject to
                                                               who need extra training in certain areas. See page 8         + 353 1 708 3322
     change). For detailed information on financial
                                                               for more about online learning at MU.              
     supports for students, visit the website:                                     How can I travel to Maynooth University?                   Students can also book on-campus
                                                               We are accessible by public transport from
                                                                                                                          accommodation for occasional overnight stays.
     Student Budgeting Advice Service                          most parts of the country. Maynooth University
                                                                                                                          If there is a function you wish to go to on the
     This service, provided by the University, offers          is well served by two Dublin Bus routes, Dublin
                                                                                                                          campus or if you have to stay late in the Library
     support with budgeting for university, advice on          commuter and national rail links, Bus Éireann
                                                                                                                          finishing off an essay, or if you commute long
     how to manage money, as well as information               national bus routes, as well as several private
                                                                                                                          distance every day and would like to stay here
     on fees, grants, social welfare entitlements and          daily commuter and weekend coach routes.
                                                                                                                          one or two evenings a week, accommodation
     all funding options.                                      The University is approximately 30 minutes from
                                                                                                                          options are available                    Dublin city centre and is easily accessible by car.
     student-budgeting-advice-service                          Further information on bus, train, car travel and  
                                                               timetables is available on the website.                      other-accommodation
18                                                                                                                                                                              19
SUPPORTS FOR                                                                                       Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


                                       ORIENTATION PROGRAMME FOR MATURE                      SUPPORTS WHILE YOU STUDY
     The Mature Student Office
                                       STUDENTS                                              In addition to individual support and advice,
     was established in recognition    The Maynooth Access Programme (MAP) seeks             the University assists mature students in their
     of the University’s commitment    to assist new Maynooth University students to         learning through the following resources:
     to recruiting and supporting      successfully transition into university life.
     mature students.                                                                        Moodle
                                       The programme begins with Orientation                 The MAP Area in Moodle provides access
     Emer Sheerin is the Mature        (Launchpad) which takes place in late August /        to advice, study tips, news and opportunities
                                       early September, prior to the main body of students   to communicate important announcements,
     Student Officer. Support is
                                       coming to the campus. It aims to provide new          share study skills resources and provide
     provided in the following ways:   mature students with a wide range of information,     useful information about our services.
                                       which will help them cope with the transition to
                                       university life and study. New students will be       Technology
                                       familiarised with the campus and the Library, and     This will introduce to you the latest educational
                                       will receive information on finance, accessing        technology (including several really useful tools)
                                       support, subject requirements and study skills.       and show you how to integrate it into your
                                                                                             learning and into your daily life as a student.
                                       ADVISORY SERVICE
                                       The staff in the Mature Student Office see
                                                                                             Library Information Skills Tutorials (LIST)
                                       students on an individual and confidential basis
                                                                                             These 30-minute sessions provide key skills
                                       to help sort out any issues. It may be that you
                                                                                             needed in university on topics ranging from
                                       feel you need some help but you are not sure
                                                                                             Library Databases to essay writing skills.
                                       where to go. We can help identify which support
                                       service might best meet your needs. You may
                                                                                             The Maths Support Centre (MSC)
                                       just feel you want someone to talk to or you may
                                                                                             This is a free service providing informal,
                                       need advice about personal aspects of study that
                                                                                             friendly additional support to all undergraduate
                                       concern you. Students are welcome to discuss
                                                                                             students. During term time the drop-in centre
                                       any concerns they have or any area in which they
                                                                                             provides a relaxed, friendly and non-judgemental
                                       feel that their learning may need extra support.
                                                                                             atmosphere for students who need assistance
                                       Our office is located in MAP Lodge, (W23 F2K8)
                                                                                             with any aspect of mathematics or mathematics-
                                       on the North Campus. You may call in or make an
                                                                                             related subjects. Students are helped on a first
                                                                                             come, first served basis. The Department of
                                       MAP operates a drop-in advice service 12:00 -         Mathematics and Statistics lecturer and MSC
                                       14:00 Monday - Friday.                                Manager is Dr Ciarán Mac an Bhaird. See the
                                                                                             website at
                                            + 353 1 708 3307 / + 353 1 708 4600
                                            on webchat

20                                                                                                                                                 21
SUPPORTS FOR                                                                                                                                                          Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


     Academic Writing Centre                               from the Mature Student Office and is posted       Academic Advisory Office
     The Writing Centre offers free, friendly,             on the website          Students seeking particular information on
     non-judgemental writing help to any student,          access-office                                      University regulations and progression routes        Fiona Larkan
     undergraduate or postgraduate, regardless                                                                through their degree can avail of the services
                                                                                                                                                                   Job Title: Global Health Director
     of course, degree or level. Students can drop in      Social Activities                                  of the Academic Advisory Office.
     on their own or in groups to work with tutors on      The Mature Students’ Society acts as a social
                                                                                                                                                                   Course: Sociology/PhD
     course work or material/topics with which they        and educational support group for mature           Counselling Service
                                                                                                                                                                   Fiona Larkan chose the Arts degree at
     may be having trouble. Students may also book         students. There are over 200 members and           The Counselling Service offers a confidential,
                                                                                                                                                                   Maynooth, studying Greek and Roman
     one-to-one appointments to discuss their writing      a very dedicated committee help organise           professional service, free of charge to all
                                                                                                                                                                   Civilisation, Geography and Anthropology.
     with peer tutors. In addition, the Centre offers      events, run the weekly meetings and spend          students.
                                                                                                                                                                   A few years later Fiona completed her
     writing workshops, supports writing groups,           the money! Previous events include pub
                                                                                                                                                                   studies here, emerging with a PhD in
     engages in discipline specific work and carries       quizzes, wine receptions, annual Christmas         Student Budgeting Advice Service
                                                                                                                                                                   Anthropology. As a mature student,
     out research. See          get-togethers and Alternative RAG Week. The        The Student Budgeting Advice Service offers
                                                                                                                                                                   Fiona appreciated the many services and
     centre-teaching-and-learning/writing-centre           Society strongly encourages people to join,        support with budgeting for university, managing
                                                                                                                                                                   supports that allowed her to focus on her
                                                           as this is a great way of meeting other mature     money, as well as advice on fees, grants, and
                                                                                                                                                                   studies. After graduating with BA degree,
     Other academic support centres at Maynooth            students from different years.                     social welfare entitlements. It also provides
                                                                                                                                                                   she embarked on an MA in Anthropology
     University include:                                                                                      advice about the financial supports (internal
                                                                                                                                                                   and from there transferred into the PhD
     > Experimental Physics Centre                         Support for Mature Students with                   and external) available to full-time and part-time
                                                                                                                                                                   programme, during which time she studied
                                                           Disabilities                                       students at Maynooth University.
     > Computer Programming Centre                                                                                                                                 sexuality, risk and choice in Ireland and
                                                           There is a wide range of supports for mature
     > Irish Language Support Centre                                                                                                                               South Africa. With her PhD completed,
                                                           students who have a disability. See p. 28 for      Crèche Facilities at Maynooth
                                                                                                                                                                   Fiona went on to win a prestigious Global
                                                           more details.                                      The Crèche is available to staff and students
     MAP (Maynooth Access Programme)                                                                                                                               Health Research Award, which allowed
                                                                                                              of the University. Application for a place should
     Academic Advisors                                                                                                                                             her to carry out further research on HIV in
                                                           Careers Advice                                     be made to the Crèche Supervisor. Contact the
     As part of the mature student support                                                                                                                         South Africa. Today, Fiona directs Trinity
                                                           Mature students wanting to explore career ideas,   Crèche for further details.
     programme at Maynooth, each academic                                                                                                                          College Dublin’s MSc in Global Health.
                                                           postgraduate study or employment options can
     department of the University nominates one of its
                                                           avail of the services of the Career Development    Programme Advisory Office
     academic staff members as a source of support
                                                           Centre.                                            The Programme Advisory Office, within the
     and advice for mature students and all students
                                                                                                              Centre for Teaching and Learning, is available
     supported by the Maynooth Access Programme.
                                                                                                              to assist and advise students who are unsure
     MAP Academic Advisors’ experience of the
                                                                                                              about the decisions they must make in
     University, and of their own subject, can be
                                                                                                              relation to their programme including first year
     drawn upon by a student when they experience
                                                                                                              subject choice and second year pathways and
     subject and study-related problems. In the
     establishment of MAP Academic Advisors,
     Maynooth University recognises that mature
     students and all MAP-supported students may
     have particular needs in returning to learning that
     require extra support.                                                                                     Contact details for all services/supports
     An updated list of the MAP Academic Advisors                                                               are available on p. 64
     is available at the beginning of term each year

22                                                                                                                                                                                                                    23
OTHER MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY                                                                    Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


     Academic Departments        ACADEMIC ADVISORY OFFICE         COMPUTER SCIENCE                      MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT
                                 “We offer supports to all        DEPARTMENT                            “Our Maths Support Centre
     “In my Department we        students on an individual        “We have a Programming                provides drop-in sessions,
     offer space and time for    basis whether that is exam       Support Centre to help                workshops and online courses
     the student to discuss      support, time management,        students with programming             and links.”
                                 advocacy for extensions,         issues.”
     any issues they have with   being a ‘soundboard’.”                                                 MATURE STUDENT OFFICE
     us in a sympathetic but                                      CRÈCHE                                “We offer general advice and
                                 “We provide information
     professional context.”                                       “We offer a student rate              referrals to other University
                                 on subject choices and
                                                                  which is cheaper than the             supports such as SU Welfare
                                 progression routes through
                                                                  staff rate. Most students             Office, Writing Centre, Maths
                                 degrees. We also offer
                                                                  can avail of the Student              Support Centre, Chaplaincy etc.”
                                 advice on study issues with
                                                                  Union Childcare Fund.”
                                 assignment preparation/                                                “We act as a signpost to
                                 academic writing.”               “We offer a government                students referring them
                                                                  subvention scheme run                 to appropriate supports
                                 ACCESS OFFICE                    by DCYA called CCS                    - Writing Centre/Library/
                                 “Students supported through      (Community Childcare                  Student Services/Academic
                                 the Maynooth Access              Subvention) - this subvention         Departments/Student Health
                                 Programme, such as mature        is available for parents who          Centre, etc.”
                                 students, can drop in for        are in receipt of a Social
                                 advice and guidance on a         Welfare payment.”                     STUDENT BUDGETING
                                 range of issues.”                                                      ADVISORY OFFICE
                                                                  DISABILITY OFFICE                     “We offer advice on Social
                                 ADMISSIONS OFFICE                “We have in place a range             Welfare payments and options
                                 “We handle your application      of supports to ensure that            available, appeal situations.
                                 and support you from             students with disabilities            We provide advice also on
                                 application to admission via a   have the same opportunities           budgeting and managing
                                 range of selection processes.”   for participation and success         money more effectively.”
                                                                  in college as the rest of
                                                                                                        “We provide Information,
                                 CAREER DEVELOPMENT               students at Maynooth.”
                                                                                                        advice and advocacy service
                                 CENTRE                                                                 for all finance related matters,
                                                                  “We provide advice on
                                 “In the Careers Centre we                                              support with SUSI grant
                                                                  the supports available to
                                 have a Helpdesk for drop                                               applications and appeals.”
                                                                  students with a disability.”
                                 in information, advice and
                                 guidance. Our students can                                             STUDENT SERVICES
                                                                  FEES & GRANTS OFFICE
                                 book for one-to-one meetings                                           “We link in with other
                                                                  “We provide advice and
                                 with a Careers Advisor. We                                             University services such as the
                                                                  assistance in relation to all
                                 also run career-related talks                                          Writing Centre, Counselling
                                                                  aspects of fees and grants.”
                                 and seminars and set up                                                Service and others.”
                                 employer stands.”

24                                                                                                                                           25
MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY VOLUNTEERING                                                                     Maynooth University Mature Students 2021

                                          WHAT ARE THE MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY                    MAP AMBASSADOR REQUIREMENTS
                                          STUDENT EXPERIENCE AWARDS?                          > Current Maynooth University students in good
                                          Whilst at MU, you are gaining skills from every       academic standing who are supported by MAP.
                                          area of your life. The Maynooth University          > Enthusiastic, motivated, creative, friendly, and
                                          Student Experience (MUSE) Awards recognise            possess leadership qualities.
                                          and reward your contribution to non-credit          > Offer information, advice and guidance to new
                                          bearing activities such as work experience,           students to help them settle into life at MU.
                                          volunteering, club and society involvement,         > Represent and promote MAP and Maynooth
                                          student representation and lots more!                 University at events on and off campus.
                                          As well as being a fantastic addition to your CV,   > Encourage students and parents at primary,
                                          this Award will help you to articulate the skills     second level, further education and other
                                          you develop on your journey towards becoming          communities to go to university by sharing your
                                          a distinctive Maynooth student and future             personal experiences.
                                          graduate.                                           > Good written, interpersonal, presentation skills
                                                                                                and team player.
                                          WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF COMPLETING                 > Respect the privacy & confidentiality of all.
                                          AN AWARD?
                                                                                              MAP AMBASSADOR ROLES
                                                  Helps you to stand
                                                                                              Launchpad Orientation Programme
                                                  out from your peers
                                                                                              Taking place in September each year, this
                                                  Enhances your employability skills          programme assists all new entrants to Maynooth
                                                                                              University coming through the HEAR, DARE,
                                                  Gives you the confidence to articulate      Mature and QQI entry routes. You may be a 1-day,
                                                  the skills you have gained at MU            2-day or 3-day Launchpad MAP Ambassador.
                                                  Better self-awareness as you reflect on     MAP My Way
                                                  your achievements                           First semester weekly support programme
                                                                                              (beginning September) - you may be involved in
                                          TWO AWARD LEVELS                                    facilitating sessions/delivering technology training.
                                                                                              Schools/QQI (FETAC)
                                                              At least 50 hours of            MAP Ambassador outreach programme
                                           MUSE AWARD
                                                              engagement in one theme         (beginning October) - this role requires additional
                                                                                              training and learning how to share your story.
                                                              At least 120 hours of
                                           MUSE AWARD         engagement in a minimum         Shadowing Programme
                                                              of two different themes         Taking place in February annually, this role involves
                                                                                              guiding potential students around sample days on
                                          WORK WITH MAP                                       campus and to lectures as they experience a day in
                                          There are volunteer opportunities to contribute     the life of a Maynooth student.
                                          to the work of the Maynooth University Access       Open Days
                                          Programme (MAP). MAP annually recruits MAP          At the Open Days in November, April and June
                                          Ambassadors for its outreach and post-entry         you will welcome campus visitors and share your
     LET YOUR EXPERIENCE BOOST YOUR CV!   activities.                                         experiences as a Maynooth University student.
26                                                                                                                                                    27
MATURE STUDENTS                                                                                                                                                             Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


                                                                                                            STUDENTS WHO TYPICALLY REGISTER WITH                     > Your Disability Advisor will work with
                                                                                                            THE DISABILITY OFFICE INCLUDE THOSE WITH                   you to identify appropriate examination
                                                                                                            THE FOLLOWING DISABILITIES:                                accommodations. These might include extra
                                                                                                            > Autistic Spectrum Disorder (including                    time, a smaller venue or use of educational
                                                                                                              Asperger’s Syndrome)                                     technology;
                                                                                                            > Attention Deficit Disorder / Attention Deficit
                                                                                                                                                                     > Some students may require support from
                                                                                                              Hyperactivity Disorder
                                                                                                                                                                       an Educational Support Worker, such as an
                                                                                                            > Blind / Vision Impaired
                                                                                                                                                                       academic/personal assistant, a note taker or a
                                                                                                            > Deaf / Hard of Hearing
                                                                                                                                                                       sign language interpreter;
                                                                                                            > DCD - Dyspraxia/Dysgraphia
                                                                                                            > Mental Health Condition                                Educational technology and training are available
                                                                                                            > Neurological Conditions                                through the Assistive Technology Centre (ATC),
                                                                                                            > Speech, Language and Communication Disorder            and selected software is mainstreamed in all
                                                                                                            > Significant Ongoing Illness                            computer rooms across the campus.
                                                                                                            > Physical Disability                                    Visit the Disability Office website for information
                                                                                                            > Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia or            on the documentation required, the consultants/
                                                                                                              Dyscalculia)                                           specialists that can verify a disability, and the
                                                                                                                                                                     age limits on reports. While you can register with
                                                                                                            SUPPORTS AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS WITH                      the Disability Office at any time throughout your
                                                                                                            DISABILITIES INCLUDE:                                    studies, early registration is strongly recommended.
                                                                                                            > A dedicated Disability Advisor in the Disability
                                                                                                              Office who will work with you to identify the
                                                                                                                                                                     EXAMINATION SUPPORTS:
                                                                                                              supports you need to help you achieve your
                                                                                                                                                                     If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty
                                                                                                              academic goals;
                                                                                                                                                                     (e.g. dyslexia), and require examination support for
                                                                                                            > A dedicated person in each academic                    any written tests required when applying as a mature
                                                    SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES                     department, known as a MAP Academic Advisor,           student, you will be required to submit supporting
     WeWe recognise
           recognise thatthat aa disability
                                 disability         Over 6% of the student body at Maynooth                   to help you with any course-related concerns;          documentation to the Disability Office, MAP Lodge,
     can   impact  upon     a  student’s            comprises those with disabilities. That’s one of the                                                             North Campus, Maynooth University, Co Kildare.
       can impact upon a student’s                                                                          > Technology: introduces students to the latest
                                                    highest participation rates in the country, and we’re                                                            The deadline for submission will be posted on the
       participation inin university
                          university life.
                                       life. This
                                             This                                                             educational technologies and shows them how
                                                    doing all we can to get that figure even higher.                                                                 Disability web page at www.maynoothuniversity.
     isis why                                                                                                 to integrate these technologies into their learning;
          why we
               we work
                   work with
                           with learners
                                  learners to to                                                                                                                     ie/study-maynooth/supporting-students-
       help ensure
            ensure that
                    that thethe impact
                                 impact isis        Maynooth University strives to create an                > Student Central is an academic support                 disabilities. Unfortunately we are unable to
     minimised.                                     inclusive campus community where all students             programme for students with significant                consider applications for alternative examination
       minimised.                                                                                                                                                    accommodation after this deadline. Contact us
                                                    are afforded the same opportunities to learn,             learning needs. Students who typically avail
     www.maynoothuniversity.                        socialise, participate and progress. The                  of this support include those with Asperger’s          for further information about the examination
                                                    University has a wide range of supports that put          Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder or                supports and requirements.
                                                    you at the centre of your academic journey.               mental health conditions such as depression
      students-disabilities                                                                                   or severe anxiety. The service is run by three
                                                                                                                                                                     Maynooth Access Programme
                                                                                                                                                              + 353 1 708 4600
                                                    These supports are designed to help you                   Assistant Psychologists;
            webchat                                 become independent in your learning, thereby                                                                     Daily drop-in hours available in MAP Lodge                                                                 > Support is tailored to meet the individual          easing the transition from school to university                                                                  for any queries in relation to studying with a
                                                                                                              needs of the student;
                                                    and from university into your career.                                                                            disability at Maynooth University.

28                                                                                                                                                                                                                              29
FUNDING FOR UNIVERSITY:                                                                                                Maynooth University Mature Students 2021


                                                          The issue of finance and funding your way through      STUDENT BUDGETING ADVICE SERVICE
                                                          university is clearly very important. Many students    Students experiencing financial difficulties should
                                                          are giving up a monthly or weekly wage to go into      avail of the Student Budgeting Advice Service.
                                                          full-time education. Others may be in receipt of       This service offers supports with budgeting for
                                                          social welfare payments.                               university, managing money, as well as advice on
                                                                                                                 fees, grants, social welfare entitlements and all
                                                          Students may be getting financial support through
                                                                                                                 funding options.
                                                          parents or partners, while others may have little or
                                                          no financial support and are relying on grants or      Internal funding supports include:
                                                          welfare payments to get them through.                  > Student Assistance Fund (SAF);
                                                          Some students find that university has turned          > Scholarships;
                                                          out to be more costly than they first anticipated.     > Short Term Loan;
                                                          There are different sources of funds that students     > Emergency Fund.
                                                          can apply for, but there are a few points that
                                                                                                                 Other Possible Funding Options:
                                                          need to be stressed here, particularly for
                                                          mature students. In reality there are only two         > 1916 Bursary - if you are a first time mature
                                                          main external sources of finance (if eligible) that      student entering college you need to check
                                                          go some way towards helping mature students              out the criteria for the bursary at www.
                                                          sustain themselves through the academic year:  
                                                          > Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)
                                                            Student Grant Scheme:          This bursary is € 5,000 per year of study without
                                                            There is no such thing as a ‘Mature Student          affecting your SUSI or Social Welfare payment.
                                                            Grant’. All students, regardless of age,
                                                            apply for a grant under (SUSI) Student Grant         > Uversity - this is a scholarship system aimed at
                                                            Scheme. The grant is means-tested and has              mature students. Check out
                                                            two elements:
                                                            1. Student Contribution Charge                       College can be expensive so consider all options
                                                            2. Maintenance Grant.                                for financial support. Check around your local area
                                                                                                                 as some government bodies and large companies
                                                          > Back to Education Allowance (apply to your
                                 Students are strongly                                                           provide student funding e.g. Dublin Port.
                                                            local Social Protection Office). Students on the
                                advised to check with:
                                                            Back to Education Allowance are not eligible for
                         and                                                                VISIT THE STUDENT BUDGETING ADVICE SERVICE
                                                            the Maintenance Grant element of the Student
                             Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) Student Grant       FOR MORE INFORMATION:
                               for the most up-to-date      Scheme. However, students in this category 
                               and detailed information     should still apply to SUSI in order to have
                                available on sources of     the Student Contribution Charge (formerly
                                        funding.            Registration Fees) paid, as otherwise they will
                                                            have to pay this charge which is approximately
                                                            € 3,000 each year (subject to change).

30                                                                                                                                                                     31
                                                                                                                                     Maynooth University Mature Students 2021

     Maciej Wilhelm Majnusz                               having enough time but I intend to make it up
     BSc Mathematics (with Education)                     to her later. In hindsight, I now know that there
                                                          was other help I could have benefitted from, if I
     I came to Ireland with a broken heart in search of   had paid more attention to the communication
     a change – change of scenery, people, culture,       from the University and those emails which
     everything. I had been working in various jobs       highlighted the financial supports available. I
     and travelling for a while.                          could perhaps have reduced my working hours
                                                          a bit by using the Student Budgeting Advice
     Eventually Martha, my sister, made me ask
                                                          Service (SBAC) and benefiting from the Student
     myself “What did I want to do with my life?” My
                                                          Assistance Fund (SAF).
     answer was “work with children”. So I decided
     to aim for teaching. I recognised that teaching      Another concern for me has been “What If I’m not
     would be a great profession, one that I would be     going to be a good teacher or enjoy it? What if
     proud to be associated with, that would enable       my hard work and sacrifices are for nothing? But
     me also to work and help children. Maths is a        college has given me the confidence and belief that
     subject I was always fond of and seemed to           all those problems (and others) can be overcome.
     succeed at in school. Recognising my love and        I now know I need to enjoy the journey itself and
     enjoyment of the subject and understanding the       live a little, spending more time with people, getting
     great difficulty many people have with maths         the right balance. This is one of the most important
     I thought this could be my opportunity. I knew       lessons I have learnt in Maynooth - college is NOT
     also that there is a demand for maths teachers       all hardship and work.
     in Ireland. I picked Maynooth University (MU)
     because it was so accessible. My dealings with       What I love most is the time I spend with pupils
     the Admissions Office and the Maynooth Access        during school placements, experiencing and
     Programme (MAP) from the outset set me on the        enjoying their personalities and participating
     right track to achieving my dreams.                  in their journey of learning. I already have so
                                                          many awesome memories - the enjoyment of
     I followed MU’s advice, completed the Certificate
     in Science Programme, one of their preparatory
                                                          discussions we conduct in education classes,
                                                          and working particularly with my new close               “I NEVER FELT THAT MY AGE
                                                                                                                   HELD ME BACK IN RELATION
     programmes, and was so delighted to get a place      friends on the education courses – Lauren,
     on the Maths Education degree course. I am now       Megan, Daniel and Emma. Having to work
     completing my final year.                            regularly in a group has also made me realise
                                                          and deal with a lot of my shortcomings.
                                                                                                                   TO SPEAKING TO STUDENTS
     My main concern starting out was money. The
     course was quite demanding and I needed              I have come to truly love maths and am amused
                                                                                                                    OR WORKING WITH THEM
     to focus on study Monday to Friday, leaving
     me very little time for anything else. I worked
                                                          that some people do not want to play poker with
                                                          me because they think “He’s too good at maths”.
                                                                                                                   FOR GROUP PROJECTS, AS
     weekends and all holidays. Summers were spent
     working, often up to 60 hours per week to save       Five years on, I would now say – don’t look
                                                                                                                     MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY
     up enough to sustain myself particularly during
     the school year. Lack of money and time meant I
                                                          for obstacles, take one step at a time, enjoy
                                                          the little victories and celebrate them with the
                                                                                                                     REALLY DOES HAVE THE
     could not look after my mum, who is not in great     wonderful people around you. Help others more             ETHOS OF INCLUSION, NO
                                                                                                                       MATTER WHAT AGE.”
     health, as well as I would have liked to – she       and don’t be afraid to ask for help – we all need
     had moved to Ireland with my dad to be closer        it sometimes. In other words: do not worry and
     to my sister and me. I often feel bad about not      enjoy the ride.
32                                                                                                                                                                              33
MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY                                                                                                                                                 Maynooth University Mature Students 2021

     Mature students who have been out of         CERTIFICATE IN RETURN TO LEARNING                      This can be enough to stop a person from even       of 60% in their final overall grade will be accepted
                                                  The Certificate in Return to Learning is aimed         thinking about going to university. These initial   onto MH101 and MH803 without interview.
     formal education for some time often
                                                  at people who have been out of formal                  concerns about being different to the majority of
     benefit from undertaking a preparatory                                                              the students, being expected to know how to do      Course duration: 100 hours part-time over
                                                  education for a number of years and who want
     programme.                                                                                          things like use the library or be competent with    one year. There are a number of options from
                                                  to experience a university education without
                                                                                                         computers, are dealt with over the foundation       which to choose:
                                                  having to commit to a full degree. Students who
     Maynooth University offer three such         do progress onto undergraduate degrees, often          year and this element of personal development       > Monday and Wednesday mornings
     options, all of which have guaranteed        excel in their chosen subjects due to the solid        and confidence building is of central concern         from 10.00am - 12.30pm
                                                  foundation of academic research and writing            to us as adult educators. What the course does      > Wednesday and Friday mornings
     offers of places on relevant courses
                                                  skills that the course had given them.                 more than anything else is allow the student time     from 10.00am - 12.30pm
     for those performing well and attaining                                                             to come to terms with university life and begin     > Wednesday evenings from 6.00pm - 10.00pm
     the required grades. The courses are         This Certificate is run by the Department of           to understand who they are as a learner. This
     as follows:                                  Adult and Community Education in Maynooth              is another reason why our Return to Learning        Classes are small and the learning takes place
                                                  University who take a very different approach to       students, who progress onto degree study, do so     within the classroom between the students and
     > Certificate in Return To Learning (RTL)    teaching and learning than many people will have       well – they have learned how to learn.              guided by our facilitators/lecturers.
     > Certificate in Science (see p. 36)         encountered through their previous educational
                                                  experiences. We value the knowledge that people        Participants need to be at least 21 years of age    Our courses have been described as life
     > Think About Teaching (TTT) (see p. 40)     bring with them from their everyday life and we        or over on 1st January of the year in which the     changing, transformational and the best learning
                                                  work with the student to bring them through            course commences. Students who achieve a mark       experience that people have ever had.
                                                  the learning process. Mature students have life
                                                  experience that can be very valuable. Anyone
      Ann Pepper                                  who has been working, either formally or as a
                                                  full-time parent, learns skills along the way. These
      “I decided to take on the challenge
                                                  could be budgeting, time management or conflict
       of third level education when
                                                  resolution. In addition, being older gives you a
       my youngest child was entering
                                                  different way of approaching problems. All of this
       secondary school. I hoped to improve
                                                  can be very useful when returning to education.
       my future employment opportunities
       and to reach my potential in terms         In 2018, the course was redesigned to encompass
       of education, as I had not gone to         Study Skills, Information and Communications
       college after leaving school in 1987.      Technology, Sociology and Local History. The new
       The Certificate in Return to Learning      format will enable students to sample subjects
       course was recommended to me as            from the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences with
       a way to get onto a degree course          lecturers who have years of experience in a wide
       once I had achieved a certain grade. I     range of academic settings.
       am very happy to say that I have just
       successfully completed my BA and           The Return to Learning course is more than
       am certain I would not have managed        just about acquiring the mechanical skills that
       this without the excellent start the RTL   people need to succeed in Higher Education.
       course gave me.”                           For many adults the initial step of crossing the
                                                  threshold of a college can be very daunting.

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