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Variety of opportunities for second-chance learners at Mary Immaculate College

Mary I mature students.

Variety of opportunities for second-chance learners at Mary Immaculate College

 Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is delighted to announce that late applications from mature students are now being accepted for a number of its Level 8 undergraduate degree programmes. Opening up its programme provision to as many mature students as possible is among one of MIC’s key strategic goals for the next number of years.

According to Dr Geraldine Brosnan, Director of Student Life at MIC, Mary Immaculate College has been hugely successful in attracting mature or ‘second-chance’ learners from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds whose educational experiences and opportunities in their earlier years may have been limited. “We, at MIC, are committed to improving access to higher education for adult learners as we believe that mature students hugely enrich the learning experience of a community and bring a range of life skills to the entire class”.


Continuing she outlined the advantages to returning to education as a mature student saying Firstly the entry criteria is different as your application considers how well prepared you are to take on the programme as opposed to how many CAO points you achieved; mature students perform extremely well academically, and many adults returning to third-level may be eligible for a back-to-education allowances such as SUSI grants, the Department of Education and Skills 1916 Bursary Fund or University Scholarships. We would advise all interested applicants to check the application closing date for these funding schemes as the deadline for some have already past.’

MIC mature students

MIC mature students.

Mother of three, Sarah McDonnell, from Clonlara, Co. Clare recently graduated from MIC’s Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) programme. She found returning to higher-level education as a second-chance leaner hugely rewarding.

“I had a period at home being the carer for my children and my little girl was about to start pre-school and thoughts were back on a job and I decided that might be a career so that meant returning to study. Coming across the Teacher Education Access course online made me think of something I didn’t even think was possible—a teaching degree. The appeal was that teaching is a professional degree and you’re coming out with a qualification that will mean a job at the end of it,” she explained.

Sarah goes on to highlight the challenges of returning to full-time study including the academic workload, financial considerations, and time commitments but she adds the practical assistance she received in MIC from the likes of the Student Parent Support Service was hugely helpful.

Applications from mature students are currently being accepted to the following programmes:

MIC Limerick:

  • BA in Contemporary & Applied Theatre Studies (MI001)
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree (MI002)
  • BA in Early Childhood Care and Education (MI007)

MIC Thurles:

  • BA in Education, Business Studies and Accounting (MI009)
  • BA in Education, Business Studies and Religious Studies (MI010)
  • BA in Education, Gaeilge and Religious Studies (MI011)
  • BA in Education, Gaeilge and Business Studies (MI012)
  • BA in Education, Mathematics & Gaeilge (MI013)
  • BA in Education, Mathematics & Business Studies (MI014)

Please note: Applicants wishing to be considered must apply through the CAO by 1 May 2020. Mature applicants who have applied initially through CAO by 1 February and wish to change their mind can do so now from 5 May from 12 noon, when the change of mind facility opens, until 12 May only.

For more information on all of MIC’s programmes available for mature students, click here

For more stories on MIC, click here


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.