Mature Students Support Service

Support for Mature Students

The Mature Student Office offer a range of workshops designed to meet your academic, personal and professional development.  Once you have registered in DCU you can avail of a huge range of supports offered in by other services.

Deciding to return to study is an exciting time.  However, many people can feel a little overwhelmed by the choice of courses, entry requirements and costs involved.  In order to support you in making your application DCU offers a Preparing to Study workshop.  In a relaxed informal setting, you will be taken through topics such as applying as a mature student, completing a personal statement, preparing for interview, researching grants/scholarships and receive advice on academic preparation.  We also discuss the various supports available to first year mature students. 

This workshop is open for registration every October and takes place in early November. 

Mature Student Shadowing Day

The Mature Student Shadowing Days offer an opportunity to experience a day in the life of a current DCU Mature Student.  You will sit inlectures, eat lunch and attend tutorials  for the course of your choice.  Shadowing days are offered in November and December.  Place are limited.  

Due to current restrictions our shadowing days have been suspended

One To One Appointments

The Mature Student Officer is available to meet with you to discuss returning to study.  These are typically 30 minutes long and are offered online only.

Pre Entry (Post Offer)

Once you have received your offer of a place in DCU the Mature Student Officer will be contact you offering you the opportunity to attend the Head Start Programme.  This programme has been designed to support your academic and personal development.    

Head Start - Welcome!  

This event is an opportunity for you to meet your mature student classmates, discuss any concerns with your Mature Student Officer, hear from support staff and ask any questions you might have about returning to study.  You will hear from some current mature students who will be happy to answer any questions.  The Mature Student Society will give you a brief introduction to their events and offer invaluable advice on becoming a DCU student. 

Head Start Self Care

This event offers an opportunity to look at your motivation for completing your degree.  We discuss possible challenges and barriers to you completing your degree and identify solutions.  We look at making room in your life for study and hear from current mature students.  

Head Start Maths

This is a week-long intensive maths programme aimed at mature students returning to education. The programme is offered freeof charge and is designed to help you to make a successful transition to third-level maths by improving the basic skills you will need for your course before you start lectures. The programme is run in a friendly atmosphere by experienced tutors from the School of Mathematical Sciences.     

Head Start Writing

This is a week-long course offering an opportunity to discover the skills necessary for academic writing. Delivered in small groups you will be given the opportunity to practise your research and writing skills while learning about the various academic supports available to you while studying in DCU. This year it will run from 7th-11th September, online daily offering a mix of self-guided resources and online webinars. To view the timetable and for more information please click here.  Please note that this is subject to change.

Discover DCU

Discover DCU is an online workshop series.  It is made up of eight short interactive courses designed to help you get settled in and introduce you to the tools and skills you will need to succeed at DCU.  For more information please click here or email


Post Entry (once you have registered in DCU)

Semester 1

We have a number of Grammarly Premium licences which are made available to our mature students free of charge.  This tool enhances your writing skills.This tool checks your work for grammar, spelling and style mistakes.  Current DCU mature students can apply for a licence here.  These are offered on a first come first served basis.

We offer Head Start Loop workshop for all incoming mature students. This explains the benefits and functions of the Loop system.

If you have concerns regarding the IT requirements for study in DCU we suggest you attend our Head Start IT for DCU  workshop.  This workshop walks you through the necessary skills to create and submit assignments, create a powerpoint presentation and explores the DCU google functions. PLEASE BRING YOUR LAPTOP.

The Pathways to Success programme is a 4 week programme that will enable students to set goals, build resilience, self-confidence and create a strategy to creating success in their life. This is a great programme as it enables students to take time for themselves and look at what they want from their life. Throughout the four weeks, we will look at ways to create clear goals, build strategies to maintain motivation and build the resilience and self-confidence to reach your goals.  Those who attend the 4 weeks will be presented with a 'Certificate of CompletionYou will receive an email inviting you to register for the programme.

Student Learning Office offer a range of academic supports.  These include the Writing centre, exam bootcamps and one to one appointments.  


Semester 2

Throughout your time in DCU you will have various opportunities to receive feedback on your work or performance. The Receiving Feedback workshop is designed to help you get the most benefit from your feedback/consultation days.

Sometimes we can lose focus and forget the reason we started our degree.  Our Staying Focused workshop builds on the work from the Head Start Self Care workshop. This workshop offers you space to look at your motivation points and identify possible barriers or challenges which will impact on your ability to complete your degree.

Your Mature Student Office will email details and booking links to your DCU email account.

Student Learning Office is available to you throughout your time in DCU.  By semester 2 you will have been introduced to their services and attended their workshops.