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 Day offers an opportunity to experience a day in the life of a current DCU Mature Student.  You will sit in lectures, eat lunch and attend tutorials  for the course of your choice.  This year we are holding our shadowing day on 24th November.  Please click on the link below to complete our application form.  Place are limited.  

Click here to apply for a place on our mature Student Shadowing Day


Pre Entry (Post Offer)

Head Start Programme

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

The Head Start programme offers incoming mature students the space to focus on transitioning to third level life. This transition involves many exciting opportunities but can also offer some challenges both academically and personally. The programme was designed and created by the Mature Student Office and Student Support & Development in DCU.   

As students work through the Head Start programme they will identify areas of strength, explore where they can improve, learn about the academic and digital skills required for university, and discover how to access the support they require.

There are 6 online courses in the Head Start Programme  

  • Course 1: My Head Start  
  • Course 2: Learning at University
  • Course 3: Academic Writing 
  • Course 4: Introduction to Technology 
  • Course 5: Maths Refresher for students with a maths module in their course
  • Course 6: Your next steps

If students complete the compulsory elements they can earn a Head Start Digital Badge.

Each course takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The programme is self-directed online learning.  In early September students are invited to the in-person Head Start Writing Week workshops.  These 3 days offer an opportunity to build and test skills from the online Head Start Programme, meet other incoming mature students, meet their Mature Student Officer and introduce the support staff from Student Support & Development.  

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.  


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.

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 boot camps 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 Programme. 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.