Mature Students

NCAD welcomes applications from mature students to all our programmes. A mature student is any EU student who will be 23 years of age on the 1st of January of the proposed year of entry to NCAD.

Welcome to learing about applying to Study at NCAD as a Mature Student

We have put this page together to give you all the information you should need. However, if you need to contact us with any questions you can do so by email on We'd be glad to hear from you.

Key Information 

NCAD welcomes applications from Mature Applicants for all of our Full Time Undergraduate Courses and we have Mature Students across our courses every year. 

To be considered a Mature Applicant, you must be 23 years of age or older, on the 1st of January in the same year you wish to start studying. 

The other tabs above contain information on how to apply as well as how your application will be reviewed. It's important to note that Mature Applicants are required to complete a full application, including qualifcations, CV, personal statement and more. We can only review what you submit. So give yourself the best chance of being made an offer by includuing as much detail as you can. 

Looking forward to your applications. 


NCAD Admissions Team

Studio Programmes in NCAD are the practical courses. All studio based programmes at NCAD require a portfolio submission as part of the application process. As a mature student, you apply for these programmes at the same time as any other student applying to First Year NCAD.

Entry to NCAD Studio programmes is based on 

  • Minimum Entry Requirements (Academic Requirements)

    • These can vary course to course. e.g. Maths is only a requirement for Product Design and Interaction Design. 

    • Mature applicants will be assessed first on any academic qualifications provided in the application. 

    • If you do not meet minimum academic entry requirements through a Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) or QQI/FETAC award we will then consider on the grounds of mature years based on the information provided with your CAO application.

    • This can be work history & CV, previous education, references, personal statement. See CAO website at link below for more. 

  • Portfolio Submission

    • Applicants submit one portfolio which is assessed separately for each course they apply for. Full details on portfolio submission can be found at the link below. 

Unlike most courses on the CAO system, NCAD Studio Programmes do not rely on the points system. Applicants must meet the minimum entry requirements and have received a passing score on their portfolio. (Passing scores on portfolios can vary year to year).

Things to remember

It is essential that all applications to Studio Programmes are made by 1st February each year. There are no late applications. There are no extensions to deadlines. 

NCAD does not issue any offers at Round A in July. Mature offers for NCAD are made in Round 0 in early August. 

Useful Links for Mature Applicants 

NCAD's Portfolio Information Site  Link here
NCAD Minimum Entry Requirements Link here
CAO application information  Link here
Submitting Supporting Documents to CAO Link here
Upcoming Events at NCAD Link here


Mature applicants to AD215 Visual Culture should apply through the CAO by 1st February and should include on the CAO form information about your previous education as well as any relevant work or other experience that might support your application. 

Please send any supporting documentation such as transcripts or CVs to the CAO marked clearly with your CAO number. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend for interview during March/ April and will be told the outcome of this interview during May.

Mature students can expect to receive their formal offer of a place in First Year in NCAD through the CAO in early August (Round 0). You should accept this offer through the CAO by the time indicated on the offer notice.   

Many Mature applicants will be offered on the basis of their previous education including Secondary School Qualifications. If you are not eligible for an offer based on your previous education and qualifications then 

For more information on Fees and the available funding you can visit the links below. Please contact these organisations directly should you have any queries.

Link here

We are happy to hear from you with any queries

Send us an email to