Maynooth CAO Information Evening

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Are you thinking of going back to education? On 9th January 2019, Maynooth University is holding a CAO information evening and application workshop on their campus.

Courses on offer

The BA in Local Studies (Arts) and the BA in Community Studies (Social Sciences) (MH803) are specifically designed for Adult Students (over 21 on 1 January 2019) who are interested in pursuing a Part-Time Evening degree. These flexible degrees have been developed for people who are busy with work, family and daily life. If you are interested in History, Folklore, Geography, Education, the Environment, Society and Culture and you have two evenings a week free then this wide-ranging degree may be for you.

For more information and to register for the event visit HERE.

Considering going back?

Adult learning or returning to education as a mature student can seem daunting. You may worry that it has been too long since you hit the books. You may not have had a great experience at school. Or perhaps you don’t consider yourself academically inclined.


We spoke to Dr. Derek Barter, the Continuing Education Co-ordinator of Maynooth University’s Department of Adult and Community Education. He gave us the lowdown on heading back to education as a mature student:

Learning is learning, isn’t it? How does adult education differ?

“The Department of Adult and Community Education in Maynooth University takes a very different approach to teaching and learning than a lot of people will have encountered through their previous educational experiences. We value the knowledge that people bring with them from their everyday life and work with the student to bring them through the learning process. We understand the social nature of learning and how important the group aspect of a successful educational encounter actually is. On top of this deep learning is acquired over time and adults have built up a repertoire of resources and skills that younger students simply have not had the time to develop yet.”

Could you explain?

“Mature students have life experience that can be very valuable. Anyone who has been working, either formally or as a full-time parent learns skills along the way. These could be budgeting, time management or conflict resolution. People who have managed to care for and raise a family or maintain a business and develop a career have these skills in spades. In addition, being older gives you a different way of approaching problems. All of this can be very useful when returning to education and are recognised as strengths that people bring with them into the university.”

How to apply

Adults can be very put off by the thoughts of applying through the CAO and think that it is all about Leaving Cert points. In fact, applications for the Adult Student part-time evening degree (MH803) Local Studies/Community Studies could not be more straightforward and simple. If you are interested you can contact the college through their portal. Alternatively just apply directly to the CAO before 1 Feb 2019 but you can contact for guidance and information before that date.

The Student Voice: Anthony O’Prey on his time on the BA in Community Studies

“In 2012, I took on a trainer position with Aware delivering their new personal development workshop called Living Life to the Full. This was a new course teaching Cognitive Behaviour Therapy skills for people struggling with Depression and Anxiety disorders, delivered over a six week period. During the course, participants were introduced to a concept of capturing a ‘WOW’ moment each day and documenting it in a personal journal. It could be a painting, a flower, something in wildlife or an upbeat song that made them tap their feet. Participants were also given gold coloured, star-shaped tinted glasses (props) to help them capture this ‘WOW’ moment.”

“As the trainer of this course, I was fortunate enough to have recently become a father of two young sons; plenty of ‘WOW’ moments (and ‘ARRRR’ moments). What has been surprizing about my learning experience in Maynooth so far is the amount of consistent ‘WOW’ moments I experience at every lecture on every night. My brain feels like a lit Halloween sparkler as I drive back to Westmeath each night after class. Education is not new to me. For the last twenty years, I have worked in professions whereby regular continued professional development and upskilling is an integral part in my practice. This type of education, however, has woken up my senses and curiosity in a way I was not expecting.”


Gemma is a nomadic writer, filmmaker, & journalist.
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