Studying At Maynooth

What can I expect?

The first thing you will notice is the room itself. Very often your lectures will be in theatre style rooms, with tiered seating and benches instead of tables. These lecture halls allow the lecturer to engage you from the front of the room and vary in capacity from 20 up to 100’s of students.

The next biggest change you will notice is that you are treated like an adult, because you are one. You’ll be expected to look after your own timetable, show up for classes and direct your own learning. Nobody is going to be chasing you around making sure you do stuff- it’s up to you!

What’s a lecture?

Most lectures will involve taking notes while some can be very engaging with long discussions between the lecturer and the class. It is important to know that a lecture often does not contain all you need to know on a particular topic. It may be an overview, and you are expected to study the topic in more detail in your own time.

What’s Self-directed Learning?

This is a technical term for studying in your own time. This is an essential part of life as a college student. You need to find the mode of study that works best for you. Many like studying in groups, while some prefer to study at home. The library is an excellent place to study, as it has internet access, thousands of books, and academic journals (many available online).

What’s a Tutorial?

This is a much more informal type of class. They often cover the same material as a lecture but in more detail. The class is often split into small groups for tutorials, to allow for discussion and debate.

And Labs?

In the Science and Engineering courses, labs are an opportunity for you to gain practical hands-on experience of what you are studying. You will then be expected to write a lab-report on the experiment.


If you need extra tutoring, or Grinds, then have a word with your Department initially- they might have a contact who can help you out. Keep an eye on Noticeboards- other students at an advanced level often make themselves available. Also, check out the Grinds Centre service, which many students find helpful.