There are available routes other than a third level college, such as VTOS courses, which aim to meet the needs of a nervous beginner to returning to Education. A VTOS course will also make allowances for your other life. By this I mean I attended a VTOS course in WCFE (Waterford College of Further Education) in Parnell Street and it is the essential stepping stone needed to build confidence. I have 3 young children all under 10yrs and the course I chose had a finishing time of 1:30pm every day. this allowed me time to do my thing in the morning and gave me enough time to collect the kids after school.
Below is a link to the college I attended;
Below here is a link which refers to the official VTOS Training Opportunities.