Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links



Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

What is Engineering?

Engineering is about being creative in technical problem solving. Engineers make things possible by using mathematical and scientific principles together with analytical and design skills. They tackle existing problems by developing new solutions through innovative technologies. They also expand the frontiers of society by developing advanced materials, sustainable energy systems, construction technologies, transport systems, biomedical devices and telecommunications infrastructure.

Is this the right course for you?

Engineering is a constantly evolving profession. As an engineer, you will need to be adaptable both to the rapid development of new ideas and technology and to the shifting requirements of industry and society. You will need to a good communicator and be capable of working as part of a team. Above all, you must be a problem solver. You must be creative and able to synthesise and analyse information from different sources to arrive at efficient and practical solutions.

Course overview

The B.A.I./M.A.I. (Engineering) degree programme is based on two years of general engineering, providing students with a firm grounding in the principles common to all disciplines, followed by two/three years of specialisation. Graduates are professionally accredited engineers with both a broad-based understanding of the whole discipline and a detailed knowledge of their chosen specialist area. The aim is that graduates will be able to continuously train themselves, to adapt and move into related or newly emerging areas as their careers develop after graduation.

The Freshman years

All students follow a common programme for the first two years. The Junior Freshman (first) year comprises introductory courses in engineering science, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, graphics and computer-aided engineering, and a group design and build project.

In the Senior Freshman (second) year, students take further engineering science modules and complete two more group design and build projects. This allows you to explore all the possibilities open to you in advance of making your final decision about what specialism to concentrate on.

While every effort is made to allow students to study the course they choose, in some departments the number of places for students of any one year may be limited (this has never been necessary so far).

What happens next?

At the end of the Senior Freshman (second) year you choose one of the six specialist areas:

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Civil, structural and environmental engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Electronic engineering
  • Electronic and computer engineering (joint programme)
  • Mechanical and manufacturing engineering

Courses in the Sophister (third and fourth) years aim to broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the specialism you have chosen.

Subjects are studied in much greater detail and students undertake real-life, practical projects. If you choose Civil, structural and environmental engineering you could end up testing the pre-cast concrete used to build the Paddington to Heathrow railway; if you choose Computer engineering, you might find yourself building a microprocessor system.

Fifth Year Options

Engineering students require a Masters degree to be directly eligible for Chartered Engineer status with Engineers Ireland. Therefore the School offers several options for a fifth year leading to a Masters degree (M.A.I.).

  • Double qualification with INSA de Lyon

Suitably qualified students may, at the end of their second year, apply for transfer to the double qualification programme, run jointly with the INSA de Lyon, the largest engineering school in France. Instruction at INSA de Lyon is through French and students will be required to have a high standard of language competence before participating on the programme. At the end of a five-year double qualification programme Trinity students may receive, in addition to the B.A.I., the Diplôme de l’INSA, which confers full professional accreditation in France.

  • M.A.I. (Domestic – Option 1)

This entails spending the 4th and 5th year in Trinity, undertaking additional modules in the specialisation as well as a group project in 4th year and a significant individual project in 5th year.

  • M.A.I. (Domestic – Option 2)

This option allows student to spend one semester of their 4th year undertaking a supervised internship placement. The remainder of their 4th year and the 5th year are spent in Trinity undertaking additional modules in the specialisation. Students complete a significant individual project in 5th year.

  • M.A.I. (International – Option 1)

This is offered in collaboration with the European CLUSTER Programme, a consortium of 12 universities. The student spends their fourth year abroad and returns to complete their 5th year at Trinity. The other partner universities are: Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona; Technische Universität Darmstadt; Technische Universiteit Eindhoven; Institut polytechnique de Grenoble; Instituto Superior Técnico Lisbon; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/Université Catholique de Louvain; Helsinki University of Technology; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Politecnico di Torino; KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm.

  • M.A.I. (International – Option 2)

This is offered in collaboration with the UNITECH Programme, a consortium of 9 universities and 15 multinational corporate partners. Students will spend one semester in a partner university followed by a six month internship with one of the corporate partners.

  • Partner universities: Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg; ETH Zurich; Institut National de Sciences Appliquées de Lyon – INSA; Loughborough University; Politecnico di Milano; RWTH Aachen University; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona; TU Delft, The Netherlands.
  • M.A.I. (International – Option 3)

The student spends their fourth year abroad as part of the Erasmus/International programme and returns to complete their 5th year at Trinity. Some partner universities are: Institut National de Sciences Appliquées de Lyon – INSA; Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM); Politecnico di Torino; University of Melbourne.

Engineering at a glance

All students in TR032 follow common first and second years. At the end of the second year you will select one of six specialist streams as outlined below.

Junior Freshman (first) year

Lectures - 16 hours per week

Tutorials - 5 hours per week

Laboratory work - 6 hours per week

Junior Freshman modules

  • Engineering mathematics I and II
  • Computer engineering I
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanics
  • Introduction to professional engineering
  • Engineering design I: Graphics and computer-aided engineering
  • Engineering design II: Project
  • Experimental methods

Senior Freshman (second) year

Lectures - 16 hours per week

Tutorials - 5 hours per week

Laboratory work - 4 hours per week

Senior Freshman modules

  • Engineering mathematics III and IV
  • Computer engineering II
  • Solids and structures
  • Thermo-fluids
  • Electronics
  • Engineering and the Environment
  • Materials
  • Engineering design III: Project
  • Engineering design IV: Project

Sophister (third and fourth) years and M.A.I. year

For contact hours, please go to the individual stream pages (see below).

Sophister modules

  • Engineering mathematics V or Engineering analysis
  • Management for engineers

Select one of the six specialisations below:

Biomedical engineering

Civil, structural and environmental engineering

Mechanical and manufacturing engineering

Electronic engineering

Computer engineering

Electronic and computer engineering (joint programme)


Assessment in each of the first two years is by means of written examination, primarily at the end of the last term combined with continuous assessment of coursework during the year. Typically, end-of-year examinations contribute at least 50% towards your grade in each subject. The design projects are assessed entirely by continuous assessment.

Study abroad and work experience

If you are in the five year M.A.I programme, you can spend your fourth year studying abroad or a term working in an internship. There are opportunities to study abroad through the Erasmus, Cluster and Unitech exchange programmes. The School links with many universities across Europe.

Career opportunities

The B.A.I. is a professional degree accredited by Engineers Ireland and is recognised by a large number of engineering institutions outside Ireland. These degrees will be your gateway to a wide and varying career path. See the specialist areas above for further details of career opportunities.

Further information Tel: + 353 1 896 1142 E-mail: Twitter @tcdengineering

Specific Entry Requirements

Graduate profile

Engineering Graduate Profile

Simon Dobbyn B.A., B.A.I, Ph.D.

Simon Dobbyn B.A., B.A.I, Ph.D., took a fulltime undergraduate degree here and continued his studies as a post graduate in the computer graphics group where he received his Ph.D. He recently received funding from Enterprise Ireland with the aim of forming a games middleware company.

The reason why I did Engineering was because I was interested in mathematics in school and I wanted to work in the computer games industry. However, since I was not sure whether computer science was for me, I felt that Engineering was a good choice since it allows you to specialise in different streams at the end of the course.

I think Engineering is a really good course to take, as it provides a good foundation to the core subjects related to the different fields such as maths, physics, and programming in the first two years. This means that by the third year, you have a comprehensive understanding of many different subjects, and you can then specialise in the field you are most interested in."

Simon graduated with a B.A. and B.A.I. in 2001 and finished his Ph.D. in 2006, entitled Hybrid Representations and Perceptual Metrics for Scalable Human Simulation".