Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Site map

Bachelor in Deaf Studies

On this page:

Course overview

Deaf Studies is a four-year full-time course. No prior knowledge of ISL is required. The course provides a comprehensive introduction to the Deaf community and ISL for those wishing to work in or with the Deaf community. The degree involves an integrated programme of study which is designed to equip students with a broad spectrum of knowledge, skills and competencies related to the Deaf community, its history and culture, and for those following specific paths, the profession of ISL/English interpreting or ISLTeaching. The course offered is a four-year course of honors standard leading to a degree of Bachelor in Deaf Studies.

Back to top

What is Deaf Studies?

Deaf Studies is a discipline that encompasses an understanding of the Deaf community from social, educational, policy and historical perspectives. Graduates will develop fluency in Irish Sign Language (ISL) and may choose to specialise as Irish Sign Language Interpreters, Irish Sign Language teachers or as generalists in Deaf Studies. ISL interpreters facilitate communication in a range of community and conference settings including legal, medical, educational, social services, and employment related settings. ISL teachers deliver language learning in a range of contexts, working with deaf children and their families at home, and with adults who are learning ISL as a second language. There is currently a significant shortage of professional ISL/English interpreters and ISL teachers in Ireland. Those specialising in Deaf Studies will develop skills in developing accessible multimedia for Deaf and hard of hearing people, opening up opportunities in subtitling and public information service delivery. There are also options for developing valuable research skills as part of this course.

Back to top

Admission to the Bachelor in Deaf Studies

Please note the following:

  • Applications to this course are via the CAO system as described in the college's admissions webpages.
  • Mature students (aged 23 or over in year of entry) must apply through the CAO AND the Admissions Office at TCD. See admissions for further details.
  • We strongly encourage applications from Deaf and hard of hearing students. Applications for Deaf and hard of hearing students are also via CAO (and Admissions Office for mature students). See admissions for further details.
  • Applications for all students MUST be completed by 1st February in year of entry. See

Back to top

The Fulbright Scholarship in Deaf Studies

The Fulbright Scholarship in Deaf Studies was launched by Her Excellency, Mrs. Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, at Trinity College Dublin on July 15th 1999.

This scholarship primarily links Trinity College Dublin and Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. A federally-assisted, non-profit, private institution, Gallaudet University is the only accredited liberal arts university in the world designed exclusively for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The principal aim of the scholarship is to foster an international partnership between the US, and specifically, between Gallaudet University and the Deaf community in Ireland via Trinity College and, through this partnership, to promote awareness of the distinctive nature of Deaf language and culture, advance research in all areas relating to deafness, and to provide training for members of both the deaf and hearing communities, particularly for those who work at the interface between deaf and hearing culture.

In addition to a Deaf or hard of hearing Irish undergraduate student or scholar travelling to Gallaudet, a graduate student from the US will come to Ireland where they will have Visiting Academic Status at the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, and engage in research/internship. In addition to its undergraduate and graduate programmes, Gallaudet offers national demonstration elementary and secondary eduction programmes, continuing education programmes, and a wide range of public service programmes.

In Ireland, the scholarship is open to students who wish to pursue under-graduate study at Gallaudet for one or two semesters. Undergraduate courses and programmes are offered in a variety of areas including arts, sciences, communication, education, human services and management. All candidates will be expected to have some knowledge of a natural sign language, such as Irish or British Sign Language, and to be willing to study American Sign Language.

Details of undergraduate programmes at Gallaudet University are available from the Gallaudet website.

Fullbright Contact Details

Application forms may also be downloaded from the Fulbright website.

Back to top


  • Bachelor in Deaf Studies Prospectus (PDF, 142 KB)
  • Bachelor in Deaf Studies General Handbook 2014-15 (PDF 823 KB, DOC 187 KB)
  • Bachelor in Deaf Studies JF Handbook 2014-15 (PDF 351 KB, DOC 114 KB)
  • Bachelor in Deaf Studies SF Handbook 2014-15 (PDF 337 KB, DOC 211 KB)
  • Bachelor in Deaf Studies JS Handbook 2014-15 (PDF 493 KB, DOC 147 KB)
  • Bachelor in Deaf Studies SS Handbook 2014-15 (PDF 373 KB, DOC 210 KB)

For further information please contact Dr. John Bosco Conama:

Back to top

Last updated 25 February 2015 by