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Foundation Course Mature Students

Are you interested in studying on the Foundation Course? Then come to our Information Morning in the MacNeil Lecture Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College from 9:30am on February 28th 2018.


Apply for the course online here

What is the foundation course for mature students?
This is an access course that prepares mature students, both personally and academically, to go on and study for a degree.

Why was the foundation course set up and who is it for?
The course was set up in 1997 to tackle educational disadvantage. It offers another way to third-level education for mature students whose social, economic and cultural experiences have prevented them from going to college.

Watch our video to find out more about the course.

What do students study on the course?
Students can choose from two broad areas of study: arts and social sciences or science.
The arts and social science modules are: english, history, political science, law, sociology, economics, philosophy, psychology and maths and statistics. Students select up to five modules.
The science modules are: biology, physics, chemistry and maths for sciences and engineering.
In addition, all students take three core modules in study skills, information technology and educational guidance. 

What is the time commitment?
The course is full-time and runs from September to May over one year. There are up to 20 hours of lectures and tutorials each week and we would expect you to spend another 20 hours studying in your own time.

How are students assessed on the course?
Students are assessed through a combination of:

  • attendance--you must attend 80% of each module
  • continuous assessment (for example essays, projects and presentations)
  • final examinations.

What does the course cost?
The course is free. 

What supports are available?
Students have access to all college supports and services. There are also additional TAP supports.

What happens after the course?
Students who successfully complete the course receive a QQI level 6 Certificate in Foundation Studies from Trinity College. Students who get a grade of at least 50% can compete for places on degree courses in Trinity. If you want to apply for a degree course that is in high demand, you will need to get much higher than 50%. You must also meet the subject requirements for the course you want to apply for. We also encourage successful TAP students to apply to other universities and colleges.  

What are the entry requirements?
You must:

  • demonstrate a real desire to pursue a third-level course and the ability to do so
  • be 23 years of age on 1st January of the year you apply
  • be resident in Ireland
  • come from a socio- economic background(s) under-represented in third-level education
  • be eligible for the Government Free Fees Scheme .
  • If English is not your first language, you must submit evidence of your English language proficiency.

There are no standard educational requirements such as the Leaving Certificate or an aptitude test.

How do I apply?
You must:

  • Apply online here
  • Include a short essay with your online application (maximum 550 words), about any topic that is currently in the news that you are interested in writing about.
  • Give referee forms to two referees.
  • Attend an interview if we ask you to do so.
  • Use the Application Guidebook to help you with your application and any questions you have.

Application Deadlines:

  • March 28th 2018

How are students selected?
We review all applications and then contact you to tell you if you have been shortlisted for an interview. Interviews are held in May/June and offers will be made in July.

How many places are there on the foundation course?
There are 25 places available each year.

What former students say:

"My TAP year laid such strong foundations for my education...and my tutors have commented on my strong work ethic and organisational skills. I’m really looking forward some day to be in a position to return all the good you have done for me and my family. My graduation from Trinity last November was one of the proudest days of my life"  Robbie, TCD Drama and Theatre Studies

"Just wanted to say you have no idea how much my life has changed because of TAP and all your support over the years. I’m so grateful because my life and my sons’ lives are going in a positive direction" Natasha, TCD History

"The tremendous support of staff and tutors has helped put my fellow students and me in a position to go and do what we didn't believe possible. This course is an intensive one but it offers a level of support which, I believe, must be unique" John, TCD Science 

Need more information?

If you have question about the online application please read the Application Guidebook which should answer your questions.

Foundation Course for Mature Students Information Sheet

Referee Forms

Phone: Sarah Grimson - 01 896 3472



Last updated 8 November 2017 by Trinity Access Programmes (Email).