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Foundation Course Young Adults

What is the foundation course for young adults?

This is an access course that prepares students - both personally and academically- to go on and study for a degree in Trinity College.

Why was the course set up and who is it for?
The course was set up in 1999 to offer another way into Trinity for young adults whose social, economic and cultural experiences have prevented them from going to college.

Watch our video to find out more about the course.

Apply online here

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 and psychology, and maths and statistics. Students select up to five modules.

The science modules are: maths for sciences and engineering, biology, physics and chemistry.

In addition, students take three core modules in study skills, information technology and educational guidance. 

Students also take part in a professional development and mentoring programme with Grant Thornton - a chartered accountants and management consultancy firm.

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?
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 student 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.

What are the entry requirements?
You must:

  • attend a second level school in Dublin which is linked to an access service
  • meet the same socio-economic criteria as set out for HEAR
  • achieve a minimum 5 Ordinary grade 6s and at least one Higher grade 5 in the Leaving Certificate (applicants must pass English and Mathematics. A pass means grade O6/H7 or above on ordinary or higher papers in the Leaving Certificate. A pass in foundation level Mathematics is acceptable for minimum entry requirements). We will also consider applications from applicants with a distinction in the Leaving Certificate Applied and applicants with a QQI-FET level 5 award.
  • be 21 years of age or under on 1st January in the year you apply
  • be eligible for the Government Free Fees Scheme or EU Fees.

How do I apply?

Apply online here

To apply you must:

    1. Include a short essay with your online application (maximum 750 words), telling us about yourself and why you want to go to university.
    2. Submit any supporting documents about yourself or your parents or guardian that we ask for on the application form. You should do this by uploading the documents to your online application.
    3. Give referee forms to two referees (you can download these from the online application and here). At least one referee should be a teacher from your school; the other can be a youth leader, voluntary group organiser, employer or coach.
    4. Use the Application Guidebook to help you with your application and any questions you have.

Application Deadlines:

  • The closing date for completing the application form online was February 7th 2018.
  • Applicants have until March 28th 2018 to submit their supporting documents online. 
  • Referees have until March 28th 2018 to return the reference forms to TAP. 

How do we select students?
We review all applications and in July, we will confirm if you are eligible for the course. Applicants who meet the socio economic and academic criteria for the course will be interviewed in August.

In August, we will contact you to tell you if you have been offered a place in TAP or on the university access course in Liberties College or received no offer. Offer of places on the course are based on applicant's application form, essay, references, interview worksheet, number of socio-economic indicators and academic results.

Applicants for the Foundation Course/Liberties College partnership Course who also receive a HEAR offer at degree level, will not normally be considered for offers for the Foundation Course/Liberties partnership Course.

How many places are there on the foundation course?
There are 25 places on the TAP foundation course and another 25 places on the university access course in Liberties College.

What former students say

"Doing the access programme was like jumping out of a plane with more than one parachute. It has been exciting and a little scary. But I arrived safely and will continue on in college" TCD English and film studies student

"The Trinity Access Programme has given me the courage to look to my future and be confident that I have a very promising life ahead of me" TCD English and politics student
"The foundation course is exactly what an academic course should be: rigorous, challenging, motivating and of clear learning value. I felt nurtured, encouraged and challenged. It was a great experience and will help me in all my future studies" TCD History student

"The foundation year has given me the necessary tools – socially and educationally – so that I can go on to meet many more challenges in my life, knowing that I have just completed one which was, once upon a time, a dream for me, that is,third level education" TCD Dentistry student


Foundation Course for Young Adults Information Sheet

Foundation Course for Young Adults Application Guidebook

Download Supporting Documents for your application:

Referee Form
Medical Card Form
Social Welfare Form

Phone:  Sarah Grimson, course co-ordinator, 01 896 3472


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