Socio-economic Background

Trinity is open to all regardless of socio-economic background, and always seeks to widen access to students who have not yet realised their full academic potential.

A student standing in front of a granite pillar wearing a navy jacket and purple tshirt

TAP contributes to tackling social exclusion through a range of innovative, targeted initiatives for individuals who, for socio-economic reasons, have not yet realised their full educational potential. Its mission is to widen access to third level by addressing factors that contribute to the under-representation of lower socio-economic groups and ethnic minorities at third level. It works in partnership with:

  • organisations across the education sector,
  • families,
  • communities, and
  • businesses.

TAP has been working since 1993 to develop programmes for children, young adults and mature students in primary, second level and further education.

TAP Programmes include:

TAP staff also founded the national College Awareness Week campaign.

The SU Access Officer represents the interests of TAP students within the SU and is a useful contact for any queries that access students may have - just email

Financial difficulties should not prevent any student from reaching their full academic potential, and a full list of financial assistance provided by the university is kept on the Senior Tutor's website.

The Students' Union also provides financial assistance to students experiencing economic hardship - please contact the Welfare Officer for details.

Trinity sets out its commitment to an inclusive university community with equality of access for all in the Strategic Plan 2020-2025. As part of Goal 1, to "foster an ever more diverse and inclusive student community", the University states its objective to   "Increase access and ensure inclusivity. Students who have entered Trinity via the Trinity Access Programmes or the national HEAR and DARE schemes and other under-represented groups will make up 25% of our undergraduate population." (1.5) page 29 - "under-represented groups" includes mature students, students with disabilities and students who have been socio-economically disadvantaged.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has also published a National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2019 (PDF 2.4 MB), which targets socio-economic groups who have been under-represented in higher education in Ireland to date.

Socio-economic background of new entrants to Trinity, and statistics from the Trinity Access Programmes, are presented in Annual Equality Monitoring Reports. The socio-economic background of staff is not collected at present.

Socio-economic status is not itself a protected ground within Irish equality legislation. However, the Equal Status Act outlaws discrimination on the basis of "housing assistance" in the provision of accommodation - for example, a landlord can't refuse to let a property to a prospective tenant because the tenant is in receipt of rent allowance. Please see our legislation webpages for further information.

Furthermore, the Equality Committee (which includes TAP representation) promotes the equal treatment of all regardless of socio-economic background, in the spirit of the university's commitment to equality.