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Frequently Asked Questions

New Architecture

A New Architecture was introduced from the 2019-20 academic year. Students now have the option to exit with a Single Honor, a Major with Minor, or a Joint Honor degree.

Junior Fresh (first) Year

Students take 60 credits in their Junior Fresh year, 50 of which are mandatory - 10 credits in Business, 20 credits in Economics, 10 credits in Political Science, 10 credits in Sociology and a final 10 credits from a list of available modules from Law, Social Policy, Languages (French, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian) etc.

Senior Fresh (second) Year

Students choose 60 credits in their Senior Fresh year. Prior to entering into the Senior Fresh year, students are invited by the Academic Registry to select, and register for, a Pathway of their choice from within the Subjects available to BESS students - Business, Economics, Political Science, Sociology. The pathway you choose in your Senior Fresh year is not necessarily what you will choose to exit with i.e. you get to chance to change your pathway in the Junior Sophister year, if you wish to. This is applicable to all pathways EXCEPT for the single honor pathway.

Single Honor (choosing 40 credits in the Subject they wish to pursue, 10 credits of Open Modules and 10 credits of Trinity Electives);

Major with Minor (choosing 40 credits in Subject 1 and 20 credits in Subject 2);

Joint Honor (choosing 20 credits in Subject 1, 20 credits in Subject 2, 10 credits in Open Modules, 10 credits in Trinity Electives) and, finally,

Three Subjects (choosing 20 credits in Subject 1, 20 credits in Subject 2, 20 credits in Subject 3.

The choice of pathway chosen in the Senior Fresh year will determine the pathway choices available in the Junior Sophister (third) year.

More information and Q&As for the Senior Fresh year pathway selection process is available here.

Junior Sophister (third) Year

Students choose 60 credits in their Junior Sophister year. Prior to entering into the Junior Sophister year, students are invited by the Academic Registry to select, and register for, their final choice of pathway (their exit pathway).

Single Honor chosen in the Senior Fresh year will continue on the Single Honor pathway (50 credits in Subject 1 and 10 credits in Open Modules);

Major with Minor chosen in the Senior Fresh year can continue on the Major with Minor pathway (40 credits in Subject 1, 20 credits in Subject 2) or transfer onto the Single Honor pathway (50 credits in Subject 1, 10 credits in Open Modules) or Joint Honor pathway (30 credits in Subject 1, 30 credits in Subject 2);

Joint Honor chosen in the Senior Fresh year can continue on the Joint Honor pathway (30 credits in Subject 1, 30 credits in Subject 2) or transfer onto the Major with Minor pathway (40 credits in Subject 1, 20 credits in Subject 2);

Three Subjects chosen in the Senior Fresh year must now choose the Joint Honor pathway (30 credits in Subject 1, 30 credits in Subject 2) or Major with Minor pathway (40 credits in Subject 1 and 20 credits in Subject 2 in order chosen from their Senior Fresh year).

Senior Sophister (fourth) year

Students choose 60 credits in their Senior Sophister year.

Single Honor - 40 credits in Subject 1, 20 credits in Capstone Project.

Major with Minor - 20 credits in Subject 1, 20 credits in Subject 2, 20 credits in Capstone Project from either Subject 1 or 2 or 40 credits in Subject 1 and 20 credits in Capstone Project.

Joint Honor - 20 credits in Subject 1, 20 credits in Subject 2, 20 credits in Capstone Project from either Subject 1 or 2.

How many students are in each lecture?

The BESS programme offers a mix of large lectures and small tutorial groups so that students receive the academic material within a large group but have time to reflect on and engage with the content in smaller groupings where they can explore the issues and discuss and debate with both other students and lecturers.

The number of students per module varies. Some of the popular modules and many in the first year can have up to 300 students in the lecture theatre. These lecturers also have tutorials which normally have between 15 and 25 students in one room. As the years progress the numbers of students in each class decreases due to the range of module choices available to students. For example many Senior Sophister classes have between 30 and 50 students for the more popular courses.

Can I come to College and meet someone to discuss the course?

If you would like to find out more about the BESS programme please see the following resources:

If you would like to discuss any aspect of BESS further you can call +353 1 896 1298 or e-mail BESS@tcd.ie or drop into the Course Office in Arts Building, Room 3023. View Trinity Campus map.

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Where can international students find out more about studying at Trinity?

Trinity's international reputation, unique city centre location and the opportunities available for study and reflection, socialising and personal development are just some of the reasons why international students choose to study at Trinity College.

What are the CAO points?

The CAO points for the BESS programme vary each year. They are currently 518* points, as the lowest point at which a student entered the programme. Visit the College Admissions website for minimum entry point details since 2004.

Is the maths module difficult?

Current students find the maths module challenging but not so difficult that it is a worry. There is a weekly review online assessment which engages the student in continuous learning but also highlights any areas of difficulties early and they can then be supported in a variety of ways. Once the student engages with the work, and most Trinity students do, then they are fine.

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