Our Career Guidance Editor Roisín Traynor reminds us of the Trinity Access Programme deadline (7th of February) and speaks to Robert Leonard, a past TAP student at Trinity College.
The Trinity Access Programme (TAP) gives students that come from socio-economic groups that are underrepresented in higher level education in Ireland the opportunity to go to university and the support needed to transition from school to university, and then to professional life.
Leaving Cert students may think of 'Trinity Access Programme -Foundation Course for Young Adults' as a kind of transition year between school and university. This one-year course is an amazing opportunity, not only to get into the best university in Ireland, but also to:
* Get a taste of college life,
* find out what you’re interested in studying,
* grow as an individual,
* make new friends,
* and develop academically to the standard expected of a university student.
TAP students are given the educational and financial support and the career guidance needed throughout their college years to help them to achieve their goals and build better lives for themselves and others.
Students on the foundation course can choose from two broad areas of study:
* arts and social sciences or
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: maths for sciences and engineering, biology, physics and chemistry.
In addition, all 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 accountant and management consultancy firm.
Robert Leonard, who graduated from Trinity College in 2016, shares his experience:
“I would never have imagined myself getting a degree from Trinity College and that would never have happened if it wasn't for the Trinity Access Programme. The amazing opportunities and life experiences that I've had either as direct or indirect results of getting into TAP are far too many to name. That one door held open for me, has held open so many more since. It has literally shaped my life -socially, intellectually, and professionally.”
What did you study during your TAP year?
“I was on the Trinity Access Programme -Foundation Course for Young Adults in 2010/11. After trying out all modules, I decided to go down the social sciences route and studied: psychology, law, sociology, economics, maths & stats as well as taking the study skills, IT and Ed. Guidance modules. We were graded on assignments throughout the year as well as end-of-year exams. We had to go through the CAO process again but getting into our desired courses depended on our grades on the foundation year and not on our Leaving Cert points.”
What did you study after?
“The following year, I went into first year of the undergraduate course: Business, Economics and Social Studies. It offered a broad range of subjects and degree options. In my freshman years I studied modules including: Law, economics, accounting, sociology, maths, organisation and management, marketing. In my senior years I focused on business and social studies and studied a range of business subjects and sociology subjects. I graduated last year with a degree in Business and Sociology.”
Why did you apply to TAP?
"I knew I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I didn’t know how well I would do in the Leaving Cert. -I knew I wouldn’t get the points needed for a lot of the university courses I’d looked at. I remember someone from TAP came to talk to us in school, but I didn’t really consider it till afterwards when a career guidance teacher suggested it to me. When I looked into it I began to see what a great opportunity it could be. A few years later I was sent to talk to Leaving Cert students about TAP. Because I was a TAP student, I was lucky enough to get involved with mentor programmes with amazing companies including Google and Salesforce, which even lead to amazing job opportunities."
If you are interested in applying to the Trinity Access Programme, make sure to check out the important entry requirements, application forms and deadlines here:
The online application deadline is the 7th of February.