Trinity College is about to break with tradition in how it accepts students for certain courses.
From 2014 it will reserve about 20 -- or one in five places -- on its elite Law course for students who will not be judged on points.
Trinity has selected Law for a pilot programme, but expects to extend it to other courses over the next six years.
TCD is proposing to introduce the alternative entry route for the Leaving Cert class of 2014. Entry to Law in Trinity this year was 525* -- the asterisk means that not all students with those points got a place.
Those 525 points are achieved by the top 10pc of Leaving Cert students. They are well ahead of the 195 points that candidates would score by meeting the minimum academic entry requirements for Trinity -- six Leaving Certificate subjects including three at a grade C or above at higher level. It is competition for places that pushes up the points.
The alternative route would involve evaluating students on the basis of their track record in school -- both academically and in terms of extra curricular activities.
Applicants would also be asked to write a personal statement on why they wanted to study the course, and why at Trinity.
Also, a student applying for a science-related course would get credit for exceptional performance in science and maths subjects.
The plan has yet to be approved by the college council but the TCD dean of undergraduates studies, Dr Patrick Geoghegan, said they hoped to get full details out to fifth-year students by November to allow time for them to prepare for application for college entry in 2014.