Friday 15 December 2017

TCD broadens its horizons on course entry path

Aoife Walsh

This year, CAO applicants interested in a number of courses in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) have a choice of entry paths.

TCD is keen to explore another form of college admission using broader criteria than Leaving Certificate points, to see if it will result in a better match between students and courses.

The university is trialling a scheme, under which it is setting aside 25 places across three courses -- 10 in Law (TR004), 10 in History (TR008) and five in Ancient and Medieval History and Culture (TR028).

Known as the TCD Feasibility Study, it will consider three areas or scales:

* The student's Leaving Certificate result.

* The student's Relative Performance Rank (PRP), ie how a student performed in the Leaving Cert compared with other students in their school.

* The student's Personal and Contextual Data, which will be provided by the applicant by filling out the supplementary -- which asks students a number of questions about why they are applying.

They will also have to complete an academic essay and have an opportunity to provide information on any personal circumstances that may have affected their ability to reach their potential.

All three scales will be considered equally and there will be no interviews.

The full guide is available from So what happens if you wish to apply for one of these courses?

Students should fill out the CAO form in the normal way.

This should be done by the February 1 deadline, in order to be considered for the new scheme.

Any entries after this date will be assessed in the traditional way.

Students who enter any of these course codes on the CAO will be given the option to either opt in -- or out -- of the new scheme.

If they wish to be included, they should fill out the TCD Feasibility Study application form online.

This can be completed any time until March 1 and students can save their work as they go along.

The CAO will assign a score for criteria one and two, and TCD will assign a score for criteria three.

Students applying for this scheme will also compete in the normal way for places on these courses

There are a number of reasons why students may decide not to participate in the study -- for example, they may not want to take on the extra workload or they may be confident they will achieve the minimum cut of points.

Because these 25 places have been ring-fenced from existing allocations and are not extra, there will be fewer places available through the normal CAO competition, which may lead to an increase in the minimum points cut-off.

Irish Independent

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