Access to Higher Education

Access to Higher Education

Liberties College and the Trinity Access Programme (TAP)

The Access to Higher Education course offers an alternative route to University for students whose social, economic and educational experiences have so far prevented them from realising their full educational potential.The Access to Higher Education course offers an alternative route to University for students whose social, economic and educational experiences have so far prevented them from realising their full educational potential.

Developed in partnership with the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP), the course addresses the inequalities that influence who goes to college, thus widening participation and access to third level.

The Access course in Liberties College parallels the TAP Foundation Course for Young Adults (18-22 years) in Trinity College and allows participants the same opportunities to apply directly for places in the University. A large proportion of TAP foundation students go on to study in the university and their success rate there is high. The course is open to young people whose family income is within the range qualifying for a student grant, who may apply directly to institutions in the Higher Education Direct Application Scheme.

A distinctive QQI Award in Liberal Arts has been created for HE Access students preparing for entry to third level education. Specially developed modules train learners to research and write to University standards. The Award values participation and rewards the exchange of ideas. Assessment is based on coursework and on terminal examinations. University matriculation requirements for QQI Award holders are determined by the admissions office of each third level college.

Students are registered and study in Liberties College but participate in a range of activities in Trinity College. These activities include:

  • Library tours and workshops
  • Guest lectures in specialist subjects
  • Educational guidance and study skills workshops
  • Attendance at TCD Broad Curriculum lectures
  • Student shadowing day
  • Family and parents’ day


Higher Education Progression Opportunities

Students who successfully complete the programme may apply for course places in Trinity College Dublin through the Higher Education Direct Application Scheme. Applications to Trinity College from the Liberties College Access Course are dealt with on the same basis as applications from the parallel Foundation Course for Young Adults run by the Trinity Access Programme (TAP) and based in the university.

Each department within the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences in Trinity College reserves places for students applying through the Direct Application Scheme. These places are not available to CAO applicants applying in the ordinary way. Students should note that there may be specific subject requirements for entry to certain courses. Please consult the Trinity College Prospectus for further details.

Access students are eligible to apply to Universities and Institutes of Technology through CAO, based on their QQI results. Most Universities and Institutes of Technology recognise QQI Level 5 Awards as entry qualifications. The entry requirement for admission to Level 8 Degree Courses is usually between three and five Distinctions. Go to and select student resources for QQI information.

This is a facilitated entry link which allows students to apply for a reserved number of places within the Arts and Social Sciences Faculties of Trinity College. Candidates are eligible to apply for a third level maintenance grant while completing this course in Liberties College.


Learn more about Progression to Higher Education.


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