Trinity College (Irish: Coláiste na Tríonóide) is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin, a research university in Ireland. The college was founded in 1592 as the “mother” of a new university, modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge, but, unlike these, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations “Trinity College” and “University of Dublin” are usually synonymous for practical purposes. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland’s oldest university.
Originally it was established outside the city walls of Dublin in the buildings of the dissolved Augustinian Priory of All Hallows. Trinity College was set up in part to consolidate the rule of the Tudor monarchy in Ireland, and it was seen as the university of the Protestant Ascendancy for much of its history. Although Catholics and Dissenters had been permitted to enter as early as 1793, certain restrictions on their membership of the college remained until 1873 (professorships, fellowships and scholarships were reserved for Protestants). From 1871 to 1970, the Catholic Church in Ireland forbade its adherents from attending Trinity College without permission. Women were first admitted to the college as full members in January 1904.
Trinity College is now surrounded by Dublin and is located on College Green, opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament. Academically, it is divided into three faculties comprising 25 schools, offering degree and diploma courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As of 2016, it was ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings as the 160th best university in the world, by the QS World University Rankings as the 98th best, by the Academic Ranking of World Universities as within the 151–200 range, and by all three as the best university in Ireland. The Library of Trinity College is a legal deposit library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million printed volumes and significant quantities of manuscripts (including the Book of Kells), maps and music.
The first University of Dublin (known as the Medieval University of Dublin and unrelated to the current university) was created by the Pope in 1311, and had a Chancellor, lecturers and students (granted protection by the Crown) over many years, before coming to an end at the Reformation.
Women were admitted to Trinity College as full members for the first time in 1904. For the period from 1904-1907, women from Oxford and Cambridge came to Trinity College to receive their ad eundem degree and were known as Steamboat ladies.
The School of Commerce was established in 1925, and the School of Social Studies in 1934. Also in 1934, the first female professor was appointed.
In the late 1960s, there was a proposal for University College, Dublin, of the National University of Ireland to become a constituent college of a newly reconstituted University of Dublin. This plan, suggested by Brian Lenihan and Donogh O’Malley, was dropped after opposition by Trinity College students.
From 1975, the Colleges of Technology that now form the Dublin Institute of Technology had their degrees conferred by the University of Dublin. This arrangement was discontinued in 1998 when the DIT obtained degree-granting powers of its own.
Since considerable academic restructuring in 2008, the college has three academic faculties:
- Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences
- Health Sciences
Each faculty is headed by a dean (there is also a Dean of Postgraduate Studies), and faculties are divided into schools, of which there were 24 as of 2012.
Entry to Trinity College Dublin is highly competitive. International applicants must have completed a high school qualification equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate and must have a good command of the English language.
Additional requirements may apply for some courses and further information can be found on their website.
English is the language of instruction at Trinity College Dublin so it is essential that students whose first language is not English can display a suitable level of competence. Applicants for any undergraduate or postgraduate course of study, including Visiting Students, whose first language is not English, should include an original or certified true copy of one of the following: TOEFL; Cambridge Proficiency Grade C; Cambridge Advanced Grade A; IELTS Academic Version 6.5 with no individual band below 6; Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PTE Academic.
With three large faculties offering academic programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, students have a wide range of degree options available to them from bachelor’s level to PhD level.
Trinity College Dublin is ranked in 78th place in the world and 9th in Europe according to the QS World University Rankings 2015-16.
Trinity College Dublin ranks in the QS top 100 universities in the world in the following areas: Accounting & Finance; Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Computer Sciences & Information Systems; Economics & Econometrics; Geography; Law; Medicine; Pharmacy & Pharmacology; Psychology and Sociology.
Committed to the highest excellence in all academic endeavours, Trinity College Dublin is a university with a global reputation.
Trinity College Dublin is proud that both undergraduate and postgraduate students continue to come here in significant numbers from around the world and strives to offer its students a truly diverse, cosmopolitan and international experience.
Trinity College Dublin has a dedicated Careers Service which aims to provide appropriate advice, support and information to help students after graduation.