Liberal Arts (General Studies)

On successful completion of the course, many of our students progress to 1st year degree courses in Arts and Social Sciences in UCD, Maynooth, DCU and TCD.

Liberal Arts (General Studies)

This course aims to provide opportunities for school leavers (under 23 years of age) to gain access to Arts, Social Science & Humanities degree programmes at Universities and Institutes of Technology. It will provide a second chance for many school leavers who aspire to Third Level.

The course will give students a foundation in writing and research skills as well as introduce them to a wide range of academic subjects in the Arts and Social Sciences in a friendly and supportive environment led by highly experienced teachers.  Rathmines College has an excellent progression record and most of our graduates continue their studies in courses of their choice at third level.

On successful completion of the course, many of our students progress to 1st year degree courses in Arts and Social Sciences in UCD, Maynooth, DCU and TCD.


Key Information
QQI Level 5
1 Year
Full time
QQI Level 5 5M3114
September 2022 - May 2023
Course requirements
  • Applicants should have completed the Leaving Certificate or equivalent
  • Students must be under 23 years of age on 1st September of the year of course commencement
  • All applicants whose first language is not English will be tested at entry
  • Use of a computer / laptop and Wi-Fi connection is desirable
Course modules

Students will be offered the following subjects:

  • English Literature
  • History
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Studies
  • Research and Study Skills
  • Communications
  • Work Experience / Personal and Professional Development
  • Word Processing
  • Maths (Optional)
  • European Language (Optional)

Students also choose one of the following subjects:

  • Applied Economics
  • Political Studies
Education Progression

QQI Level 5 Award holders are eligible to apply to a wide variety of Higher Education colleges. Many of DCU, UCD and NUI programmes have an entry route for QQI/FE Level 5 applicants. For programmes with a QQI entry route, approximately 10% of places are retained for QQI applicants. Applicants presenting a minimum of five distinctions in a specified QQI Level 5 award, with specified modules if required, may be eligible to compete for a place. Applicants are ranked based on their performance and must apply through the CAO at

Further information on our programmes using QQI entry route can be found here.

Work Experience

Work experience is an essential part of all our programmes. The College assists students in finding suitable work placements and monitors and assesses their performance in the work place.

Career Opportunites

A qualification in Arts and Social Science leads to a diverse range of career opportunities spanning from research, teaching, administration, careers in Government departments and organisations in both Ireland and abroad.


I had a very positive experience doing this course. The teachers are very supportive and welcoming. I feel it has given me a good basis to work off in university. The mixture between assignments and exams make achieving a good result very accessible and I really enjoyed the topics covered in the different modules."
Rachel Byrne (Liberal Arts student, 2022-23)
The teachers in this course are wonderful as they all have a passion for their subject, which makes the experience of learning more interesting. This course gave me good preparation for third level, and I plan to pursue a degree in Social Care next year.
Precious Oladipo (Liberal Arts student, 2022-23)
Course Fees
QQI Exam Fee
Course Fee

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