Liberal Arts

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 to 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.

“I found the material taught in this course a very engaging introduction to study at third level. The teachers are very kind and demonstrate great knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for their subjects. I am now studying History and Archaeology Arts in UCD” Anu Temple (Liberal Arts student, 2022-23)


Key Information
QQI Level 5
1 Year
Full time
QQI Level 5 5M3114
September - May
Course requirements
  • Applicants should have completed the Leaving Certificate or equivalent
  • 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
  • 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:

  • Creative Writing
  • Political Studies
Education Progression & TAP

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. 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.

Facilitated Entry : Trinity College Dublin offers a facilitated entry route to relevant degree programs.

Every year Rathmines College students avail of the opportunity to study degrees in Trinity College Dublin using the TAP facilitated entry route allows students to avoid the mainstream points race.

Who Can apply? Students studying a QQI Level 5 course that is linked to TAP, either Liberal Arts or Pre-University Arts can apply. The Facilitated Entry process has been designed by TCD to target and prioritise admission of socio-economically disadvantaged students and is means tested (similar to the HEAR Scheme or the SUSI grant). Also similar to the HEAR scheme, other social indicators are taken into account such as parent’s/guardian’s occupation, school attended, address etc.

Academic Requirements: Applicants to TAP Facilitated Entry Scheme must pass the overall QQI award and gain distinctions in a minimum of three academic modules. There may be other degree specific requirements for TAP entry.

Extra Curricular Activities

Students are invited to take part in extracurricular activities and attend talks by guest speakers. Extracurricular events are linked to the material studied in class and give participants the opportunity to experience and consider course content under a different light.  Activities and talks change from year to year to suit the curriculum. Below is a list of recent events enjoyed by our students:

  • Guided visit to EPIC exhibition
  • Guided tour of James Joyce’s Dublin
  • Guided visit to the Tenement Museum
  • Visit to the National Museum of Archaeology
  • Performance of Sean O’Casey’s Shadow of a Gunman in the Gaiety Theatre
  • Workshops on the Short Story, Haiku Poetry and Screenwriting
  • Guided Visit to Dáil Éireann


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. I am now studying Religion and English in DCU"
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)
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