Pre-University 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.

Pre-University Arts (General Studies)

This course will prepare learners to study in the field of the Arts and Social Sciences at University 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 a course of their choice at third Level.  This course is ideal for students interested in progressing to third level courses in the Arts and Social Sciences.  Here’s what one of our recent graduates has to say:

“Rathmines College Pre-University Arts course was a hugely beneficial steppingstone before going into University especially since I had no clue what I wanted to do. I feel like it has prepared me for my future in university and the teachers are very approachable and do anything to help! I am now about to start my degree in Political Science and Law in Trinity College.”

Sophie Flavin, Pre-University Arts student (2022-23)


Key Information
QQI Level 5
1 Year
Full time
QQI Level 5 Award 5M3114
September - May
Course requirements
  • Applicants should have completed Leaving Certificate course or equivalent
  • Mature Applicants welcome
  • All applicants whose first language is not English will be tested at entry
  • Use of a computer / laptop and Wi-Fi is desirable
Course modules

Students will be offered the following subjects:

  • English Literature
  • Cultural and Social 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:

  • 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.

Students working on assignments

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.

Rathmines College students in computer room

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 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.
Anu Temple (Liberal Arts student, 2022-23)
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)
Course Fees
QQI Exam Fee
Course Fee

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