|Coláiste na Tríonóide|
|University of Dublin|
|Full name||The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin|
Irish: Coláiste Thríonóid Naofa Neamhroinnte na Banríona Eilís gar do Bhaile Átha Cliath
|Latin name||Collegium Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis Reginae Elizabethae juxta Dublin|
|Motto||Perpetuis futuris temporibus duraturam (Latin)|
|Motto in English||It will last into endless future times|
|Founder||Elizabeth I of England and Ireland|
|Named for||The Holy Trinity|
|Sister colleges||St. John's College, Cambridge|
Oriel College, Oxford
Trinity College (Irish: Coláiste na Tríonóide), officially the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin, a research university located in Dublin, Ireland. The college was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother" of a new university,[Note 1] modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and Cambridge, but unlike these other ancient universities, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations "Trinity College" and "University of Dublin" are usually synonymous for practical purposes. The college is legally incorporated by "the Provost, Fellows, Foundation Scholars and other members of the Board" as outlined by its founding charter. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland's oldest surviving university. Trinity College is widely considered the most prestigious university in Ireland and amongst the most elite in Europe, principally due to its extensive history and unique relationship with both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. In accordance with the formula of ad eundem gradum, a form of recognition that exists among the three universities, a graduate of Oxford, Cambridge, or Dublin can be conferred with the equivalent degree at either of the other two universities without further examination. Trinity College, Dublin is a sister college to St John's College, Cambridge and Oriel College, Oxford.
Originally Trinity was established outside the city walls of Dublin in the buildings of the outlawed Catholic Augustinian Priory of All Hallows. Trinity College was set up in part to consolidate the rule of the Tudor monarchy in Ireland, and as a result was the university of the Protestant Ascendancy for much of its history. While Catholics were admitted from 1793, certain restrictions on membership of the college remained, as professorships, fellowships and scholarships were reserved for Protestants. These restrictions were lifted by Act of Parliament in 1873. However, from 1871 to 1970, the Catholic Church in Ireland in turn 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 central Dublin and is located on College Green, opposite the historic Irish Houses of Parliament. The college proper occupies 190,000 m2 (47 acres), with many of its buildings ranged around large quadrangles (known as 'squares') and two playing fields. Academically, it is divided into three faculties comprising 25 schools, offering degree and diploma courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The Library of Trinity College is a legal deposit library for Ireland and Great Britain, containing over 6.2 million printed volumes and significant quantities of manuscripts, including the Book of Kells.
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.
Following this, and some debate about a new university at St. Patrick's Cathedral, in 1592 a small group of Dublin citizens obtained a charter by way of letters patent from Queen Elizabeth[Note 1] incorporating Trinity College at the former site of All Hallows monastery, to the south east of the city walls, provided by the Corporation of Dublin. The first provost of the college was the Archbishop of Dublin, Adam Loftus (after whose former college at Cambridge the institution was named), and he was provided with two initial Fellows, James Hamilton and James Fullerton. Two years after foundation, a few Fellows and students began to work in the new college, which then lay around one small square.
During the following fifty years the community increased the endowments, including considerable landed estates, were secured, new fellowships were founded, the books which formed the foundation of the great library were acquired, a curriculum was devised and statutes were framed. The founding Letters Patent were amended by succeeding monarchs on a number of occasions, such as by James I in 1613 and most notably in 1637 by Charles I (who increased the number of fellows from seven to sixteen, established the Board – then the Provost and the seven senior Fellows – and reduced the panel of Visitors in size) and supplemented as late as the reign of Queen Victoria (and later still amended by the Oireachtas in 2000).
During the eighteenth century Trinity College was seen as the university of the Protestant Ascendancy. Parliament, meeting on the other side of College Green, made generous grants for building. The first building of this period was the Old Library building, begun in 1712, followed by the Printing House and the Dining Hall. During the second half of the century Parliament Square slowly emerged. The great building drive was completed in the early nineteenth century by Botany Bay, the square which derives its name in part from the herb garden it once contained (and which was succeeded by Trinity College's own Botanic Gardens). Following early steps in Catholic Emancipation, Catholics were first allowed to apply for admission in 1793, prior to the equivalent change at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. Certain disabilities remained. In December 1845 Denis Caulfield Heron was the subject of a hearing at Trinity College. Heron had previously been examined and, on merit, declared a scholar of the college but had not been allowed to take up his place due to his Catholic religion. Heron appealed to the Courts which issued a writ of mandamus requiring the case to be adjudicated by the Archbishop of Dublin and the Primate of Ireland. The decision of Richard Whately and John George de la Poer Beresford was that Heron would remain excluded from Scholarship. This decision confirmed that the legal position remained that persons who were not Anglicans (Presbyterians were also affected) could not be elected to Scholarship, Fellowship or be made a Professor. However within less than three decades of this all disabilities imposed on Catholics were repealed as in 1873, all religious tests were abolished, except for entry to the divinity school. However, the Irish Catholic bishops responding to the increased ease, due to these changes, with which Catholics could attend an Institution which the Bishops saw as thoroughly Protestant in ethos, and in light of the establishment of the Catholic University, in 1871 implemented a general ban on Catholics entering Trinity College, with few exceptions. "The ban" despite its longevity, is associated in the popular mind with Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid as he was made responsible for enforcing the ban from 1956 until it was rescinded by the Catholic Bishops of Ireland in 1970, shortly before McQuaid's retirement. Prior to 1956 it was the responsibility of the local Bishop.
The nineteenth century was also marked by important developments in the professional schools. The law school was reorganised after the middle of the century. Medical teaching had been given in the college since 1711, but it was only after the establishment of the school on a firm basis by legislation in 1800, and under the inspiration of one Macartney, that it was in a position to play its full part, with such teachers as Graves and Stokes, in the great age of Dublin medicine. The Engineering School was established in 1842 and was one of the first of its kind in Ireland and Britain.
Women were admitted to Trinity College as full members for the first time in 1904. For the period from 1904 to 1907, women from Oxford and Cambridge came to Trinity College to receive their ad eundem degree and were known as Steamboat ladies.
In 1907, the Chief Secretary for Ireland proposed the reconstitution of the University of Dublin. A "Dublin University Defence Committee" was created and was successful in campaigning against any change to the status quo, while the Catholic bishops' rejection of the idea ensured its failure among the Catholic population. Chief among the concerns of the bishops was the remains of the Catholic University of Ireland, which would become subsumed into a new university, which on account of Trinity College would be part Anglican. Ultimately this episode led to the creation of the National University of Ireland. Trinity College was one of the targets of the Volunteer and Citizen Army forces during the 1916 Easter Rising but was successfully defended by a small number of unionist students most of whom were members of the university Officers' Training Corps. From July 1917 until March 1918 the Irish Convention met in the college in an attempt to address the political aftermath of the Easter rising. (Subsequently, following the failure of the Convention to reach "substantial agreement", the Irish Free State was set up in 1922.) In the post-independence period Trinity College suffered from a cool relationship with the new state. On 3 May 1955 the Provost, Dr A.J. McConnell, pointed out in a piece in the Irish Times that certain state-funded County Council scholarships excluded Trinity College from the list of approved institutions. This, he suggested, amounted to religious discrimination, which was forbidden by the constitution.
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.
1958 saw the first Catholic to reach the Board of Trinity as a Senior Fellow.
In 1962 the School of Commerce and the School of Social Studies amalgamated to form the School of Business and Social Studies. In 1969 the several schools and departments were grouped into Faculties as follows: Arts (Humanities and Letters); Business, Economic and Social Studies; Engineering and Systems Sciences; Health Sciences (since October 1977 all undergraduate teaching in dental science in the Dublin area has been located in Trinity College); Science.
In 1970 the Catholic Church lifted its ban on Catholics attending the college without special dispensation. At the same time, the Trinity College authorities invited the appointment of a Catholic chaplain to be based in the college. There are now two such Catholic chaplains.
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.
The School of Pharmacy was established in 1977 and around the same time, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was transferred to University College, Dublin. Student numbers increased sharply during the 1980s and 1990s, with total enrolment more than doubling, leading to pressure on resources and subsequent investment programme.
1991 saw Thomas Noel Mitchell become the first Roman Catholic elected Provost of Trinity College.
Trinity College is today in the centre of Dublin. At the beginning of the new century, it embarked on a radical overhaul of academic structures to reallocate funds and reduce administration costs, resulting in, for instance, the mentioned reduction from six to five to eventually three faculties under a subsequent restructuring by a later governing authority. The ten-year strategic plan prioritises four research themes with which the college seeks to compete for funding at the global level. Comparative funding statistics reviewing the difference in departmental unit costs and overall costs before and after this restructuring are not however apparent. The Hamilton Mathematics Institute in Trinity College, named in honour of William Rowan Hamilton, was launched in 2005 and aims to improve the international profile of Irish mathematics, to raise public awareness of mathematics and to support local mathematical research through workshops, conferences and a visitor programme.
Trinity College retains a tranquil collegiate atmosphere despite its location in the centre of a capital city (and despite its being one of the most significant tourist attractions in Dublin). This is, in large part, due to the compact design of the college, whose main buildings look inwards and are arranged in large quadrangles (called squares), and the existence of only a few public entrances.
The main college grounds are approximately 190,000 m2 (47 acres), including the Trinity College Enterprise Centre nearby, and buildings account for around 200,000 m², ranging from works of older architecture to more modern buildings. The main entrance to the college is on the College Green, and its grounds are bounded by Nassau and Pearse Streets. The college is bisected by College Park, which has a cricket and rugby pitch.
The western side of the college is older, featuring the iconic Campanile, as well as many fine buildings, including the Chapel and Examination Hall (designed by Sir William Chambers), Graduates Memorial Building, Museum Building, and the Rubrics, all spread across College's five squares. The Provost's House sits a little way up from the College Front Gate such that the House is actually on Grafton Street, one of the two principal shopping streets in the city, while its garden faces into the college. The Douglas Hyde Gallery, a contemporary art gallery, is located in the college as is the Samuel Beckett Theatre. It hosts national and international performances, and is used by the Dublin International Theatre Festival, the Dublin Dance Festival, and The Fringe Festival, among others. During the academic term it is predominantly used as a teaching and performance space for Drama students and staff.
The eastern side of the college is occupied by Science buildings, most of which are modern developments, arranged in three rows instead of quadrangles. In 2010, Forbes ranked the it as one of the 15 most beautiful college grounds in the world.
The college also incorporates a number of buildings and facilities spread throughout the city, from the Politics and Sociology Departments, located on Dame Street, to the Faculty of Health Sciences buildings, located at St. James's Hospital and Tallaght University Hospital. The Trinity Centre at St James's Hospital incorporates additional teaching rooms, as well as the Institute of Molecular Medicine and John Durkan Leukaemia Institute. The college also owns a large set of residences four kilometres to the south of the college on the Dartry Road, in Rathmines, called Trinity Hall.[Note 2]
The current chapel was completed in 1798, and was designed by George III's architect, Sir William Chambers, who also designed the public theatre opposite the chapel on Parliament Square. Reflecting the college's Anglican heritage, there are daily services of Morning prayer, weekly services of Evensong, and Holy Communion is celebrated on Tuesdays and Sundays. It is no longer compulsory for students to attend these.
The chapel has been ecumenical since 1970, and is now also used daily in the celebration of Mass for the Roman Catholic members of the college. In addition to the Anglican chaplain, who is known as the Dean of Residence, there are two Roman Catholic chaplains and one Methodist chaplain. Ecumenical events are often held in the chapel, such as the annual carol service and the service of thanksgiving on Trinity Monday.
The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland. As a result of its historic standing, Trinity College Library Dublin is a legal deposit library (as per Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003) for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and has a similar standing in Irish law. The college is therefore legally entitled to a copy of every book published in Great Britain and Ireland and consequently receives over 100,000 new items every year. The library contains about five million books, including 30,000 current serials and significant collections of manuscripts, maps, and printed music. Three million books are held in the book depository, "Stacks", in Santry, from which requests are retrieved twice daily.
The Library proper is composed of several library buildings in college. The original (Old) Library is Thomas Burgh's masterpiece. A huge building, it originally towered over the university and city after its completion. Even today, surrounded by similarly scaled buildings, it is imposing and dominates the view of the university from Nassau Street. It was founded with the college and first endowed by James Ussher (1625–56), Archbishop of Armagh, who endowed his own valuable library, comprising several thousand printed books and manuscripts, to the college. The Book of Kells is by far the Library's most famous book and is located in the Old Library, along with the Book of Durrow, the Book of Howth and other ancient texts. Also incorporating the Long Room, the Old Library is one of Ireland's biggest tourist attractions, and holds thousands of rare, and in many cases very early, volumes. In the 18th century, the college received the Brian Boru harp, one of the three surviving medieval Gaelic harps, and a national symbol of Ireland, which is now housed in the library.
The buildings referred to as the college's BLU (Berkeley Lecky Ussher) Arts library complex consist of the Berkeley Library in Fellow's Square, built in 1956, the Lecky Library, attached to the Arts building, and the James Ussher Library which, opening officially in 2003, overlooks College Park and houses the Glucksman Map Library. The Glucksman Library contains half a million printed maps, the largest collection of cartographic materials in Ireland. This includes the first Ordnance Surveys of Ireland, conducted in the early 19th century.
The college, officially incorporated as The Provost, Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, is headed by the Provost. Patrick Prendergast has been the Provost since 2011.
The body corporate of the college consists of the provost, fellows and scholars. The college is governed according to its statutes which are, in effect, the College Constitution. Statutes are of two kinds, those which originally could only be amended by Royal Charter or Royal Letters Patent, and which now can only be changed by an Act of the Oireachtas and those which can be changed by the board, but only with the consent of the Fellows. When a change requires parliamentary legislation, the customary procedure is that the Board requests the change by applying for a Private Bill. For this the consent of the whole Body Corporate is needed, with Scholars voting alongside Fellows. An example of a change that requires parliamentary legislation is an alteration to the composition of the Board. This last happened when the governance of the college and university was revised and restated by an Act of the Oireachtas in 2000.
The Provost serves a ten-year term and is elected by a body of electors consisting essentially of all full-time academic staff, and a very small number of students. Originally the Provost was appointed for life. While the Provost was elected by the Fellows at the start, the appointment soon became a Crown one, reflecting the growing importance of the college and of the office of provost, which became both prestigious and well paid. However, as time passed it became customary that the appointments were only made after taking soundings of college opinion, which meant mostly the views of the Board. With the establishment of the Free State in 1922 the power of appointment passed to the Government. It was agreed that when a vacancy occurred the college would provide a list of three candidates to the Government, from which the choice would be made. The college were allowed to rank the candidates in order of preference and in practice the most preferred candidate was always appointed. Now the Provost while still formally appointed by the Government is elected by staff plus student representatives, who gather in an electoral meeting, and vote by exhaustive ballot until a candidate obtains an absolute majority; the process takes a day. The Provost takes precedence over everyone else in the college, acts as the chief executive and accounting officer and chairs the board and council. The provost also enjoys a special status in the University of Dublin.
Fellows and scholars are elected by the board. Fellows were once elected for life on the basis of a competitive examination. The number of fellows was fixed and a competition to fill a vacancy would occur on the death or resignation of a fellow. Originally all the teaching was carried out by the Fellows. Fellows are now elected from among current college academics, serve until reaching retirement age, and there is no formal limit on their number. Only a minority of academic staff are fellows. Election to fellowship is recognition for staff that they have excelled in their field and as such, amounts to a promotion for those receiving it. Any person appointed to a professorship who is not already a fellow, is elected a fellow at the next opportunity.
Scholars continue to be selected by competitive examination from the Undergraduate body. The Scholarship examination is now set according to the several undergraduate courses. (So there is a scholarship examination in History, or in Mathematics or Engineering, and so forth). The Scholarship examination is taken in the second year of a four-year degree course (though, in special circumstances, such as illness, bereavement, or studying abroad during the second year, permission may be given to sit the examination in the third year). In theory, a student can sit the examination in any subject, not just the one they are studying. They hold their Scholarship until they are of "MA standing" that is, three years after obtaining the BA degree. (So most are Scholars for a term of five years).
Fellows are entitled to residence in the college free of charge; most fellows do not exercise this right in practice, with the legal requirement to provide accommodation to them being fulfilled by providing an office. Scholars are also entitled to residence in the college free of charge, they also receive an allowance, and have the fees paid for courses they are taking within the college. However, due to pressure on college accommodation, Scholars are no longer entitled (as they once were) to free rooms for the full duration of their scholarship should they cease to be students. Fellows and Scholars are also entitled to one free meal a day, usually in the evening ("Commons"). Scholars retain the right to free meals for the full duration of their scholarship even after graduation, and ceasing to be students, should they choose to exercise it.
Aside from the Provost, Fellows and Scholars, Trinity College has a Board (dating from 1637), which carries out general governance. Originally the Board consisted of the Provost and Senior Fellows only. There were seven Senior Fellows, defined as those seven fellows that had served longest, Fellowship at that time being for life, unless resigned. Over the years a representational element was added, for example by having elected representatives of the Junior Fellows and of those Professors who were not Fellows, with the last revision before Irish Independence being made by Royal Letters Patent in 1911. At that time there were, as well as the Senior Fellows, two elected representatives of those Professors that were not Fellows and elected representatives of the Junior Fellows. Over the years, while formal revision did not take place, partly due to the complexity of the process, a number of additional representatives were added to the Board but as "observers" and not full voting members. These included representatives of academic staff who were not Fellows, and representatives of students. In practice all attending Board meetings were treated as equals, with votes while not common, being taken by show of hands. But it remained the case, that legally only the full members of the Board could have their votes recorded and it was mere convention that they always ratified the decision taken by the show of hands.
The governance of Trinity College was next formally changed in 2000, by the Oireachtas, in legislation proposed by the Board of the college, and approved by the Body Corporate viz The Trinity College, Dublin (Charters and Letters Patent Amendment) Act, 2000. This was introduced separately from the Universities Act 1997. It states that the Board shall comprise:
The fellows, non-fellow academic staff as well as non-academic staff are elected to serve for a fixed term. The four student members are the President, Education Officer and Welfare Officer of the Students' Union and the president of the Graduate Students' Union (all ex officio) and are elected annually for one-year terms. The vice-provost/chief academic officer, senior lecturer, registrar and bursar are 'annual officers' appointed for one-year (renewable) terms by the Provost. It will be noted that the two significant changes are that the Senior Fellows are no longer on the Board, and that two members of the Board are now drawn from without the college.
There is a Council (dating from 1874), which oversees academic matters. All decisions of the Council require the approval of the Board, but if the decision in question does not require a new expenditure, the approval is normally formal, without debate. The Council had a significant number of elected representatives from the start, and was also larger than the Board, which at that time, continued to consist of the Provost and seven Senior Fellows only. The Council is the formal body which makes academic staff appointments, always, in practice on the recommendation of appointments panels, but which have themselves been appointed by the Council. An illustration of the relationship between the Board and the Council, is where a decision is made to create a new professorial chair. As this involves paying a salary, the initial decision to create the chair is made by the Council, but the decision to make provision for the salary is made by the Board, consequently the Board might over rule, or defer a Council decision on grounds of cost.
The University of Dublin was modelled on University of Oxford and University of Cambridge in the form of a collegiate university, Trinity College being named by the Queen as the mater universitas ("mother of the university"). As no other college was ever established, the college is the sole constituent college of the university and so Trinity College and the University of Dublin are for most practical purposes synonymous. However, the actual statutes of the university and the college grant the university separate corporate legal rights to own property and borrow money and employ staff. Moreover, while the board of the college has the sole power to propose amendments to the statutes of the university and college, amendments to the university statutes require the consent of the Senate of the university. Consequently, in theory, the Senate can overrule the Board, but only in very limited and particular circumstances. However it is also the case that the university cannot act independently of the initiative of the Board of Trinity College. The most common example of when the two bodies must collaborate is when a decision is made to establish a new degree. All matters relating to syllabus, examination and teaching are for the college to determine, but actual clearance for the award of the degree is a matter for the university. In the same way when an individual is awarded an Honorary Degree, the proposal for the award is made by the Board of Trinity College, but this is subject to agreement by a vote of the Senate of Dublin University. All graduates of the university who have at least a master's degree are eligible to be members of the Senate, but in practice only a few hundred are, with a large proportion being current members of the staff of Trinity College.
The college also has an oversight structure of two visitors, the chancellor of the university, who is elected by the Senate, and the judicial visitor, who is appointed by the Irish Government from a list of two names submitted by the Senate of the university. The current judicial visitor is the Hon. Dr. Justice Maureen Harding Clark. In the event of a disagreement between the two visitors, the opinion of the chancellor prevails. The visitors act as a final "court of appeal" within the college, with their modes of appointment giving them the needed independence from the college administration.
Two teaching hospitals are associated with the college:
A number of teaching institutions are involved in jointly taught courses:
The School of Business in association with the Irish Management Institute forms the Trinity-IMI Graduate School of Management, incorporating the faculties of both organisations. Trinity College has also been associated in the past with a number of other teaching institutions. These include St Catherine's College of Education for Home Economics (now closed), Magee College and Royal Irish Academy of Music, which is a music conservatoire, as well as The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art, which is the national conservatoire for theatre training actors, technicians, playwrights and designers to a professional and industry standard – the Lir is also advised by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the UK.
The university has been linked to parliamentary representation since 1613, when James I granted it the right to elect two members of parliament (MPs) to the Irish House of Commons. Since the new Constitution of Ireland in 1937, graduates of the university have formed a constituency which elects three Senators to Seanad Éireann. The current representatives of the university constituency are Ivana Bacik, David Norris and Lynn Ruane. Notable representatives have included Edward Gibson, W. E. H. Lecky, Edward Carson, Noel Browne, Conor Cruise O'Brien and Mary Robinson. The franchise was originally restricted to the Provost, Fellows and Scholars of Trinity College. This was expanded in 1832 to include those who had received an M.A. and in 1918 all those who had received a degree from the university.
Since considerable academic restructuring in 2008, the college has three academic faculties:
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.
Since 2014, Trinity College's Science Department has established and operated a scheme for second-level students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The system, similar to DCU's CTYI programme, encourages academically gifted secondary students with a high aptitude for the STEM subjects, was named the Walton Club in honour of Ernest Walton, Ireland's first and only Nobel laureate for Physics. The programme was centred upon a pedagogic principle of "developing capacity for learning autonomy". The educators in the programme are PhD students in the college, and they impart an advanced, undergraduate-level curriculum onto the students. The club was set up with a specific ethos around the mentoring of STEM subjects, and not as a grinds school. The scheme, now in its third year, has been immensely successful and has undergone growth in scope and scale year on year. It has also diversified beyond its traditional weekly club structure, running camps during school holidays to offer an opportunity to study STEM to those unable to join the club. It has also represented the college in many activities, meeting Chris Hadfield and attending the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition and the Web Summit. Students, or alphas as they are dubbed in honour of the eponymous physicist, develop projects in the Club, with innovations pioneered there including a health-focused electroencephalogram. The club was founded by Professors Igor Shvets and Arlene O'Neill of the School of Physics in Trinity College.
Most undergraduate courses require four years of study. First-year students at the undergraduate level are called Junior Freshmen; second years, Senior Freshmen; third years, Junior Sophisters; and fourth years, Senior Sophisters. After a proposal in 2017 by the SU Equality Committee, a three-year process changing the titles of first and second years to Junior and Senior Fresh was approved by the Trinity College Board. The Freshman Years usually have a set or minimally flexible basic curriculum with the Sophister years allowing for a much greater degree of course variation, as well as taking a year abroad. The passing of two sets of examinations is a prerequisite for a degree. Junior and Senior Freshmen sit preliminary annual exams in Trinity Term of each year which must be passed so that they "rise" to the year above. At the end of the Junior Sophister year, undergraduates sit Part I of the Moderatorship exams, subject to attaining an upper-second, allows them to take an Honours degree and sit the Part II (Final) of the Moderatorship exams. Successful candidates receive first-, upper or lower second-, or third-class honours, or simply a "pass" without honours if they perform insufficiently in Part I of the Moderatorship.
Most non-professional courses take a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. As a matter of tradition, bachelor's degree graduates are eligible, after nine terms from matriculation and without additional study, to purchase for a fee an upgrade of their bachelor's degree to a Master of Arts The four-year degree structure makes undergraduate teaching at Dublin closer to the North American model than that of other universities in England and Ireland (Scottish universities generally also require four years of study for a bachelor's degree).
Degree titles vary according to the subject of study. The Law School awards the LL.B., the LL.B. (ling. franc.) and the LL.B. (ling. germ.). Other degrees include the BAI (engineering) and BBS (business studies). The BSc degree is not in wide use although it is awarded by the School of Nursing and Midwifery; most science and computer science students are awarded a BA.
From 2018, Trinity will be offering dual BA programme with Columbia University in New York City. Students of History, English, European Studies or Middle Eastern and European Languages and Culture spend their first two years at Trinity and their last two years at Columbia.
At postgraduate level, Trinity offers a range of taught and research degrees in all faculties. About 29% of students are post-graduate level, with 1,440 students reading for a research degree and an additional 3,260 on taught courses (see Research and Innovation).
Trinity College's Strategic Plan sets "the objective of doubling the number of PhDs across all disciplines by 2013 in order to move towards a knowledge society. In order to achieve this, the college has received some of the largest allocations of Irish Government funding which have become competitively available to date."
The academic year is divided into three terms. Michaelmas term lasts from October to December; Hilary term from January to March; and Trinity term from April to June, with each term separated by a vacation. Whilst teaching takes place across all three terms in postgraduate courses, for undergraduate programmes, teaching is condensed within the first two terms since 2009, with each term consisting of a twelve-week period of teaching known as the Teaching Term. These are followed by three revision weeks and a four-week exam period during the Trinity Term.
Internally at least, the weeks in the term are often referred to by the time elapsed since the start of teaching Term: thus the first week is called "1st week" or "week 1" and the last is "Week 12"/"12th week".
The first week of Trinity Term (which marks conclusion of lecturing for that year) is known as Trinity Week; normally preceded by a string of balls, it consists of a week of sporting and academic events. This includes the Trinity Ball and the Trinity Regatta (a premier social event on the Irish rowing calendar held since 1898), the election of Scholars and Fellows and a college banquet.
The Central Applications Office processes applications from Irish, British and European Union applicants for undergraduate courses on behalf of Trinity College. Decisions on admissions to undergraduate courses are made by Trinity College who instruct the CAO to make offers to successful candidates. Admission to the university is highly competitive, and based exclusively on academic merit. In order to be considered for admission, all applicants must first reach the university's minimal matriculation requirements, which typically involves holding sufficient recognised qualifications in English, Mathematics and a second language, however, the Mathematics requirement can be waived if Latin is presented as a second language. Furthermore, applicants for certain courses may be required to achieve more specific qualifications than those prescribed for minimum matriculation requirements. Eligible applicants must then compete for places based on the results of their school leaving examinations, however, applicants can additionally take matriculation examinations which are held in the university in April, in which each subject is considered equivalent to that of the Irish Leaving Certificate. Applications for restricted courses require further assessment considered in the admissions process, such as the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT) for medicine or entrance tests for music and drama courses. As applications for most courses far exceeds available places, admission is highly selective, demanding excellent grades in the aforementioned examinations. Through the CAO, candidates may list several courses at Trinity College and at other third-level institutions in Ireland in order of preference. Places are awarded in mid-August every year by the CAO after matching the number of places available to the academic attainments of the applicants. Qualifications are measured as "points", with specific scales for the Leaving Certificate, UK GCE A-level, the International Baccalaureate and all other European Union school leaving examinations.
For applicants who are not citizens or residents of the European Union, different application procedures apply.; 16% of students are from outside Ireland, and 40% of these are from outside the European Union. Disadvantaged, disabled, or mature students can also be admitted through a program that is separate from the CAO, the Trinity Access Programme, which aims to facilitate the entry of sectors of society which would otherwise be under-represented. The numbers admitted on this program are significant relative to other universities, up to 15% of the annual undergraduate intake.
Admission to graduate study is handled directly by Trinity College.
Students who enter with exceptional Leaving Certificate or other public examination results are awarded an Entrance Exhibition. This entails a prize in the form of book tokens to the value of €150.00. Exhibitioners who are of limited means are made Sizars, entitled to Commons (evening meal) free of charge.
Undergraduate students of Senior Freshmen standing may elect to sit the Foundation Scholarship examination, which takes place in the Christmas Vacation, on the last week before Hilary term. On Trinity Monday (the first day of Trinity Term), the Board of the college sits and elects to the Scholarship all those who achieve First in the examination. Those from EU member countries are entitled to free rooms and Commons (the college's Formal Hall), an annual stipend and exemption from fees for the duration of their scholarship, which lasts for fifteen terms. Scholars from non-EU member countries have their fees reduced by the current value of EU member fees. Scholars may add the suffix "Sch." to their names, have the note "discip. schol." appended to their name at Commencements and are entitled to wear Bachelor's Robes and a velvet mortarboard.
Competition for Scholarship involves a searching examination and successful candidates must be of exceptional ability. The concept of scholarship is a valued tradition of the college, and many of the college's most distinguished members were elected scholars (including Samuel Beckett and Ernest Walton). The Scholars' dinner, to which 'Scholars of the decade' (those elected in the current year, and every year multiple of a decade previous to it, e.g., 2013, 2003,..) are invited, forms one of the major events in Trinity's calendar. A scholarship at Trinity College is a prestigious undergraduate award; a principal aim of the college is the pursuit of excellence, and one of the most tangible demonstrations of this is the institution of scholarship.
Under the Foundation Charter (of 1592), Scholars were part of the body corporate (three Scholars were named in the charter "in the name of many"). Until 1609 there were about 51 Scholars at any one time. A figure of seventy was permanently fixed in the revising Letters Patent of Charles I in 1637. Trinity Monday was appointed as the day when all future elections to Fellowship and Scholarship would be announced (at this time Trinity Monday was always celebrated on the Monday after the feast of the Holy Trinity). Up to this point all undergraduates were Scholars, but soon after 1637 the practice of admitting students other than Scholars commenced.
Until 1856, only the classical subjects were examined. The questions concerned all the classical authors prescribed for the entrance examination and for the undergraduate course up to the middle of the Junior Sophister year. So candidates had no new material to read, 'but they had to submit to a very searching examination on the fairly lengthy list of classical texts which they were supposed by this time to have mastered'. The close link with the undergraduate syllabus is underlined by the refusal until 1856 to admit Scholars to the Library (a request for admission was rejected by the Board in 1842 on the grounds that Scholars should stick to their prescribed books and not indulge in 'those desultory habits' that admission to an extensive library would encourage). During the second half of the nineteenth century the content of the examination gradually came to include other disciplines.
Around the turn of the 20th century, "Non-Foundation" Scholarships were introduced. This initially was a device to permit women to be, in effect, elected Scholars, despite the then commonly accepted legal view that the statute revision of 1637 only permitted males to be elected Foundation Scholars. Clearly when women were not permitted in the college, this had not caused any difficulties, but with the admission of women as full members of the college an anomaly was created. Non Foundation Scholarship granted to the women elected to it all the rights of men, but with the exception of voting rights at a meeting of the Body Corporate, a very rare event in any case. As women are now admitted to Foundation Scholarship on exactly the same basis as men Non-Foundation Scholarships are retained as a device to allow for more than seventy persons to be Scholars at any one time provided sufficient meet the qualifying standards. Foundation Scholarships are given to those whose performance is considered particularly exceptional, with the remaining qualifying persons that year being elected as Non Foundation Scholars. While the number of Foundation Scholars remains fixed at seventy, there is in theory no limit on the number of Non-Foundation scholars. It is worth noting that when the college had only a few hundred members the Foundation Scholars could easily amount to ten per cent of the whole undergraduate body; now that the college numbers members in thousands even the addition of current numbers of Non Foundation Scholars means that the proportion of students elected Scholars is still lower than it has even been before, and being elected to Scholarship is more competitive than it was.
Trinity College is the most productive internationally recognised research centre in Ireland. The university operates an Innovation Centre which fosters academic innovation and consultancy, provides patenting advice and research information and facilitates the establishment and operation of industrial laboratories and campus companies.
In 1999, the university purchased an Enterprise Centre on Pearse Street, seven minutes' walk from the on-site "Innovation Centre". The site has over 19,000 m² (200,000 ft²) of built space and contains a protected building, the Tower, which houses a Craft Centre. The Trinity Enterprise Centre houses companies drawn from the university research sector in Dublin.
In response to a long-term decline in rankings (from 43rd according to the last combined THE/QS ranking in 2009 to 88th in QS and 117th in THE for 2018) Trinity announced a plan in 2014 to reverse the trend, aiming to re-enter the top 50 bracket. The dentistry program offered by the Dublin Dental University Hospital is ranked 51–75 in the world.
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Trinity College has a student life with 124 societies (in 2018). Student societies operate under the aegis of the Dublin University Central Societies Committee which is composed of the Treasurers of each of the Societies within the college. Society size varies enormously, and it is often hard to determine exact figures for most societies – several claiming to be the largest in the college with thousands of members, while smaller groups may have only 40–50 members.
Situated within the Graduates Memorial Building is the University Philosophical Society (the Phil), sometimes referred to as one of the oldest of Ireland's such societies. Claiming to have been founded in 1683 (though university records list its foundation as having occurred in 1853) the society has strong history in debating and paper-reading. Consequently, over the past four centuries it has been addressed by the world's preeminent thinkers and orators. The society meets each Thursday evening to debate motions of interest in the chamber of the Graduates Memorial Building. It counts among its Honorary Patrons multiple Noble Prize laureates, Heads of State, notable actors, entertainers, well-known intellectuals, such as Al Pacino, Desmond Tutu, Sir Christopher Lee, Stephen Fry, and John Mearsheimer.
Another such society is the College Historical Society (the Hist) which shares the GMB, founded in 1770 (which it makes it the oldest Society on Campus according to the College Calendar), meets each Wednesday evening of Term to debate motions in the chamber of the Graduate Memorial Building, has been addressed by many notable orators including Winston Churchill and Ted Kennedy, and counts among its former members many of the most prominent men and women in Ireland's history.
Other societies include Vincent de Paul Society (VDP), which organises a large number of charitable activities in the local community; DU Players, one of the most prolific student-drama societies in Europe which hosts more than 50 shows and events a year in the Samuel Beckett Theatre; The DU Film Society (Formerly DU Filmmakers, formerly the DU "Videographic Society", founded in 1987) which organises filmmakers and film-lovers in college through workshops, screenings, production funding, etc.; The DU Radio Society, known as Trinity FM, broadcasts a variety of student made productions on a special events licence on FM frequency 107.8FM for six weeks a year; The Trinity LGBT society, which is the oldest LGBT society in Ireland and celebrated its 25th anniversary in the 2007/2008 year; The Card and Bridge Society also holds weekly poker and bridge tournaments and was the starting point to many notable alum including Andy Black, Padraig Parkinson and Donnacha O'Dea ;The Dublin University Comedy Society, known as DU Comedy, hosts comedy events for its members and has hosted gigs in college from comedians such as Andrew Maxwell, David O'Doherty, Neil Delamere and Colin Murphy; The Dance Society, known as "dudance", provides classes in Latin and ballroom dancing, as well as running events around other dance styles such as swing dancing. In 2011 the Laurentian Society was revived. This society played a key role as a society for the few Catholic students who studied at Trinity while "the Ban" was still in force. The Trinity Fashion Society was established in 2009, since then it holds an annual charity fashion show and hosts an international trip to London Fashion Week.
There is a sporting tradition at Trinity and the college has 50 sports clubs affiliated to the Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC).
The Central Athletic Club is made up of five committees that oversee the development of sport in the college: the Executive Committee which is responsible overall for all activities, the Captains' Committee which represents the 49 club captains and awards University Colours (Pinks), the Pavilion Bar Committee which runs the private members' bar, the Pavilion Members' Committee and the Sports Facilities Committee.
The oldest clubs include the Dublin University Cricket Club (1835), the Dublin University Boat Club (1836) and the Dublin University Rifle Club (1840). Dublin University Football Club, founded in 1854, plays rugby football and is the world's oldest documented "football club". The Dublin University Association Football Club (soccer) was founded in 1883, the Dublin University Hockey Club in 1893, and the Dublin University Harriers and Athletic Club in 1885.
The largest sports club in the college is the Boarding Club with over 1000 registered members. The newest club in the university is the American football team, who were accepted into the Irish American Football League (IAFL) in 2008. Initially known as the Trinity Thunderbolts, the club now competes under the name "Trinity College". The most successful Trinity College sports club – based on Intervarsities victories – is Dublin University Fencing Club (DU Fencing Club). A total of forty-one Intervarsity titles have been won by the club in sixty-four years of competition. While the modern DU Fencing Club was founded in 1936, its origins can be dated to the 1700s when a 'Gentleman's Club of the Sword' existed, primarily for duelling practice. There are several graduate sport clubs that exist separate to the Central Athletic Club including the Dublin University Museum Players (cricket), the Lady Elizabeth Boat Club (rowing) and the Mary Lyons Memorial Mallets (croquet).
Trinity College has a tradition of student publications, ranging from the serious to the satirical. Most student publications are administered by Trinity Publications, previously called the Dublin University Publications Committee (often known as 'Pubs'), which maintains and administers the Publications office (located in No 6) and all the associated equipment needed to publish newspapers and magazines.
There are two rival student newspapers in Trinity. Trinity College Dublin Students' Union funds The University Times. Since its founding in 2009, the paper has consistently won national and international awards, including the award for best all-around non-daily student newspaper in the world from the US-based Society of Professional Journalists. Even though it is funded by the union, it is often critical of its activities. In 2019, Provost Patrick Prendergast said that "The University Times has pursued an independent course in many aspects of College life, and done so fearlessly."
Trinity News, meanwhile, is Ireland's oldest student newspaper, having been founded in 1953. Like The University Times, it publishes both an online edition and a print edition every three weeks during the academic year. For the last 10 years the paper has been edited by a full-time student editor, who takes a sabbatical year from their studies, supported by a voluntary part-time staff of 30 student section editors and writers.
Student magazines currently in publication include the satirical newspaper The Piranha (formerly Piranha! magazine but rebranded in 2009), the generalist T.C.D. Miscellany (founded in 1895; one of Ireland's oldest magazines), the film journal Trinity Film Review (TFR) and the literary Icarus. Other publications include the Student Economic Review and the Trinity College Law Review, produced independently by students of economics and law respectively, the Trinity College Journal of Postgraduate Research, produced by the Graduate Students Union, the Social and Political Review (SPR), now in its 22nd year, the Trinity Student Medical Journal, The Attic, student writing produced by the Dublin University Literary Society, the Afro-Caribbean Journal produced by the Afro-Caribbean Society, and grass an intermedial magazine based on collaboration between media. Some older titles currently not in publication include In Transit, Central Review, Harlot, Evoke, and Alternate. More recent publications include the counter-cultural magazine The Burkean Journal; a politically and culturally conservative magazine named after one of Trinity's most notable alumni, Edmund Burke.
The Trinity Ball is an annual event that draws 7,000 attendants. Until 2010, it was held annually on the last teaching day of Trinity term to celebrate the end of lectures and the beginning of Trinity Week. Due to a restructuring of the teaching terms of the college the 2010 Ball was held on the last day of Trinity Week. In 2011, the ball was held on the final day of teaching of Hilary Term, before the commencement of Trinity Week. The Ball is run by Trinity Ents, Trinity Students' Union and Trinity's Central Societies Committee in conjunction with event promoters MCD Productions, who held the contract to run the Ball until 2012. The Ball celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.
The Students' Union's primary role is to provide a recognised representative channel between undergraduates and the university and college authorities. The Campaigns Executive, the Administrative Executive and Sabbatical Officers manage the business and affairs of the Union. The Sabbatical Officers are: The President, Communications Officer, Welfare Officer, Education Officer and Entertainments Officer and are elected on an annual basis; all capitated students are entitled to vote. The SU President, Welfare Officer and Education Officer are ex-officio members of the College Board.
The Graduate Students' Union's primary role is to provide a recognised representative channel between postgraduates and the university and college authorities. The GSU president is an ex-officio member of the College Board.
The Graduate Students' Union publish the annual "Journal of Postgraduate Research".
The Latin Grace is said "before and after meat" at Commons, a three-course meal served in the College Dining Hall Monday to Friday. Commons is attended by Scholars and Fellows and Sizars of the college, as well as other members of the college community and their guests.
Each year, Trinity Week is celebrated in mid-April on Trinity Monday and on the afternoon of Trinity Wednesday no lectures or demonstrations are held. College races are held each year on Trinity Wednesday.
There is a long-standing rivalry with nearby University College Dublin, which is largely friendly in nature. Every year, Colours events are contested between the sporting clubs of each University.
Most students of the college (undergraduates especially) never walk underneath the Campanile, as the tradition suggests that should the bell ring whilst they pass under it, they will fail their annual examinations. This is negated only if they touch the foot of the statue of George Salmon within five seconds of the bell ringing.
In James Plunkett's Farewell Companions, one of the characters claims to have been "through Trinity", having entered at College Green and left at the Nassau Street Gate.
Parts of Michael Collins, The First Great Train Robbery, Circle of Friends, Educating Rita, Ek Tha Tiger and Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx were filmed in Trinity College. It served as the filming location for Luftwaffe headquarters in The Blue Max.
The Irish writer J. P. Donleavy was a student in Trinity. A number of his books feature characters who attend Trinity, including The Ginger Man and The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B. H. A. Hinkson has written two books about Trinity, Student Life in T.C.D. and the fictional O'Grady of Trinity – A Story of Irish University Life.
In the Channel 4 television series Hollyoaks, Craig Dean attends Trinity College. He left Hollyoaks to study in Ireland in 2007 and now lives there with his boyfriend, John Paul McQueen, after they got their sunset ending in September 2008.
All Names Have Been Changed, a novel by Claire Kilroy, is set in Trinity College in the 1990s. The story follows a group of creative writing students and their enigmatic professor. A photograph of Trinity is used in the cover art.
The First Verse by Barry McCrea is another novel with Trinity College as its setting. The narrative focuses on freshman Niall Lenihan's search for identity and companionship, along with detailing his involvement with mysticism at the college.
In Karen Marie Moning's The Fever Series Trinity College is said to be where the main character, MacKayla Lane's, sister Alina was attending school on scholarship before she was murdered. The college is also where several of the minor characters who inform Ms. Lane about her sister are said to work.
In Sally Rooney's 2017 bestselling novel Conversations with Friends, both the main characters, Frances and Bobbi, are students at Trinity College. Sally Rooney herself studied English as a scholar in Trinity.
Amongst the past students (and some staff) are included notable people such as:
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(12 weeks each), followed by three revision weeks and a four-week exam period.
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By 11 pm, only a fraction of the 7,000 ticketholders have filtered through the security checks.
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