Access Foundation Programme

Access Foundation Programme / An Bonnchlár Rochtana

What is the Access Foundation Programme? 

The Access Foundation Programme (AFP) is a one-year full-time preparation that gets students ready, both personally and academically, to pursue undergraduate programmes at TU Dublin City Centre. 

A multi-disciplinary programme, it prepares students for entry into undergraduate programmes in Science & Health, Engineering & Built Environment, Business, and Arts & Tourism. We offer guidance and support during the year to help students to identify suitable undergraduate options. Those who successfully complete the programme will be offered a place on an appropriate undergraduate course at TU Dublin.

Why was the AFP set up and who is it for?

The programme forms part of TU Dublin’s commitment to extending access to education to people and groups from areas and communities lacking a strong tradition of participation in third-level education. The course is of particular benefit to adults who’ve been out of education for a long time, or who did not complete a Leaving Certificate. In addition, we welcome applications from people whose skills no longer allow them to access the labour market. 

Learning outcome/What will you study?

Students take six compulsory modules (subjects) and four optional modules (2 each semester) from a menu of modules in areas such as science, engineering, business, social science, art and computing. They will develop the skills needed to undertake an undergraduate qualification at TU Dublin, become familiar with subject areas across the various colleges in TU Dublin, and learn how to research and write academic work, and improve their communication and information technology skills.

Module Listing

Semester 1 & 2
Core Modules (compulsory)
  • Introduction to Higher Education
  • Applied Writing
  • Communications
  • Study Skills (Semester 1) / Research Skills (Semester 2)
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics: students take one of the following modules:
    • Advanced
    • Intermediate  
    • Fundamental
Optional Modules (choose 2)
  • Introduction to Humanities
  • Introduction to Social Science
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • Computer Science Fundamentals (Networking Technologies)
  • Engineering (Electronic and Electrical)
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Fundamental Physics
  • Human Biology
  • Art Portfolio Preparation (year-long)

Semester 2

Core Modules
  • Introduction to Higher Education 2
  • Applied Writing 2
  • Communications 2
  • Research Skills
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics 2: students take one of the following modules:
    • Advanced
    • Intermediate
    • Fundamentals
Optional Modules (choose 2)
  • Introduction to Economics
  • Introduction to Management
  • Applied Social Science
  • Approaches to Humanities 
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Applied Chemistry
  • Applied Physics
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science (Programming)

How do students progress into undergraduate programmes?

Students who successfully complete the programme will be offered a place on an appropriate undergraduate course at TU Dublin through a facilitated entry process. We offer guidance and support during the year to help students to identify suitable undergraduate options.

How to apply for a place?

Applicants apply directly to TU Dublin by way of a paper application form. They’re then shortlisted based on eligibility and suitability, and shortlisted candidates are invited for interview. Offers are made to candidates based on the application form and interview. Deadline for application is 24 May.

Application Forms

Am I suitable or ready for the programme?

Candidates are assessed for their academic suitability for the programme. The following are considered:

  1. Educational experience and qualifications. Particular emphasis is paid to educational experiences over the last five years. You should detail all relevant educational experiences including secondary school qualifications, experience of further adult education and training, as well informal education or non-certified courses. A copy of qualifications and certificates must be included.
  2. Work and volunteering experience. You should detail your work experience.
  3. Essay and personal statement. You are required to submit a handwritten essay and personal statement.

Other Entry Requirements:

  • Candidates who already hold a higher-education qualification, with no evidence of deterioration in academic ability, are deemed ineligible.
  • Those who participate in the programme must have the right to live and study in Ireland. Non-EU nationals are required to have Stamp 4 status or have been granted international protection status in Ireland.

Fees and grants

The Access Foundation Programme is free for participants. Students on the programme are not eligible for the SUSI grant. Students in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment may be eligible for the Back to Education Allowance.

For further information, please contact Johanna King, Access Foundation Programme Co-ordinator, at or  (01) 402 4222.