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Trinity College Dublin
Preliminary Course Information

  • In order to proceed with your application to Trinity College Dublin (TCD) you will need to submit a preliminary course form for your semester.  Your course selections should be made in consultation with your academic advisor.

  • If you have not previously done so, please meet with your academic advisor to ensure that the courses that you plan to take overseas will transfer back to your degree program.

  • In addition to your proposed list of 6-10 courses, we recommend that you choose a series of alternate courses. Your first choice selections may not be available due to scheduling changes, time conflicts, prerequisites or cancellations.

  • Your flexibility is very important to the process.

  • If your enrollment is conditional upon entry into a specific course or courses, it is very important that you indicate these requirements at the bottom of the preliminary course form on your Arcadia Passport.

  • While every effort will be made to accommodate your selections, Arcadia University College of Global Studies cannot guarantee placement in any specific course.

  • Official course registration will take place upon arrival at TCD. The preliminary course form you submit to Arcadia prior to acceptance is not set in stone. You will have a two week drop/add period at the beginning of the semester where you can make changes to your course registration.

Course Registration

You are required to maintain a full-time course load throughout your period of study in Ireland. A full course load at Trinity must total 30 ECTS credits per semester, which translates to 15 American credits. A full academic year must total 60 ECTS credits, which translates to 30 American credits. The optional Semester Start-Up Program for the fall is worth 2.5 American credits.

In the past each department functioned relatively independently, so the number of courses a student would take would vary. However, Trinity is now instituting a new system where all classes should either weigh 5 ECTS or 10 ECTS. Not all departments may have adopted this two weight system yet.

Official course registration will take place at Trinity.

Please note that you should also be aware of any credit requirements at your home institution. 

Refer to the credit translation scale below when selecting your courses:

ECTS credits American credits
1 0.5
1.5 1
2 1
3 1.5
4 2
5 2.5
6 3
7.5 4
8 4
10 5
12.5 6.5
15 7.5
20 10

Navigating the Overseas University’s Course Website

When selecting your courses from the overseas university’s website, you should be aware of some differences in terminology.  In Ireland, the word we use for class or course is called a “module”.

Trinity College Dublin course offerings and course descriptions are available at

  • You will see a listing of each Faculty. Select the Faculty which you are interested in studying, then the corresponding Department. Each Department will list its course offerings and include a short course description, means of assessment, credits, entry requirements, and course duration.

  • Courses offered each semester generally remain consistent from year to year. Irish universities usually don’t post next academic year’s course catalog until just weeks before the fall semester starts.

  • Duration – Even though Trinity has reorganized their academic year into two semesters instead of 3 terms, their course catalog may still list a course by the term. The Michaelmas term is the fall semester. The Hilary term is the spring semester. Please carefully review the courses when making your selection. For students attending for the academic year, you may select courses ranging from a single term (Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity), a combination of terms, or courses labeled as “academic year.”

  • Departmental Choices – Trinity College Dublin accepts students by department. Typically students select between no more than three departments of study, and then list any courses that interest you in those departments. Only select departments in which you have already completed some course work. Your application will not be submitted to any Department that you don’t list classes from on your Arcadia preliminary course form.

  • Important Considerations – The English and History departments are extremely competitive. This is also important to remember because available upper level (Sophister level) courses may have limited spaces.

Students are allowed to take several Broad Curriculum courses. Broad Curriculum is not a Department and does not count as one of your departmental choices. If interested, you will need to apply for these classes after you arrive at Trinity and will be allowed to take them so long as there is room on the courses.

Other Important Points

There is a surcharge (special course fee) that is assessed by TCD for coursework completed in certain science, math, or engineering courses. This surcharge will be added to your account after you register for courses at Trinity.

  • Arcadia University does not issue pass/fail grades for work completed overseas.

  • It is your responsibility to make sure you are registered for a full academic load according to your home school policies and that the courses you take abroad will transfer for credit to your home school.


For assistance with the application process, you can contact your Program Manager, Amanda Zimmerman, or Enrollment Counselor, Adam Williams, at 1-866-927-2234.

Please review your course choices with your academic or study abroad advisor, and submit the online preliminary course form on your Arcadia Passport to The College of Global Studies.