Opinions please? How good is Trinity College Dublin? Watch

The Polymath
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Title says it all really. How does it compare to UK univeristies?

It's ranked 15th in the world for Maths, and often in the top 50 for other subjects. In some other rankings it's way lower - In the Times Europe rankings for example, it was 14th in 2010 then 117th in 2011?

My impression is that it's on par with Durham and the top London unis in some areas, but the entry requirements (ABBB gets you into it's 15th-in-the-world maths degree?!) and some of the rankings seem to say otherwise.

I know rankings aren't everything, and are often completely skewed (hello Guardian UK rankings) - so just how good is it?

Thanks
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Sweet-Caroline
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Regarding the entry requirements, for the Leaving Cert the equivalent of ABBB is actually quite hard to get. The system of points discriminates against people who only sit three A-levels yet gives a disproportionate advantage to people who sit four complete A-levels.

Durham's probably a fair comparison (I'm hoping to go to either!) but it's definitely renowned as the best and most academic university in Ireland. All in all, it's a great place
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StarsAreFixed
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It can't compare properly. Academically, extremely well. It has fallen bigtime as it cannot compete financially with other unis. It does not get big alumnus grants or funding, that is why it has slid. That in no way reflects on teaching standard. However that particular slide is ludicrous. When I started in 2007 it was 72nd. It climbed every year and reached 47th before the recession hit funding. It is now hovering around 69th. These are the THES rankings.

Points are not an accurate comparison of academic excellence- because they are going by supply and demand. For example, English by itself and English and History combined are much higher than Nursing, Midwifery and Comp Science and slighly higher than Maths. 485 (maths 2011 final score) is much harder for Irish students to achieve AND it says that the average candidate (midpoint) got 550- that's a genius score. It would be much higher points if it was more popular. As it stands, 485 was the final points- round one, the ones released in August, were more than likely higher. The more points you can get the better.

I have no interest in maths (total weak point), but when I was in Trinity even I knew that the maths department was extremely well regarded. Seriously it is not a university you would be dissapointed in picking, and it has great clout internationally as Ireland's top uni. Some would lead you to believe it is up there with Oxbridge as they share a lot of the same traditions etc. but it definitely doesn't. It is usually comapred with Durham, Warwick and St. Andrew's as being in and around that level if that helps.

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=468

This usually has a thread or two open on maths, I've definitely seen some, just do a search. The stickies can be quite useful too, but some of the subject threads linked to will be a bit out of date. (especially as regards exam periods etc.- TCD is now semesterised, not exactly the same as everyone but a good bit different from the old system of terms like Oxbridge).

In short, I wouldn't be a bit worried about entry requirements. You need to hit in and around 500 and that is by no means low. Rest assured supply and demand are dictating points, and not academic brainpower required.
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The Polymath
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(Original post by Sweet-Caroline)
Regarding the entry requirements, for the Leaving Cert the equivalent of ABBB is actually quite hard to get. The system of points discriminates against people who only sit three A-levels yet gives a disproportionate advantage to people who sit four complete A-levels.

Durham's probably a fair comparison (I'm hoping to go to either!) but it's definitely renowned as the best and most academic university in Ireland. All in all, it's a great place

(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
It can't compare properly. Academically, extremely well. It has fallen bigtime as it cannot compete financially with other unis. It does not get big alumnus grants or funding, that is why it has slid. That in no way reflects on teaching standard. However that particular slide is ludicrous. When I started in 2007 it was 72nd. It climbed every year and reached 47th before the recession hit funding. It is now hovering around 69th. These are the THES rankings.

Points are not an accurate comparison of academic excellence- because they are going by supply and demand. For example, English by itself and English and History combined are much higher than Nursing, Midwifery and Comp Science and slighly higher than Maths. 485 (maths 2011 final score) is much harder for Irish students to achieve AND it says that the average candidate (midpoint) got 550- that's a genius score. It would be much higher points if it was more popular. As it stands, 485 was the final points- round one, the ones released in August, were more than likely higher. The more points you can get the better.

I have no interest in maths (total weak point), but when I was in Trinity even I knew that the maths department was extremely well regarded. Seriously it is not a university you would be dissapointed in picking, and it has great clout internationally as Ireland's top uni. Some would lead you to believe it is up there with Oxbridge as they share a lot of the same traditions etc. but it definitely doesn't. It is usually comapred with Durham, Warwick and St. Andrew's as being in and around that level if that helps.

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=468

This usually has a thread or two open on maths, I've definitely seen some, just do a search. The stickies can be quite useful too, but some of the subject threads linked to will be a bit out of date. (especially as regards exam periods etc.- TCD is now semesterised, not exactly the same as everyone but a good bit different from the old system of terms like Oxbridge).

In short, I wouldn't be a bit worried about entry requirements. You need to hit in and around 500 and that is by no means low. Rest assured supply and demand are dictating points, and not academic brainpower required.
Thanks to both of you for your replies Do you reckon they'd count an A-level I sat this year (in lower sixth)? If not, I'm still doing 4 others. I'll probably apply for Economics and German, for which the minimum points requirement has been floating around 450-475ish over the last few years. Assuming the worst (that it's 475), then BBBC and I'm in, which seems ridiculously easy for a university you're describing as being similar to Durham, St. Andrew's, Warwick etc. all of which normally ask for A*AA/AAA.... *seems fishy*
A quick question - if I meet the points does that mean I'm guaranteed a place?
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StarsAreFixed
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It's not fishy. As I said, you are setting too much score by points. In a lot of cases- medicine, vet, pharm, law, dentistry and psych- points are 550-600 and justified by how difficult those courses are. But it's competition that drives them so high. Nursing is 400, teaching and midwifery are around 450, engineering and most business courses are around that or lower. But English and History is 500-510. The more competition, the higher the points. As a sidenote, medicine is not officially anything over 500 but the test added on to it means you need to have over 560 to stand a chance in gaining the total.

German is dragging that down slightly, it's not near as popular as French. Economics is an extremely popular TSM choice which brings it right back up again. If you combined German with Russian or Geography it would be below 400. That's how it works- just utter demand. Have no fear, it doesn't make the course any less impressive or difficult.

You cannot have an A2 counted that was done in a different year. All A2's you present for scoring purposes must be sat in the same academic year. This is because Irish students cannot mix and match- it's do or repeat all 7 subjects in one go or nothing.

It's much more unusual to be doing 4 A2's than 3. This makes it much harder to even compete for UK students. However once you are doing 4 it gives you a big safety net. But doing 4 is giving you a big safety net for UK unis too- you can fail one and they won't care, you can't do that here. You still need to do very well, just not be a genius. If you compare other courses to Durham etc. it's much much higher here. Medicine, Dentistry- A*A*A*A*, vet, pharm- A*A*A*A, Psychology, Law- A*A*AA. You won't find that even in Oxbridge. There's a reason why TCD is seen as extremely competitive- you just got lucky yours isn't one of the insanely high courses. You should be thankful, not suspicious. You're not comparing like with like- our exam system and grading is extremely different to yours.

No, you need to get more than the points to be guaranteed. Points can climb, because of demand. Trinity is well known for it. It's rare to see a course jump more than 15, 5-10 is the usual but that can screw lots of people over. If you get the exact points you will go through random selection- I don't mean last year's, I mean in the year you apply- it means you are tying for the last place and a computer picks the winner randomly. You do NOT want to risk that.

You don't need to tell people 'I went to a uni like Durham' etc. Trinity is very well known and renowned internationally. Inside the UK, obviously people know more about Durham but they will know that Trinity is also a great uni. Outside of the UK, everybody has heard of Trinity. It has a huge number of famous past graduates as well as its great rep- UC Berkeley is entirely named after one of Trinity's graduates!

You will also only pay €2000 a year fees for TCD. Living costs are higher and you cannot get loans here, you need to figure out whether taking the hit in the short term instead of the long term is a good idea for you as well.

You must have English, Maths and a foreign language to at least GCSE level. You cannot present BOTH english language and literature at A2. You cannot present media, general or ICT at all.
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The Polymath
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
It's not fishy. As I said, you are setting too much score by points. In a lot of cases- medicine, vet, pharm, law, dentistry and psych- points are 550-600 and justified by how difficult those courses are. But it's competition that drives them so high. Nursing is 400, teaching and midwifery are around 450, engineering and most business courses are around that or lower. But English and History is 500-510. The more competition, the higher the points. As a sidenote, medicine is not officially anything over 500 but the test added on to it means you need to have over 560 to stand a chance in gaining the total.

German is dragging that down slightly, it's not near as popular as French. Economics is an extremely popular TSM choice which brings it right back up again. If you combined German with Russian or Geography it would be below 400. That's how it works- just utter demand. Have no fear, it doesn't make the course any less impressive or difficult.

You cannot have an A2 counted that was done in a different year. All A2's you present for scoring purposes must be sat in the same academic year. This is because Irish students cannot mix and match- it's do or repeat all 7 subjects in one go or nothing.

It's much more unusual to be doing 4 A2's than 3. This makes it much harder to even compete for UK students. However once you are doing 4 it gives you a big safety net. But doing 4 is giving you a big safety net for UK unis too- you can fail one and they won't care, you can't do that here. You still need to do very well, just not be a genius. If you compare other courses to Durham etc. it's much much higher here. Medicine, Dentistry- A*A*A*A*, vet, pharm- A*A*A*A, Psychology, Law- A*A*AA. You won't find that even in Oxbridge. There's a reason why TCD is seen as extremely competitive- you just got lucky yours isn't one of the insanely high courses. You should be thankful, not suspicious. You're not comparing like with like- our exam system and grading is extremely different to yours.

No, you need to get more than the points to be guaranteed. Points can climb, because of demand. Trinity is well known for it. It's rare to see a course jump more than 15, 5-10 is the usual but that can screw lots of people over. If you get the exact points you will go through random selection- I don't mean last year's, I mean in the year you apply- it means you are tying for the last place and a computer picks the winner randomly. You do NOT want to risk that.

You don't need to tell people 'I went to a uni like Durham' etc. Trinity is very well known and renowned internationally. Inside the UK, obviously people know more about Durham but they will know that Trinity is also a great uni. Outside of the UK, everybody has heard of Trinity. It has a huge number of famous past graduates as well as its great rep- UC Berkeley is entirely named after one of Trinity's graduates!

You will also only pay €2000 a year fees for TCD. Living costs are higher and you cannot get loans here, you need to figure out whether taking the hit in the short term instead of the long term is a good idea for you as well.

You must have English, Maths and a foreign language to at least GCSE level. You cannot present BOTH english language and literature at A2. You cannot present media, general or ICT at all.
To be honest I'm not expecting anything lower than 550 points (AAAB) and I would imagine that realistically I'll get > 580, so could I apply to almost any course and get in? (e.g. I might consider Maths or Physics)
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StarsAreFixed
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It is easy to get in FOR YOU. It's probably the hardest uni to get into in Europe, not all of its courses, but a significant proportion of them. You're too hung up on the 3 grade/4 grade thing. Trinity need 4 A2's for a lot of their courses, 3 is nowhere near good enough for competitive courses. No university in the UK will demand 4 A2's from you. You are doing 4-5 A2's and will get great grades in them. You are in the utter minority- people who do 4 A2's are in the minority, and lower again those who can confidently expect great grades in all 4. That does it not make it easy to get in, only for you, not in general.

I know plenty of people who got well over 500 points, did highly difficult and demanding courses that were under 400 and ended up with firsts from a great university. Should they be ashamed that their courses did not fully realise the potential of their grades? This is the same attitude that leads to people here doing Medicine only because they can get the points for it. It's irrelevant if you need all of your points or not. Do what you want to do, don't be ashamed that you didn't NEED 580.

If you dropped to 3 A-levels, you would find it much harder to get in. You would need A*A*A* and A or B at AS for that course, which is higher than what the UK courses want off you. Now THAT is comparing like with like.
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The Polymath
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
It is easy to get in FOR YOU. It's probably the hardest uni to get into in Europe, not all of its courses, but a significant proportion of them. You're too hung up on the 3 grade/4 grade thing. Trinity need 4 A2's for a lot of their courses, 3 is nowhere near good enough for competitive courses. No university in the UK will demand 4 A2's from you. You are doing 4-5 A2's and will get great grades in them. You are in the utter minority- people who do 4 A2's are in the minority, and lower again those who can confidently expect great grades in all 4. That does it not make it easy to get in, only for you, not in general.

I know plenty of people who got well over 500 points, did highly difficult and demanding courses that were under 400 and ended up with firsts from a great university. Should they be ashamed that their courses did not fully realise the potential of their grades? This is the same attitude that leads to people here doing Medicine only because they can get the points for it. It's irrelevant if you need all of your points or not. Do what you want to do, don't be ashamed that you didn't NEED 580.

If you dropped to 3 A-levels, you would find it much harder to get in. You would need A*A*A* and A or B at AS for that course, which is higher than what the UK courses want off you. Now THAT is comparing like with like.
That last bit is very true, thanks.

I guess I'll go for it then, there can't be any harm in applying. When it comes to August year 13, how does it work with UK and Irish universities? As in, choosing which one I want to go to.
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StarsAreFixed
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I was an internal applicant. Neither system will know or care that you are applying to both. You can get offers from all of them, it's up to you to decide.
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Sweet-Caroline
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(Original post by Junaid96)
To be honest I'm not expecting anything lower than 550 points (AAAB) and I would imagine that realistically I'll get > 580, so could I apply to almost any course and get in? (e.g. I might consider Maths or Physics)
To get over 580 you need to get A*A*A*A, which is no mean feat.. But over 520 or so, which is roughly AAAB, you should be safe with most courses.

And only 4 A levels are counted, or 3 A levels and an AS.
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StarsAreFixed
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Oh yes, how did I miss that! AAAB is 525, not 550. 540 is A*AAB. A*A*AB is 555. 585 is A*A*A*A. It needs higher grades than you think.

A*= 150
A= 135
B= 120
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InkyOne
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Trinity is very well regarded, I may be a little biased, (it's my 1st choice for medicine, over KCL and Newcastle) but internationally, it is well known and respected, for example my uncle did undergrad at Trinity, then went on to do his post-grad at Harvard. As someone above said, its rankings don't reflect teaching quality - the recession hit Ireland hard, and Uni is (technically) free over there, so there has been a serious lack of funding. But i'd say definitely go for it, it's a wonderful Uni in a great city
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medbh4805
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(Original post by Junaid96)
To be honest I'm not expecting anything lower than 550 points (AAAB) and I would imagine that realistically I'll get > 580, so could I apply to almost any course and get in? (e.g. I might consider Maths or Physics)

I am thankful for how easy it is to get in, but at the same time I really wouldn't feel proud of myself for getting in - I'd hardly view it as an achievement if I got those grades..
Those are higher grades than I need to meet my Oxford offer. Just throwing that out there.

Trinity is a very good university, the best in Ireland and on a par with the likes of Durham, Warwick, UoL unis etc in Britain. It is certainly not a second rate institution, and it certainly is an achievement to get in, especially for their more competitive courses.
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The Polymath
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
Oh yes, how did I miss that! AAAB is 525, not 550. 540 is A*AAB. A*A*AB is 555. 585 is A*A*A*A. It needs higher grades than you think.

A*= 150
A= 135
B= 120
25 extra points for Maths, 25 for Further Maths. As I've done Maths this year I'm only giving myself 1 x 25.
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StarsAreFixed
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Ah. That's a fairly new thing, forgot about it. Wasn't around when I did it and im glad it wasn't as its really unfair. Are you sure you can use both? I would highly doubt it, not the way the cao operate.
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Sweet-Caroline
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
Ah. That's a fairly new thing, forgot about it. Wasn't around when I did it and im glad it wasn't as its really unfair. Are you sure you can use both? I would highly doubt it, not the way the cao operate.
StarsAreFixed, you seem to know quite a lot about Trinity... Do you know if the points for the Entrance Exhibition count the 25 points for doing maths? It says you need to get 560 points, but if they don't count the 25 points I haven't a hope :/
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by Sweet-Caroline)
StarsAreFixed, you seem to know quite a lot about Trinity... Do you know if the points for the Entrance Exhibition count the 25 points for doing maths? It says you need to get 560 points, but if they don't count the 25 points I haven't a hope :/
Yup, I am a graduate of it and there are few of them around these boards. No mention of the bonus points here http://www.tcd.ie/Admissions/undergr.../scholarships/ However the wording doesn't seem to indicate that they wouldn't be included. Best to email [email protected] for clarification.

Have a look at the foundation scholarship on that link. It is normally taken in 3rd year, if you get it it's a brilliant thing to have- free meals and accom on campus for starters!
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31541
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(Original post by The Polymath)
..
Did you end up applying for TCD?
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The Polymath
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(Original post by CD315)
Did you end up applying for TCD?
I didn't, no, as I got safe enough UK offers

Did you?
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31541
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(Original post by The Polymath)
I didn't, no, as I got safe enough UK offers

Did you?
Fair enough Yeah I did - for Maths and Economics TSM. Once I heard they regularly get people into Oxbridge and the Ivys, I thought I may as well.
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