Preparatory Course

Certificate in Preparatory Study 


Students get the opportunity or to really experience what it is like to go to the college. The course will build confidence and give you the opportunity to make an informed decision about the course you should apply to complete, that best meets your skills and interests. The course is accredited as a Special Purpose Award at level 6 (10 ECTS credits). There are no exams but you do complete a number of assignments alone or as part of a team to gain this award.

Course Aims:

  • To provide you with the necessary study skills and exam techniques for studying at third level (e.g. ICT skills, Academic English, Research Skills, Teamworking, Maths Communication and Presentation skills.)
  • Students get the opportunity to 'Taste a Number of Subjects' offered at the Institute and an introduction to the type of content and activities inherent in studying a range of subject areas - Teamwork, Study Skills, Accountancy, Social Care Management, Computing, Engineering, and Science.
  • Practical information relating to returning to education, including financial and personal implications, supports available, and students' experiences.

You choose which subjects you would like to try - you can choose 4 from the following list (note, not all will be available in any given year):


The purpose and role of accounting information. Accounting terminology - accounting elements-asset, liability, income, expense, capital: Definition and an understanding of what is meant by each element. Books and records of accounts including an introduction to double entry book-keeping and presentation of the income statement and balance sheet.


A problem based learning approach will be used to require students to develop, solutions to basic programming questions as part of a team. Initial solutions will be developed on paper/whiteboard, i.i solutions will then be tested on a visual, logical programming interface for rapid develpment and testing of programming concepts.

Electronic Engineering

Students will build a robot and use graphical programming to manoeuvre the robot. It will be programmed to respond in different ways based on proximity to objects, different sounds and colours it senses as well as when it touches other subjects. Population of boards with electronic components through hole PCB to enable a flashing led circuit, Lie detector of Musical Bagpipe. Computer communications, how a Packet Tracer simulator can be set up to form a simple network with IP addressing. A demonstration of ITT Dublin FM Transmitter (ITTFM) and Antenna Trainer will also be included.

Mechanical Engineering

Students consider all aspects on engineering safety. Computer Aided Design will be used to develop engineering graphic design skills. Engineering practice including milling and material density will also be covered, Students will also be introduced to Robotics.


Introduction to Science. This module contains an overview of some major scientific discoveries and how ultimately scientific research and development affect the every day lives of the  population of the world today. Explanation of transferable skills that scientists develop. Chemistry - Cancer and Platinum: Microbiology - The story of penicillin: Physics - Gravity, the Universe and you: Maths - A Beautiful Mind and the Genius of Game Theory: DNA - Watson and Crick and The Human Genome Project: Practical Course - lab sessions to introduce the essential skills and techniques of practical chemistry.


Planning: - Components of Planning, Strategic Planning, Operational Planning, Types of Plants, Forecasting. Organising: - Job design, Co-ordination. Directing: - Directing, Leadership, Motivation. Controlling: - Dimensions of control, control problems, Financial and Non Financial Control Methods. Entrepreneurship: - The meaning and importance of Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Support Agencies, Feasability studies and business plans, Sources of Finance, Barriers to Entrepreneurship. Managing Human Resources and Industrial Relations: HRM function, roles of the specialist and line manager, staffing, training and development, Performance Appraisal, Trade Unions and Industrial Relations Institutions. You will also study Academic English, Communications, Maths, Study Skills and ICT.


During this programme you will learn how to identify and profile target markets and put together the early stages of a marketing plan. You will appreciate the importance of understanding your customers and managing customer relationships.

In addition you get the opportunity to make friends and get know the TU Dublin – Tallaght Campus campus. This is some of what past students have to say:

Student 1

Without the preparatory I would have postponed applying to college indefinitely but this course helped my confidence and showed that I was up to studying at third level. I found being in an academic enviroment with other people helped me a great deal as did the advice on offer.

Student 2

The prep course is a great grounding to anyone considering returning to the education after a significant time away. I found that most of the general aspects are relevant - things like adhering to a timetable, which are often overlooked - all helped my adjustment back into study. I found that the course as a whole was a useful and informative grounding to a return to education. I found that the fact a student gets to experience a variety of subjects especially helpful - it introduces the prospective student to the realities that each and every lecturer and subject are different, that a plethora of teaching styles exsist & that a lot of the onus is on you, the student, to be pro-active and interact, both with the lecturer and with fellow students.

Student 3

I am studying Mechanical engineering honours degree, the course prepared me well as it got me in the right frame of mind and showed me what to expect from college. I found the academic English class very useful as my grammar and writing skills were dreadful. The classes on the Microsoft office packages were useful but the maths classes and especially the add on maths classes were really good. I think all the essential where covered and I am not sure anything else could be added.



The next Certificate in Preparatory Study for Third Level will start on 2 April and will finish on 18 June 2019.

For further information contact 




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