Glossary of Terms

Access Course

Access to Arts & Social Sciences and Access to Science, Engineering & Agriculture courses aim to equip mature students with the skills and confidence required to take the next step to a Third Level course in UCD.

These courses are designed to help mature students, who may not have the necessary formal qualifications necessary to gain entry to certain courses in UCD, equip themselves with the skills and confidence required to take the next step to a Third Level course in UCD.


UCD Access & Lifelong Learning

ALL Team

The team of staff who work in UCD Access & Lifelong Learning.

Alternative Access Routes to Education

UCD is committed to the objective of promoting ‘equality of access to higher education, irrespective of social class, age or disability’. To widen access to 3rd level, participating colleges have developed a range of alternative admission routes. These include alternative admission routes for FETAC applicants, HEAR applicants, DARE applicants, and Mature Student applicants.

Campus Accessibility

Campus Accessibility refers to the creation of a campus that can be used by everybody, irrespective of ability or disability.


DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places at reduced points to school leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education. For further information, please click on the following link

FETAC (Further Education and Training Awards Council)

Students with the relevant and appropriate FETAC QQI FET (Level 5/6)* qualifications and components, with a minimum of distinctions in five modules, may be admitted on a competitive basis to certain UCD courses. For further information, please click on the following link

Future You

Future You is a college mentoring programme for 5th Year school pupils in schools (linked to UCD Access and Lifelong Learning) who aspire to go on to third level study.


HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places at reduced points and extra college supports to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. For further information, please click on the following link

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning courses are part-time specific interest courses that are participative, engaging and facilitated by experts in their field.

Mature Student

A mature student in UCD is anyone who is at least 23 years of age on 1 January of the proposed year of entry.

For entry in September 2016 your date of birth must be on or before 1 January 1993.


MSAP (Mature Students Admission Pathway) is a test designed to assess a range of competencies considered important for success in tertiary study. The purpose is to assess your ability to understand and analyse material you will be given, to think critically about issues and to organise and express your thoughts in a logical and effective way.


The NUI or National University of Ireland is made up of a number of universities and colleges in Ireland. One of these universities is UCD. Each university or college operates individually, for all essential purposes, except that the degrees and diplomas are awarded by the National University of Ireland.

Open Learning

Open Learning refers to a range of undergraduate modules available to adult learners, without any formal entry requirements.


Each UCD degree programme has their own tailored orientation events which give new students important information about their specific degree programme and introduces them to their new classmates.


Outreach is an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to those services. A key component of outreach is that the groups providing it are not stationary, but mobile; in other words they are meeting those in need of outreach services at the locations where those in need are. In addition to delivering services, outreach has an educational role, raising the awareness of existing services.

Peer Mentoring

The aim of the Peer Mentoring Programme is to provide peer support for Stage One students to assist them in their transition to university life.


A student will progress through an undergraduate programme in stages. An undergraduate stage is normally completed when a student has successfully accumulated 60, 90, 120 or 180 credits.

For full-time undergraduate students, a 60-credit stage will normally be completed in one academic year (two teaching semesters).  Part-time students may progress to Stage 2 after completing 60 credits over a number of teaching semesters.  Programme specifications will define the credit requirements of each stage.

Taking a module for audit

When you take a module for audit, you attend the module for your interest only. You will not do any assessments. On completion of the module you may request a Certificate of Attendance.

Taking a module for credit

When you take a module for credit, you attend the module and complete all assessments required for successful completion of the module. On successful completion of the module, you will earn 5 ECTS.


Unilink is a private, confidential, practical occupational therapy support service established in Trinity College, Dublin and provided in UCD one day per week.  Unilink is available to students who are registered with UCD Access & Lifelong Learning who may be experiencing mental health difficulties, and/or physical/sensory difficulties.

Unilink is staffed by qualified and experienced Occupational Therapists. Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing by enabling people to participate in the activities of everyday life or "occupations."

Universal Access to Education

Universal Access to Education is the ability of all people to have equal opportunity in education, regardless of their social class, gender, ethnicity background or disability.

Universal Design

Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.