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Deaf Studies

Higher Education CAO

The undergraduate programme is the only one of its kind in Ireland. Irish Sign Language (ISL) is the indigenous language of the Deaf Community in Ireland and is the working language at the Centre for Deaf Studies. There are many different sign languages in the world in the same way as there are different spoken languages.

Award Name Degree - Honours Bachelor (Level 8 NFQ)
NFQ Classification Major
Awarding Body University of Dublin
NFQ Level Level 8 NFQ
Award Name NFQ Classification Awarding Body NFQ Level
Degree - Honours Bachelor (Level 8 NFQ) Major University of Dublin Level 8 NFQ
Course Provider:
Dublin City Centre
Attendance Options:
Daytime, Full time
Qualification Letters:
BA (Hons)
Apply to:
Restricted Entry:
CAO Points Round 1
Year Points
2023 352
2022 338
2021 389
2020 340


4 years full-time

Specific Subjects or course requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements: Irish Leaving Certificate

To be considered for admission to a degree course at the University you must:

Present six subjects, three of which must be at grade 5 or above on higher Leaving Certificate papers or at least grade 5 in the University matriculation examination.

The six subjects above must include:

A pass in English.

A pass in mathematics (or foundation-level mathematics (see note 2)) and a pass in a language other than English
A pass in Latin and a pass in a subject other than a language.

Special entry requirements
This is a restricted entry course.

H4 In English or pass in TCD ISL test

O6/H6 In a language other than English

Leaving Certificate General Entry Requirements

Admission Requirements 2024

To qualify for admission to an honours degree course at the University you must:

1 meet the minimum entry requirements (see above).

2 satisfy course specific requirements (where applicable), see above.

3 where there is competition for places, have good enough examination results to be included among those to whom offers are made (see the Leaving Certificate scoring system or Advanced GCE (A Level) scoring system).

Minimum entry points for recent years are available at:

Also see ‘Other Requirements’ below.

1 A pass means grade O6/H7 or above in the Leaving Certificate and grade 7 or above in the University matriculation examination.

2 Mathematics at foundation-level is acceptable for minimum entry requirements only, for all courses except nursing or midwifery courses.

Irish at foundation-level is not acceptable for minimum entry requirements, course requirements or for scoring purposes.

3 Students may combine grades achieved in different sittings of their Leaving Certificate/Matriculation examinations for the purpose of satisfying minimum entry and/or course requirements, but not for the purposes of scoring. This is not permitted for Medicine.

4 Combinations of Leaving Certificate subjects not permitted:

Physics/chemistry may not be presented with physics or chemistry.

Biology and agricultural science may not be presented as two of the six subjects required for minimum entry requirements, and they may not be presented together to satisfy course specific requirements. However, both may be used for scoring purposes.

Art and music may not be offered as two of the three higher Leaving Certificate grades for minimum entry requirements, but both may be used for scoring purposes.

Bonus Points for Higher Level Mathematics
All students resenting H6 or above in higher level mathematics will have 25 points added to their score for mathematics. The bonus points will only be relevant where mathematics is scored as one of a student’s six best subjects for points purposes.

An applicant’s six best results from one sitting of the Leaving Certificate will be counted for scoring purposes. Applicants may combine results from the Leaving Certificate and the Trinity matriculation examination of the same year for scoring purposes.

The minimum entry levels (points) for Trinity in recent years are available at:

University Matriculation Examination
A matriculation examination, graded in equivalent terms to grades used in higher Leaving Certificate examination papers, is held in Trinity every year, usually in April. The subjects of the matriculation examination are Biblical Studies and Geology. You may take one or both of the subjects available, but you should note that the range of university matriculation examination subjects available is not sufficient for the fulfilment of all minimum entry requirements.

The closing date for application for the examination is 1 March of the year of proposed entry to study. Application forms and a syllabus can be obtained from:
Academic Registry, Watts Building, Trinity College Dublin,
the University of Dublin, Dublin 2,
T: +353 1 896 4500,

Other Requirements

English Language Requirement
All applicants must present an English language qualification. Accepted/permitted qualifications are:
1 Irish Leaving Certificate: a grade 6 or better in ordinary level English.

2 GCSE: a grade C/grade 5 or better in English language.

3 US High School: a grade C in English taken in final year.

› Paper-based 570 (with a TWE score of 4.5)
› Computer-based 233 (with a score of 4.5 in essay)
› Internet-based 90 (with a written score of 21)

5 Cambridge Advanced/Proficiency: grade C

6 IELTS (academic version) 6.5 (no individual band below 6)
› For Dental courses: IELTS (academic version) 7 (no individual band below 7)
› For Clinical Speech and Language Studies: IELTS (academic version) 7 (no individual band below 7)

7 Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PTE Academic: a minimum score of 63 (with no Communication Skills section score below 59)

8 International Baccalaureate: English A1, A2 or B: 5 at Higher Level (4 at Standard Level if presenting IB through English).

9 QQI/FET: a pass in Communications module (5N0690).

10 Duolingo English Test: Minimum overall score of 120/160, with no section below 105.

Note: Examination results are only valid for two years.

Age Requirement
Applicants seeking admission in 2024 must have a date of birth before 15 January 2008.

Garda Vetting
Students on courses with clinical or other professional placements may be required to undergo Garda vetting procedures prior to commencing placements. If, as a result of the outcome of the Garda vetting procedures, a student is deemed unsuitable to attend clinical or other professional placement, he/she may be required to withdraw from his/her course. Students who have resided outside Ireland for a period of 6 months or more will be required to provide police clearance documentation from the country (including different states) or countries in which they resided.

Students who accept an offer will be informed of the procedures to be followed to complete the vetting process (as part of the student orientation information).

Fitness To Practice
Professional courses demand that certain core competencies are met by students in order to graduate and practice professionally after qualification. Trinity has special responsibility to ensure that all students admitted to all professional programmes will be eligible for registration by the relevant professional body upon graduation. It is important to us that our students are able to fulfil the rigorous demands of professional courses and are fit to practice.

Health Screening
Offers of admission to the following courses are made subject to certain vaccination requirements and/or certain negative test results:
› Clinical Speech and Language Studies
› Orthodontic Therapy, Dental Science, Dental Hygiene, Dental Nursing, and Dental Technology
› Medicine
› Nursing and Midwifery
› Occupational Therapy
› Pharmacy
› Physiotherapy
› Radiation Therapy
› Social Studies (Social work)

Full details are available at:

Leaving Certificate Vocational Progamme LCVP

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme Link Modules
These modules are accepted for scoring purposes only and are awarded the following points: Distinction 66, Merit 46, Pass 28.

QQI FET Applicants General Information

QQI/FETAC Qualifications
There is an entry route to a number of degree programmes in Trinity for applicants presenting appropriate QQI/FET Level 5 or 6 Major Awards. Applicants presenting distinctions in five modules can be considered for admission.

Full information on courses with QQI entry routes, requirements etc., can be found at the link below.

QQI FET General Information Link

QQI FET Entry Requirements

Careers / Further progression

Graduate skills and career opportunities
Graduates frequently work in Deaf organisations, for example as a resource officer or combined with another skill set, such as teaching, ISL interpreting, child care, social work, public service bodies, the Civil Service or the media. There is also scope for further study or research in areas such as linguistics, communications, anthropology, multiculturalism, gender studies or law.

Course Web Page

Further information

Mature Students
All undergraduate courses in Trinity are open to mature applicants. Mature student applicants are not required to satisfy the normal minimum entry requirements and are not required to meet competitive academic entry levels (such as Leaving Certificate points), but are considered in the first instance on the basis of how relevant their life, work and educational experiences are to the course(s) that they wish to pursue. In addition, all applicants should demonstrate an interest in and knowledge of their course choice(s).

In order to apply to Trinity as a mature applicant you must:
› be an EU applicant (see page 218)
› be at least 23 years of age on 1 January 2024
› submit a CAO application form to the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February 2024

Late applications will not be considered from mature students.

CAO applications may be made online at:

Further information about applying through the CAO as a mature student can be found

Applicants to all courses may be required to attend an interview. Interviews are usually held between April and May.

Certain courses may also require applicants to meet other assessment criteria. For information on additional assessments for specific courses please refer to the Mature Student Guidelines booklet available from:

Academic Registry, Watts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2, T: +353 1 896 4500, E:

The Mature Student Guidelines booklet is also available to download at:

Trinity will inform mature applicants of the outcome of their application before the end of May to allow successful applicants the maximum time possible to prepare for the start of the academic year 2024. Official offers to successful applicants are made through the CAO in early July. To secure your place you must return a formal acceptance notice to the CAO by the specified reply date.

An information seminar to prepare all successful mature applicants for starting in Trinity will take place in July 2024. An orientation programme for all successful mature applicants will take place in August 2024.

For further information on studying in Trinity as a mature student please contact the mature student officer, T: +353 1 896 1386, E: For more information, visit:

Please Refer to:

Places 2023: 20

Entry 2024 - Restricted Course

Early online application (discounted): Fee €30 Closing Date: 20 January 2024 at 5pm

Normal online application: Fee €45 Closing Date: 1 February 2024 at 5pm

Be sure to complete any action well in advance of closing dates. You should avoid submitting an application close to a closing date. No extensions to closing dates will be allowed and all fees are non-refundable.

Restricted Courses
Applying for a restricted course – you must have applied to CAO by 1 February 2024 at 5pm if you wish to apply for a restricted course. The restricted course must be included on your course choices list by that date, or added to your application using the facility to amend course choices (for a fee of €10) before 1 March at 5pm.

Restricted courses normally require additional assessment procedures, for example, the submission of a portfolio, an oral assessment or interview, or a written assessment. Restricted courses are identified in the handbook by the words “(Restricted - see page 3)" on the same line as the restricted course’s title. Please make sure to acquaint yourself with the additional requirements, if any, of the restricted course(s) that you have applied for and go to page 24 of the 2024 CAO Handbook for more information about interviews and assessments.

Exception: If a restricted course shares the exact same assessment procedures with a course you had applied for by 1 February 2024, you may be permitted to introduce it on a Change of Mind. You should consult with the relevant HEI before introducing such a course.

Mature Applicants
Mature applicants – most HEIs will require mature applicants, who wish to be assessed on mature grounds, to have applied to CAO by 1st February 2024 at 5pm, and include course choices by that date or add them using the facility to amend course choices (for a fee of €10) before 1 March at 5pm. (This restriction does not apply if the applicant wishes to be considered on the basis of school leaving qualifications only.) For more information about applying to CAO on the basis of mature years go to

Supplementary Admission Routes
Applying for DARE and/or HEAR – to be considered for DARE and/or HEAR, applicants must have registered on the CAO system by 1 February 2024 at 5pm. To apply to DARE, you must answer YES to Question 1 ('Do you wish to be considered for DARE?) on Section A of the fully completed Supplementary Information Form (SIF) by 5pm on 1 March 2024.

To apply to HEAR, you must indicate on your CAO application that you wish to apply for HEAR and fully and correctly complete all elements of the online HEAR form by 5pm on 1 March 2024.

Supporting documents for DARE and/or HEAR applicants must be sent to CAO offices before 15 March 2024 at 5pm

What is Deaf Studies?
The Centre for Deaf Studies in Trinity affords students the opportunity to develop insights into, and genuine appreciation for, the culture, contributions, and contemporary issues related to Deaf people in Ireland and worldwide. The undergraduate programme is the only one of its kind in Ireland. Irish Sign Language (ISL) is the indigenous language of the Deaf Community in Ireland and is the working language at the Centre for Deaf Studies. There are many different sign languages in the world in the same way as there are different spoken languages.

ISL is the third language of Ireland, recognised in the Irish Sign Language Act (2017). It is also one of the many signed languages recognised by European Institutions and is recognised along with British Sign Language in Northern Ireland. During this four-year course students develop fluency in ISL. As a student you may choose to specialise as an ISL/English Interpreter or an ISL teacher, or to focus on Deaf Studies. Students entering the Deaf Studies programme will explore a range of educational, social, cultural, linguistic, and psychological issues and their application to Deaf people, as individuals, as a community, and as a linguistic and cultural minority.

The multi-disciplinary approach to your studies is led by a strong academic team, many of whom are Deaf. The degree programme will provide in-depth training preparing you for a number of exciting career options working with Deaf people as a disability officer, resource officer, research assistant or as an administrator in Deaf community organisations, to give a few examples. With this foundation, graduates frequently go on to complete postgraduate study.

Deaf Studies: The course for you?
Deaf Studies is the right course for you if you are interested in studying ISL, Deaf culture and aspects of the Deaf community; wish to acquire an understanding of the Deaf community as a part of human diversity; or want to spend your professional or social life after graduation in the Deaf community, or to make further contributions in a chosen academic discipline.

Deaf Studies at Trinity
The Centre for Deaf Studies in Trinity has an international reputation for its work: we bring approaches from across many disciplines (linguistics, equality studies, psychology, education, disability studies, gender studies, interpreting studies, social policy and digital humanities) to bear on our work with Deaf communities.

We engage closely with the Irish Deaf community and students will have the opportunity to learn from many of the world’s leading scholars in this discipline who collaborate with the Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS) staff.

Study abroad and internship opportunities
Students undertake practical placements in their fourth year and whilst students are usually placed in an Irish organisation, it is possible to arrange a placement abroad. Students can also consider completing an Erasmus exchange visit for this semester. For more information on study abroad destinations and requirements visit:

Your degree and what you’ll study
The programme in Deaf Studies draws on a core faculty with interests in ISL and Deaf Studies, as well as other faculty within the University and the School of Linguistics Speech and Communication Sciences, with expertise in bilingualism, biculturalism, reading, literacy, linguistics and applied linguistics, cognitive and language development, language teaching, special education, and counselling. This course gives an in-depth understanding of the Irish Deaf community and of the experience of Deaf people internationally, historically and in contemporary society. Core courses detailing the history, education, literature and language of the Deaf will be taught by both Deaf and hearing staff.

First year
Students will start with an introduction to ISL as a language, and also learn the concepts of second language learning and language acquisition as it relates to their learning. The idea of the Deaf community, as active participants in business and society, will also be introduced.

Second and third years
In years two and three, themes such as ethics, Deaf people in the media, the legal and political standing of signed languages and access to critical public health services are explored, along with understanding of the structure of ISL, the sociolinguistic context and the path to acquisition of a signed language for deaf children. For ISL/English interpreting students, translation theory and the practical skills of interpreting, guided by ethical practice, are emphasised in third and fourth year.

Fourth year
For students taking the ISL teaching route, guidance on planning and implementing a curriculum and assessing student performance are introduced. Students in the third and fourth year complete a Capstone research project, as well as studying more advanced theoretical subjects and entering two separate supervised placements in organisations that provide services to/for the Deaf community.

Across the four years of the degree you will develop a high level of competency in ISL skills. Language teaching is mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR, Council of Europe), so you will be able to map your progress against your knowledge of other languages. Competence in ISL is fundamental to gaining an in-depth understanding of the Deaf community and is a requirement of the programme.

The course employs a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies. Both continuous assessment and end of semester exams are undertaken across the four years. The range and diversity of assessment formats account for varying student learning styles.

The course employs a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies. Both continuous assessment and end of semester exams are undertaken across the four years. The range and diversity of assessment formats account for varying student learning styles.

Further information and contact details: Centre for Deaf Studies, School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences

Course Provider:
Dublin City Centre
Attendance Options:
Daytime, Full time
Qualification Letters:
BA (Hons)
Apply to:
Restricted Entry:
CAO Points Round 1
Year Points
2023 352
2022 338
2021 389
2020 340