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Transition to Higher Education (Foundation Programme, L6, 20 ECTS)

Status: Open for Applications




1 Year


Flexible Learning

Start Date


Course Type

Flexible & Professional



Always wanted to go to college... but didn't know where to start ... Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) has developed a Foundation Level programme (called the Certificate in Transition to Higher Education) aimed at those who wish to experience Third Level Education and develop their skills and knowledge prior to starting a full Degree programme. This is a Foundation preparation course providing a pathway for students to gain experience of Third Level Education and potentially progress to entry onto TUS certificate/degree programmes. 

The aims of the programme are: 

  • To raise awareness of the supports offered to mature students at third level.
  • To enable under represented-groups within the community to maximise their potential and make a successful transition to higher education. 
  • To build on prior learning and increase the student's self-confidence and abilities on their path to third level education.
  • To provide students with the knowledge and skills required for third level education.

What are the entry requirements?

This programme is open to anyone who is interested in entering into or returning to Higher Education. 

Upon completion of this programme, students wishing to progress to a TUS undergraduate programme of study must meet the University's entry criteria for their programme of choice. Students should note that the Technological University welcomes mature students and will accept applications from persons aged 23 years of age on 1st January of year of entry for admission in September. Eligible students will be supported, at the end of their studies on this programme, to identify a chosen discipline and consider progression to the range of full-time undergraduate programmes at Level 6/7 and 8 within TUS. Minimum entry requirements to these full-time programmes will apply.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE: Applicants who do not have English as their first language must ensure they satisfy English Language requirements. For entry to undergraduate courses, a minimum score of 5.5 in an IELTS exam is required. For postgraduate courses, a minimum of 6.0 is required. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their English proficiency meets these requirements.

Who can I contact?

What modules will I study?

The programme consists of four (5 credit) modules:

  • Computer Applications - this module runs in Semester 1 (October - December).
  •  Personal Development - this module runs in Semester 1 (October - December).
  •  Learning and Academic Skills Development - this module runs in Semester 2 (January - May).
  •  Mathematics - this module runs in Semester 2 (January - May).


More Information


This programme will be delivered part-time over 1 year, on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6.30pm to 9.30pm, commencing on Monday 2nd October, 2023. Four modules will be completed, two per semester. Semester 1 runs from October to December. Semester 2 runs from January to May. (Delivery days are subject to change)

The programme will be offered in two formats (subject to applicant numbers). A blended format and an online format.

Blended format: combination of on campus attendance and online classes

Online format: completely online with optional on campus attendance at pre-arranged dates

What will the time commitment be?

Each 5 credits will normally equate to approximately 100 Total Learning Hours. Total Learning Hours includes the time you spend in class (lectures tutorials, practical elements) and the time you spend completing work outside of college. The balance between these two varies by discipline, and by level of study. You should bear in mind that the workload will increase at particular times e.g. when assisgnments are due. 


The programme will be delivered through blended methods (a mixture of online and on-campus delivery) and will include a range of lectures, tutorials, projects, and assignments. This structure is based on providing students with the relevant study skills, IT skills, and educational guidance needed to pursue a third-level programme of study. Students can avail of support and mentoring through the TUS Access Service.


Certificate in Transition to Higher Education (Level 6, Special Purpose Award, 20 Credits)

For queries relating to the course content

Contact: Anna Murphy, Programme Leader





Applicants in receipt of a means-tested social welfare payment can apply for a reduced fee of €100.

Closing date for applications

Monday 25th September, 2023

Flexible Learning Policies & Procedures

Student Testimonials

"The Transition to Higher Education course helped me to realise that college is for me and the confidence to know that I could be a successful student", Derek, programme graduate and current student of BA (Hons) in Social Care Work.

"The lecturers on the course were very helpful and encouraging. I am delighted I did the course and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of getting back to studying, particularly mature students like me". Nicola, programme graduate and current student of BEng (Hons) in Precision Engineering.