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applying to trinity college dublin?

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I am a student from the US and I just applied to an M.Phil. in Theatre & Performance at Trinity College Dublin. I have a BA from a very liberal liberal arts college in Washington (the state) that doesn't give grades and has no majors. My "area of emphasis" is definitely in Theatre & Performance. I've spent some time studying abroad in both London and Prague, which is why I'd like to get out of the country again for grad school.


Anyway. My questions are:


1. Does anyone know anything about TCD? Chances of getting in (specifically to a postgrad program in theatre), how international students are perceived?


2. How long does it take to hear back from schools abroad? I just applied a week ago, the deadline isn't until June 1st... will I have to wait until after June 1st? The website includes no information about this, there's no indication whether they operate with rolling admissions or otherwise.


I also applied to University of Glasgow and am looking at applying a few other places. Same questions apply.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey there!
I'm from Wicklow (near Dublin) in Ireland and did my undergraduate and master's at Trinity. I was also elected scholar of the University in 2010 (basically an archaic and largely irrelevant title that more importantly gives you a daily formal dinner, rooms, and the postgraduate degree of your choice for 5 years), so I don't think I could be better qualified to help! I lived in the grounds of the place for 3 years and am still a scholar there till 2017 (I took a sabbatical) — though I am going to be at Northwestern for my PhD so my TCD scholarship will lapse.

I did my undergrad and Master's in the music department which is part of the School of Drama, Film and Music so I've had a lot of contact with theatre students and the facilities. To address your questions:

1.) International students are looked on very favourably. Basically, you guys pay more fees than the domestics so you are a big cash cow for them. Secondly, Trinity has a reputation that punches well above its weight internationally (and its facilities). It is a sister college of Oxford and Cambridge and was founded in the 16th century with the countless famous alumni you already probably heard in an advertising spiel. It is quite a formal place with a large emphasis on academics and scholarly achievement. We don't use GPAs or anything as 'modern' as that, it is a place that is steeped (stuck) in tradition. It is no problem that you don't have a major, but you may need to corroborate your grades or standard of achievement in some manner to appease the traditionalists in admissions. If you have an interest in Irish playwrights or areas that the faculty have expertise in, then great. I produced some shows in the Beckett theatre there and there are phenomenal tech people who you can work with to produce/direct and create all sorts of productions. There is a lot of emphasis on performance within the theatre area and will suit you if you've acting or directorial ambitions. I've done loads of work with the student acting society, DU Players, and come highly recommended to get you stuck in to all sorts of projects while you're in Dublin, though be warned, it's mainly undergrads.

Also, bear in mind that Irish/UK grad programs are often less structured than the U.S. equivalents, though M.Phils are generally taught programs with classes, coursework and assignments.

2.) I'd imagine you'd have to wait till the deadline. No rolling admissions from my knowledge across the board at Trinity.

I've spent a good bit of time in Scotland, mainly working/playing at the Edinburgh Fringe with said theatre people from Trinity. Dublin is a MUCH nicer and safer city than Glasgow which can be rough in places. I reckon the University is comparable in prestige. Trinity has fantastic lecturers and faculty in theatre, but the facilities are not superb as higher ed funding in Ireland is nothing like the U.S. There are little or no fees to speak of for Irish students to do a 3rd level degree - higher education is universally free bar a statutory charge of about 2k a year. Unfortunately this means our universities can be strapped for cash, particularly in the humanities. Less so for science where big donors come in and bankroll everything. However, drama have got some additions during my time and they seem to be sufficient for people to do world class things after graduating. I know TCD theatre grads who are fellows at Yale and Columbia, with others stage managers in major London venues and beyond. People seem to do pretty well.

You'll be coming to Dublin at a good time, it's just getting back on its feet after about 6 years of incredibly harsh austerity and recession. If you've any more questions about Trinity, Dublin or anything else, I'm more than happy to help!

Edited by CiaranD
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  • 1 year later...

Just an update for anyone in the future: TCD departments are (now) required to give you an admission response within two weeks of your application. It might have been different in 2015.

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