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CTYI Early University

Fri 24th Aug 2018

CTYI TY Early University Programme

Many of our students have qualified to take part in the gifted post primary programme and attend their summer courses in DCU but CTYI also have a Early University Entrance Programme for Transition Year Students. Here is an account from two of our 2017/18 students; Richard Beattie and Tom Armstrong who really ienjoyed their experiences.

Engineering Early Report by Tom Armstrong TY 2017/18

During Transition Year I took part in the Early University Entrance programme. It is run by the CTYI organisation. There are two semesters: one lasting from the beginning of the year until Christmas, the other from a little while after you come back from the Christmas holidays until the end of the academic year. I did the Engineering course for both semesters, which was on Tuesdays.

In the first semeste we covered electronics and materials engineering. I found these both very interesting but I preferred the materials engineering as it was further from topics I had previously studied. We had some assignments we needed to do from both: we had to write lab reports every second week for electronics and had the occasional worksheet from materials engineering.

For the second semester we covered software design for engineers, and statistics and dynamics. We had a project to do in software design and occasional assignments in statistics and dynamics. I found the second semester was less interesting as the topics were much less difficult and I found myself already knowing much of what they covered.

On the whole, I would recommend the Early University Entrance program to people going into fourth year, as it gives you something interesting to learn about throughout the year on topics you are unlikely to cover until college. It can also be beneficial in choosing what you want to do in college, as it will give you a sample of what that subject is like to study.

Mathematical Sciences and Law & Politics Report by Richard Beattie TY 2017/18

Throughout transition year I had the fantastic opportunity of attending Early University Entrance. This is a programme run by the Centre for Talented Youth of Ireland(CTYI) that gives transition year pupils an experience of college life. Every Tuesday or Friday for a semester(13 weeks), students get to go into DCU. Here they can take part in one of six courses: Aviation Studies, Business, Law and Politics, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, or Psychology. 

During the first semester, I attended the Mathematical Sciences course. I absolutely loved it! The course was immensely challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. It employed an unconventional style of teaching, working in groups of four to tackle maths problems. These were extremely varied ranging from figuring out how many squares there are on a chessboard (HINT: It’s not 64!), to being asked ​How many races are needed to find the fastest 5 horses out of 25, when you can only run five at a time?​. The course focused not on teaching us axioms or complicated equations but the tools necessary to tackle maths and logical conundrums.

Thankfully at the end of this course there was no exam! While the other subjects on offer in EUE did have one, the maths course simply had an assessment for us to work. The course finished after thirteen weeks and unfortunately did not have a second semester. It was a truly enjoyable experience where I learned a great deal about all things mathematical and met a lot of like-minded people.

 Instead for the second semester I switched over to the Law and Politics Course. This I found to also be an engaging course covering Irish law and American politics. Unlike the mathematical sciences course this was more akin to what you would expect a university course to be like. The class sat around the lecturer and took notes of their presentations. However, it did still remain just the class of TYs getting the lecture rather than us joining in on an actual First Year lecture. 

During the law section we focused on constitutional law, with our lecturer taking sections of the first year course for us to learn about. We looked at the separation of powers, to how the Dáil, Government, and Judicial system work, the eighth amendment, and of course went off on loads of tangents in between! Our lecturer, a practicing barrister, keep it all very intriguing by relating back the (potentially dry) topics he was talking about to the court cases he had actually participated in. 

The political aspect covered a varied range of items, in contrast to the law section which covered specific topics in incredible detail. It was a bit more interactive giving us the opportunity to have class discussions or do group research. Now the ins-and-outs on American political culture or constitutional law might not float everyone’s boat but if you are interested in the nuances of it then it would be (as it was to me) an immensely interesting and engaging course to do. 

Throughout both semesters of EUE I had a tremendous time, getting the truly amazing opportunity to learn a great deal, connect with like-minded individuals, and get a taste for university life. I found it to be a great-way of being intellectually-stimulated in fourth-year which is, for-some, lacking in academic focus. I would highly recommend EUE to anyone who may be considering it as it will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of their transition year.