Starting College

Excited?!? Nervous?!? We are here to help you settle in!

Starting college is an exciting, and sometimes daunting, time of any young (or not so young!) person's life.

We’re here to support you every step of the way.

#FIRST5WEEKS Welcome Programme

During your #First5weeks at college, we have scheduled a variety of activities, both academic and social, to help you get to grips with college and course work and life as a third level student. 

There will be a range of fun and exciting opportunities for you to interact and socialise with your new classmates. In other words, we want you to have fun settling in. 

It is really important for all new students to attend the #First5weeks Welcome Programme, as it will provide you with all the information you need to know.  

Learning at College

Everyone learns in different ways - that is one of the things that makes us all so unique. Your learning experience at college may be different to what you have experienced up to this point, be it in Secondary School, or at another college or university, here in Ireland or abroad. 

At ATU students engage in self-directed research, independent learning, and in addition to examinations, have quite a bit of continuous assessment on course work.  We have lots of supports available to help you transition to learning at college, including:

1. Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)

PASS is a programme which helps you settle into college life and develop independent learning skills.  It involves student leaders from other years facilitating weekly one hour timetabled study sessions with first year students.  You can ask your PASS leader to help with a variety of issues, including:

  • How to get the most out of lectures
  • Locating resources in the library
  • Practicing presentations
  • Tackling assessments and exams
  • General issues such as finance and accommodation 

Read more about Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) at ATU

2. Learning & Innovation Skills (LIS)

As a first year student, you may need help developing your learning skills to meet the demands of third-level study.  In order to ease the transition from second to third level, all first year students at ATU take a module called Learning and Innovation Skills (LIS). The LIS module covers topics including:

  • Learning at third level

  • Time management

  • Group work/team skills

  • Learning with Moodle

  • Study skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Academic integrity

The small class sizes for this module also offer excellent opportunities to get to know your classmates.

3. Academic Writing Centre

The purpose of the ATU Academic Writing Centre is to enable students to fulfil their potential in the academic writing tasks which are part of their course work.  The Centre offers focused academic writing tuition to students of the Institute at all levels, in all years (including postgraduate), and across all disciplines.  The tuition available takes the form of pre-bookable, thirty minute, one-to-one sessions, directed by individual student need.

4. Maths Learning Centre

The Maths Learning Centre offers free maths tuition to ATU students.  It is a drop-in service, no booking required.  You bring along your problem and your class notes, and you will get the help you require.

5. Information Skills

While studying at ATU, students are encouraged to develop their learning opportunities by doing research beyond what is set by lecturers. This allows students to gain a better understanding of the subjects they are engaging in. As a new student, you will be required to search, read and evaluate information independently on the topics you are studying. To do this effectively, you need good information skillsThe library will offer workshops to help you with this.

Student Services

In addition to helping you learn at college, we offer a range of general supports to help you get the most out of your time at ATU.  Student Services provide resources for:

  • Careers

  • Chaplaincy

  • Counselling

  • Students with Disabilities

  • Student Health Unit

  • Mature Students

Click here for further details.

Financial Supports

There are two funds available to help students who find themselves in financial difficulty:

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is a Government fund intended to provide financial support to disadvantaged full or part-time students who require additional financial support to enable them to fully benefit from their third-level studies.  This funding can be put towards the costs of accommodation, transport, books and class materials, food and utilities, medical expenses and childcare but cannot be used to cover college fees. The SAF application form is available on the Student Hub.

The Student Support Fund (SSF) is a limited emergency fund available to students who experience unexpected financial difficulties during their time at GMIT.  Such support is often offered in the form of a short-term loan. Contact to request an application form.

Click here for information on scholarships and bursaries offered by ATU

The Language of College

When you start college, you will hear a lot of new terms, and at times it may sound like a foreign language.  We’ve tried to summarise a few of the most common terms here, but remember, if you don’t understand, all you have to do is ask one of your new classmates, or a lecturer!

Clubs and Societies

Getting involved in a Club or Society is an integral part of the whole college experience. Maybe you are excited about meeting new people who share common interests, or maybe you want to learn a new skill (archery, cooking, photography), or maybe you have a little free time, and you want to volunteer to help others in your community?

Click here to see the list of Clubs and Societies we have at ATU.