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Irish Transition Year: Top Ups and Tasters

51 courses

Transition Year (TY) is the perfect time for sampling subjects that might appeal to pupils to study for their Leaving Certificates, such as technology and business studies, languages, science and society. It’s also an opportunity to revise areas of study where students have a weakness, such as Maths.

Check out our other Transition Year categories:


Top Free Online Transition Year Top Ups and Tasters Courses


For learners who would like science classes to be more practical and applicable to everyday life, or for those who would rather look at the stars than gaze through the lens of a microscope, Transition Year science can be a gift. With a focus on looking at areas not normally covered at school, anything from food to farming may be on the books. With TY science, there is time and space for exploring and investigating concepts and problems. That often includes looking at the links between society and science, such as energy and the environment. Alison’s courses include a wealth of options for the environmentalists of the future.

Some key concepts:

  • Astronomy
  • Building a portfolio
  • The chemical industry in Ireland
  • Food industry and agriculture
  • The links between science and society such as the concept of ‘energy’ – its sources, conservation, environmental effects, comparative costs and so on


With languages, TY and Alison create space for pupils to delve deeper into the lifestyles and cultures of the people whose native tongue may have been merely an exam topic up until this point. Both reading and writing skills can improve as they look at different aspects of life in other countries. Another option is introducing a subject that is not on the school curriculum to give young people a completely fresh perspective on learning a language. With new courses and languages being added to Alison regularly, our range is constantly expanding.

Information Technology

IT, or Information Technology, is the backbone of the modern classroom and Transition Year is the ideal time to develop skills in this area. Alison has a vast range of courses that can enhance pupils’ knowledge of computers, from keyboard skills to software programmes that will support their learning. Here they can learn how to touch type, a useful skill for life, along with word-processing and using spreadsheets and databases. They can gain a grasp of computer graphics and computer-aided design (CAD), which is extremely useful for anyone planning a career in architecture or engineering, and they can master some in-demand skills for presenting their work well.

Some key concepts:

  • Keyboard skills and the use of computers as a tool for working and learning
  • Word-processing, spreadsheets and databases
  • Computer graphics and computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Computer-aided manufacture (CAM) and computer control
  • Communications links and systems


Transition Year maths aims to help pupils identify and investigate practical everyday problems, boosting their confidence in the subject. Applying maths to household finances or to weights and measures makes the subject relatable for pupils in mixed-ability classes. The year also offers an opportunity for reinforcing learning around problem areas such as geometry and teachers are able to explore aspects of maths from different angles than they might in an exam class. Pupils can also learn useful software programs, such as spreadsheets and statistical graphs, and discover how to solve problems using models.

Some key concepts:

  • Application of mathematical skills to real-life situations involving money, weights and measures such as telephone and electricity bills, income tax, PRSI (pay-related social insurance), practical examples of weighing and measuring, and conversion between Imperial and metric (S1) units.
  • Applying geographical methods to find the solutions to practical problems including the use of computer software such as drawing programs, spreadsheets and associated statistical graphs like pie charts and bar charts.
  • Extensive and skilful use of calculators.
  • Problem-solving using interpretation, approximation and model making.
  • Geometrical theorems

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Are there set programmes for Top-Ups and Tasters?