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Colaiste Ide College of Further Education

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that most of your questions about studying with us can be answered below by clicking on the questions, but if you have your own specific questions, please email us at and one of our staff will get back to you.

Who is eligible to apply?

We welcome applications from the following individuals Leaving Certificate school leavers (including LCVP and LCA), applicants currently unemployed (some of whom may be eligible for VTOS), adult or mature students seeking to return to education, graduates wishing to upgrade their skills and QQI Level 4 graduates.

What are the entry requirements for your courses?

In general, you must have a minimum of five (5) passes at Ordinary Level in the Leaving Certificate, or its equivalent. Some courses have specific entry requirements which include:

English Language Requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English will have to meet the English language requirements of the course, as well as minimum entry requirements.

Mature Applicants

Applicants without formal qualifications who are applying to study as mature students will be required to be over the age of 21 on or before the 1st September in the year of entry. They will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account educational standard, and work experience to date

How do I apply for a course?

You can apply online by clicking on the Apply button on the Coláiste Ide website to start the application process, or by visiting the and website.

What are the hours of the courses?

The actual timetable will vary from course to course but most of our courses are full-time courses. This means college days would typically start at 9am or 10am in the morning and finish at 3pm-4pm in the afternoon. Some days you might have a half day or a later start.

What are the class sizes like?

We like to keep class sizes small so we can deliver the individual care and attention that we are known for. The maximum permitted class size is 29, and 24 for practical classes, but often classes will be smaller than that.

Will I do work experience?

A lot of our courses have a work experience element - it is one of the keys to the success of our students. On some courses you will be out on work experience for one day a week, while on other courses you will do a work experience block of 2-3 weeks. On some courses you will do in-house work experience whereby you will undertake a work project/simulation in collaboration with your peers and/or other groups. These projects are common on the creative arts courses and provide real world challenges and experiences.

The one thing common to all the work experience elements above is that they provide the student with the real-world skills and experience that employers are looking for and many students over the years have secured employment stemming directly from their work experience.

Can I use these courses to progress on to Higher Education?

Yes. These Further Education (PLC) courses provide a fully recognised and highly effective route into Higher Education courses at University and Technological Universities.

Course graduates can acquire qualifications certified and accredited by a range of nationally and internationally recognised examining and professional bodies.For students seeking to progress to Higher Education, up to 400 CAO points may be attained through completion of a full award in one of our one-year courses. Some of our courses offer advanced entry to institutes of Higher Education, awarded on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, many of our students go on to access Higher Education in the UK (UCAS) and in Europe (UNICAS)

The Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) gives learners the opportunity to use their QQI Level 5 or 6 major award earned at ICFE to apply, through the CAO, for a place in the first year of a higher education programme. Check out for all the information on acreditation.

This means that instead of using your Leaving Certificate to get onto a degree course you can use your QQI award. You should note that completion of a QQI award does not guarantee a place in higher level. Each Higher Education college or course will have its particular QQI/ FETAC entry requirements and you should discuss this with your course tutors.

Studying a subject at PLC level before doing a degree course gives you an opportunity to see if the subject are is really for you and gives you a solid grounding that may really help when you go on to study at higher level. You are far more likely to succeed if you are doing something you love!

Students who have found that the Leaving Certificate does not fully suit their learning style will often find that Further Education courses give them greater opportunities to excel through continuous assessment, more practical work and a wider range of assessment methods.

View the most recent list all of the current Progression Routes on CareersPortal at

Do these courses lead to employment?

Yes. Further Education courses can help you get a job in two ways - qualifications and experience.

Close links have been established with employers, recruitment and other agencies to facilitate our graduates in their search for employment. The College has formed strategic partnerships with selected recruitment agencies and associated business, one of Ireland’s longest established and largest recruitment brands.

Many job sectors have very specific requirements regarding qualifications. Our courses provide the qualifications at QQI level 5 and 6 to apply for jobs in areas such as Childcare, Healthcare, Fitness Instruction, Community Care.

All of our courses have to potential to lead to Third Level study which can lead to even more employment opportunities in areas like Nursing, Social Care, Business, Arts, Sports Science, Tourism Management and Psychology.

Fast Tract into IT (FIT) supports a number of Coláiste Íde courses and assists in developing in job seekers, new marketable skills to compete for sustainable jobs in the emerging knowledge exonomy. Supports provided include internships and work experience opportunities.

Some job sectors may not have specific qualification requirements, but it can still be difficult to get started. This is where your CV makes all the difference. The skills, knowledge and experience that you can show you have attained by succeeding in one of our courses will demonstrate to employers that you have what it takes to make a good employee.

How much do your courses cost?

Tuition is free to all Irish and EU nationals. However, a College registration charge is payable. Where applicable, membership and examination fees are also payable.

Non-EU nationals are required to pay tuition fees, determined by the Department of Education and Skills, details of which are available from the College Admissions Office.

Can I qualify for a grant?

The Department of Education and Skills has a grant scheme for qualifying Further Education students. This is known as SUSI and there is specific information about grants for PLC or Further Education students here:

Our Supports and Liaison Officers work with students to help them apply for the grants they may be entitled to and often didn't know about. For example, SUSI. BTEA, Partnership grants, St Vincent De Paul educational bursary grants. As student advocates, we have helped and advocated for our students to apply for and appeal decisions about funding from many streams and agencies.

Can I keep my social welfare payment if I do a course?

There are a number of schemes whereby individuals on certain social welfare payments undertaking some of our courses may qualify for payments while studying. We will provide you with assistance with these schemes when you enroll in the College.

The Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)

The BTEA allows those in receipt of certain Social Welfare payments to retain those payments, whilst participating in approved full-time courses in Further Education. For further information contact your local Department of Social Protection office, or see /

Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) Courses

These courses are similar to the above but are run on a part-time basis. The part-time option is often a very effective way for adult learners to re-engage with education. For more information on any of these schemes, please contact the College or your local Intreo office.

Other Funding Sources

There may be additional funding available to applicants who are economically disadvanteged, from sources such as the local partnerships, including

Will I need to buy books, equipment etc?

These costs are now covered by the registration fee.

I have dyslexia, will there be any supports for me?

The College provides a Learning Support Service for learners with specific learning needs. If you have a diagnosed learning need you will meet with our Learning Support teacher and guidance, support and arrangements will be explored to help you achieve your potential on your course.

We have a very high student succession record for the students who use our Student Retention and Support team and the reason for this succession is down to the level of individual and personal supports available to our students.

As a student with LCA you would have a variety of supports available to you - our Liason Officers meet the student to ascertain their needs and from that, coordinate the relevant people to meet these needs. That might simply mean meeting with a particular teacher of theirs to arrange an extension on a deadline, linking the student in with Sindy Fitzpatrick, our Study Skills coordinator or talking with one of our Guidance councillors.

We have also have excellent resources available to students from Eileen Daly, our Disability Officer, who meets on a one-to-one basis with our students.

The nature of Further Education is that students with specific learning needs can often be accommodated in ways that are not always possible at second level. The practical nature of many of our courses means there is less emphasis on written work. In certain cases, work may be submitted in alternative formats such on video or sound recording or by interview.

In subjects where there are written exams, students may also be accommodated through the use of laptops, reading or writing assistants or other supports appropriate to the student.

Can I take part in an Erasmus foreign trip?

Students from many courses at Coláiste Íde College are offered the opportunity of three weeks fully funded international work experience in the following countries: France and Italy – 3 weeks work experience in Europe, fully funded by the European Union, Europass Certificate, Certificate from your International employer.

I am a mature student. Are any of these courses suitable for me?

All of our courses are suitable for mature students (i.e. over 23 yrs) and we actively encourage them to enroll. There is always a sizable mature student population in the college so you won’t be the only one!

We have found over the years that mature students bring a great deal to the courses they undertake and there are many personal rewards for people who return to full-time education. Students find the stimulation and excitement of learning and acquiring new knowledge and skills enormously rewarding. In addition, they gain great advantages of either new employment or entry to University or Institutes of Higher Education.

Are there any clubs and societies?

Yes, you can join various clubs and societies (such as the Student Council) in the first few weeks in college as well as other sporting activities, e.g. soccer.

I have already done a QQI or FETAC course. Will I be exempt for any modules?

If you have completed a QQI award or even completed some modules it is possible that you may be exempt for some of the modules on your course. It will depend on the modules you have done and the new award you are doing.

Are there bus routes to the college?

Yes, we are served by many public transport routes with bus stops directly outside the college. Check out to see how easily you can get to us!

How do I contact the college if I want more information?

Email us at and one of our staff will get back to you.

If I have personal issues or problems going on are there any supports available in Coláiste Íde?

Absolutely. We have had students with various personal and familial problems and difficulties over the years. Our Liaison Office advocate for our students and put them in contact with lots of different voluntary and Governmental departments if needed. We also have our own two excellent Guidance Councillors here and have close contacts and support from lots of outside agencies who are very happy to assist our students.


Coláiste Íde College of Further Education Cardiffsbridge Road, Finglas West, Dublin 11

T 01 834 2333 / 01 834 2450 F 01 834 7242 E W

Funded by the Irish Government and supported by the European Union.

Colaiste Ide College of Further Education European Regional Development Fund Ireland's EU Structural Funds Solas CDETB - City of Dublin Education & Training Board