ADULT EDUCTION / TRAINING
Please click on the relevant headings below to expand the individual sections for more information on each.
Literacy and Basic Education for Adults
The Education and Training Board (ETB) run a service called Adult Basic Education. This service offers:
> One to One tuition in basic reading and writing
> FETAC (up to level 3) accredited courses in communications, maths and basic computers
> Intensive adult basic education
> Driver Theory test
> Return to education courses for Fás Community Employment participants
> Family learning courses
> Workplace learning
> Support for adults with dyslexia
> English as a second language
Adult Basic Education Centres in the SECAD area are as follows:
Adult Basic Education Service
134 Castlepark, Ballincollig
Adult Learning Centre
Parish Centre, St. Johns Church, Main Street, Carrigaline, Co. Cork
T. 021-4376084 or 086-8238757
Adult Learning Centre
2 Harbour Hill Cobh Co. Cork
T. 021-4855472 or 086-8238772
Adult Learning Service
Abbey House, 4 Old Cork Road, Midleton, Co. Cork
T. 021-4621567 or 086-8238769
Adult Literacy Scheme
Colaiste Eoin, Golf Links Road, Youghal, Co. Cork
T. 024-93674 or 086-8238746
ETB Adult Education Organiser for Ballincollig, Carrigaline and Kinsale Road:
> Address Forthcoming
ETB Adult Education Organiser for Midleton, Cobh, Youghal:
Marian O Mahony,
Adult Education Centre,
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
ESOL Classes are currently been run in the SECAD area in Bishopstown, Ballincollig, Carrigaline, Carrigtohill, Cobh, Youghal, Douglas, Ashbourne House in Glounthaune, the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre and Midleton.
- Ballincollig Adult Basic Education Service Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 021-4878899
- Ballincollig Family Resource Centre Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 021 4876295
- Carrigaline Adult Basic Education Service Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 021-4376084
- Carrigaline Parish Centre Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 021-4371109
- Cobh Adult Learning Centre Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 021-4855472
- Cobh Family Resource Centre Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 021 4816103
- Carrigtwohill Family Resource Centre Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 021-4533971
- St. Colman’s College Midleton Beginner/Intermediate
- T. 021-4631696
- Oakwood Lodge, Midleton Beginner/Intermediate
- T. 021 4633522
- Douglas Community College Beginner/Intermediate
- T. 021-429 4201
- Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre Beginner/Intermediate
- T. 021-431 0482 (For Asylum Seekers)
- Ashbourne House, Glounthaune Beginner/Intermediate
- T. 021 4635326 (For Asylum Seekers)
- Youghal Adult Learning Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 024-93674
- East Cork Centre for Further Education, Beginner/Improver/FETAC Level 3
- T. 024-93674
Youghal International College is an English language school specialising in courses for students aged from 6 to 21 years old. Each year hundreds of Spanish students come to Youghal and spend three weeks in the college learning and improving their English.
QQI and Further Changes to Qualifications
On 6th November 2012 Quality Qualifications Ireland (QQI) was established as a new integrated agency replacing FETAC, HETAC and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland. Awards formally made by FETAC continue to be recognized as FETAC awards as they are part of the National Framework of Qualifications.
If you are enrolled on a programme that leads to a FETAC award your qualification will now be issued by QQI.
It is worth keeping up to date with service arrangements by visiting www.qqi.ie
What is the National Framework of Qualifications?
The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) provides a way to compare qualifications, and to ensure that they are quality assured and recognised at home and abroad. Information about the NFQ is available at this website:
Applying for a Third Level Course
You apply for almost all full-time undergraduate courses through the Central Applications Office (CAO). The undergraduate courses in the universities and institutes of technology include Higher Certificates - Level 6, Ordinary Bachelor degrees - Level 7 and Honours Bachelor degrees - Level 8. There is no central applications body for Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses. Students must apply directly to the individual colleges.
The CAO provides a handbook that lists all the courses on offer and gives information on how to apply. The closing date for applications is the 1st February 2015.
Decisions on offers of places are normally made in August and September, after the results of the Leaving Certificate have come out. A detailed schedule of the offer rounds is in the CAO handbook.
Students who have taken the Leaving Certificate examination are allocated points for the results they get in their 6 best subjects at a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate. The points awarded depend on the level of achievement in the subject. You can use the points calculator on qualifax.ie to work out what points are awarded for any particular set of results.
If you have a disability
You may qualify for the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme.
Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)
The HEAR admissions scheme allocates a number of third-level places on a reduced points basis to school-leavers from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Minimum Entry Requirements
Most higher education institutes have minimum entry requirements e.g. for the National University of Ireland, which includes UCC, the minimum entry requirement is 6 subjects, including English, Irish and a third language. In 2 of these subjects, students must have achieved grade C at Higher Level.
Places on Post-Leaving Certificate courses are not allocated on the basis of points, but applicants must be of Leaving Certificate standard. Most colleges interview candidates to determine their suitability.
The following websites may be useful
Citizen’s Information Service: citizensinformation.ie
The Higher Education Equality Authority: http://www.hea.ie/en/apply_for_a_course
Education in Ireland: www.educationireland.ie. (particularly for international students)
QualifaX is the Irish national database of all further and higher education courses. QualifaX is the ‘one stop shop’ for information on courses. Included are links to college and other education / training websites in Ireland and abroad. http://www.qualifax.ie/
Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) provides part-time Further Education programmes for young people and adults. The aim is to give people an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities. It builds on existing schemes such as Youthreach, VTOS, adult literacy schemes, community education and PLC courses. People taking part in schemes under the Back to Education Initiative may be eligible for the Back to Education Allowance.
What courses are available through BTEI?
Courses offered can include:
- Subjects in the Junior or Leaving Certificate e.g. Junior and Leaving Certificate English and Maths.
- A wide range of modules such as communications, personal development, business, computing, childcare, art and crafts, tourism, catering, sport and leisure etc. which are certified by the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC). One or more subjects or modules may be taken at a time, depending on availability. In some cases work experience may be included.
Who can take part in BTEI programmes?
Anyone who has attended full-time education can take part in a course being offered, but priority will be given to those with less than upper second level education.
What will a BTEI course cost?
Individuals will have different entitlements. Those in receipt of unemployment payments are means-tested social welfare benefits, and holders of medical cards, and their dependents, are entitled to free tuition. Other unwaged people with less than upper second level education will be entitled to a reduction in fees. The remainder will be charged fees
Will I be paid while attending a BTEI course?
Generally no, but those in receipt of social welfare payments may keep their existing payments. You will not lose your benefits. Childcare costs are also covered.
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
There are two types of VTOS. One is “core VTOS”, the other is “dispersed VTOS”. The Core VTOS is a special range of courses designed to meet the education needs of unemployed people. The dispersed VTOS is when you apply for a VTOS grant but you are attending a course in a VEC college, not necessarily as part of a core VTOS group. Even if there is not a core group in your area you might still be eligible to apply.
VTOS is operated through the vocational education committees (VECs) and is aimed in particular at unemployed people who are early school-leavers. It gives participants opportunities to improve their general level of education, gain certification, develop their skills and prepare for employment, self-employment and further education and training.
Can I join the scheme?
You can apply to join if you are:
- aged 21 or over and
- in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit or signing for credits for at least six months or in receipt of a one-parent family payment, disability allowance, disability benefit* or invalidity pension for at least six months or are a dependent spouse of an eligible person for at least six months or in receipt of a blind person’s pension, deserted wife’s allowance / benefit, widow/widowers contributory/non-contributory pension or prisoner’s wife’s allowance for at least six months. Conditions may apply in these cases.
- Periods spent on FÁS training courses, Community Employment Schemes, Job Initiative, Youthreach programmes and time in prison can count towards the qualifying period
- Note: there are only 100 places in the County Cork VEC
The following may also be eligible for VTOS:
- Carer’s Allowance, Farm Assist, Statutory redundancy, People on Disability Benefit should, in the first instance, contact their local Social Welfare Office about exemption/entitlement to continuation of their Disability Benefit payment.
What will it cost me?
- Courses are provided free of charge.
- If you are currently getting an employment payment, you will instead get a training allowance equivalent to the maximum standard rate of Unemployment Benefit. If you are getting One-Parent Family Payment or Disability Allowances you will get a payment equivalent to the maximum rate of your current social welfare payment. You will continue to receive payment in a normal way from the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.
- You will get travel (for distances over 3 miles) and meal allowances.
- You will be given books and materials free of charge.
- Childcare support is also available.
What does the programme involve?
- 30 hours course attendance per week, (e.g. 6 hours a day for 5 days). Courses last up to two years.
- Courses include a wide range of levels, including Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate, and the Foundation, Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates of the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC).
Youghal: A Core VTOS course takes place at the East Cork Adult Education Centre in Youghal. This is a FETAC Level 3&4 course which is 5 days a week over two years.
Contact: Maureen Murnane, VTOS Co-Ordinator (Cork County)
Telephone: 028 40290
Skills to Work
If you are interested in training or reskilling, this website will provide you with an easy to use guide to help you identify which Government skills inititiatives best suit you. E.g. Springboard, Momentum, JobBridge, JobsPlus and Skillnets - best suits you.
This website provides comprehensive information on further and higher level education courses
available in Ireland and provides a lot of information on variety of education related themes.
National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)
This is an independent charitable organisation committed to providing assistance to those with
literacy and numeracy difficulties. You can find out information on one to one tuition and group
tuition supports as well as learning opportunities online.
provides funded 3rd level courses which will help you improve your job prospects. All courses are
part-time, allowing you keep your social protection supports and making it easier for those with
families and responsibilities. Courses are with current or future job opportunities in mind (finance,
green energy, ICT, science and environment, sales and marketing)
This is another site that helps you plot a course for your future. Use BlueBrick.ie to search and
compare accredited courses from 14 Institutes of Technology. Choose the course that suits you best
and apply online.