Sunday, 30 April, 2017

What Next : What are the educational opportunities for adults at Third Level?

Higher / Third Level Education

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Higher Education in Ireland is provided mainly by 7 Universities, 14 Institutes of Technology, including the Dublin Institute of Technology and 7 Colleges of Education. Also, a number of other third level institutions provide specialist education in such fields as art and design, medicine, business studies, rural development, theology, music and law. The Department of Education and Skills has published a list of institutions that provide higher education. There are also a number of independent private colleges.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning and development body for higher education and research in Ireland. For more information visit www.hea.ie.

The decision to return to third level education after a break from formal learning or entering it for the first time as a mature student is a significant one. However, there is a wide range of options open to learners wishing to pursue third level education. Entry requirements (as a mature student you may not need your Leaving Certificate) vary from course to course and from institution to institution. Universities, Institutes of Technology and private colleges offer courses with qualifications at certificate, diploma and degree level. Courses are available on a full-time and part-time basis.

If you are pursuing third level education on a full time basis for the first time as an adult you may be eligible for the Free Fees Initiative. If you take up third level part time then you must meet the cost of your fees.

If you are in receipt of an unemployment payment for over 9 months, then you may qualify for the Back to Education Allowance.

Foundation/Access Courses

'Return to Learning' or 'Access Courses' are designed for mature students (some access courses also work with students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are not mature students), who for social, economic or educational reasons were unable to access third level education. Access courses are primarily aimed at adults who have been away from formal education for a number of years and would like to improve their skills, confidence and knowledge in order to access a third level course. Access courses familiarise students with the structure and requirements of third level education. For further information about access courses, contact the HEA www.hea.ie, 1890 200 637. 

If you are pursuing third level education on a full time basis for the first time as an adult you may be eligible for the Free Fees Initiative. If you take up third level part time then you must meet the cost of your fees.

If you are in receipt of an unemployment payment for over 9 months, then you may qualify for the Back to Education Allowance.

 

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Last Updated: 28/08/2014 ^ back to top