Frequently asked questions
There are no points required for entry to any of our courses. In general applicants are required to have their Leaving Certificate and may have to do an interview. For some courses it may be necessary to present a portfolio of work. For specific course requirements see individual course pages.
International (non-EU) learners must comply with Irish immigration requirements, and may require one or more of the following:
• Irish Residency Permit (Stamp 4)
• Labour Market Permission Letter
• Letter from the Minister for Justice granting them permission to work in the State.
All courses are delivered through English. Learners are advised that to benefit from their chosen course they should be proficient in written and spoken English. Learners may be required to do an English Language proficiency assessment as part of the interview process.
There are no fees for tuition, however there are course charges. In line with provision in the third level sector these charges exist to cover the costs of the following items: books, some equipment, uniforms/clothing, student services, student union, examination fees and registration charges by professional bodies. Course charges can be found at the end of individual course pages on the website.
If you are receiving a Social Welfare payment, it is possible that you can return to full-time education as a VTOS/Back to Education student without loss of Income.
Students undertaking any full time Further Education course may apply for a means tested maintenance grant. Application forms are available from www.susi.ie. Students from designated disadvantaged partnership areas may be eligible for financial assistance towards course charges.
When you apply for a course, your application will be acknowledged. Some courses may require an interview, portfolio, or audition. You will be informed of this when you apply, and you will be given a date and instructions regarding what is required.
Interviews for all courses generally take place in the Bull Alley campus or online via Zoom.
You are required to submit one written reference on headed paper if possible.
For most courses class size is generally between 20 and 30 students. This allows a great opportunity for one on one time with each student & teacher.
Yes. These Further Education (PLC) courses provide a fully recognised and highly effective route into Higher Education courses at University and Institutes of Technology.
The Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) gives learners the opportunity to use their QQI Level 5 or 6 major award earned at Liberties College to apply, through the CAO, for a place in the first year of a higher education programme.
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 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 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.
The actual timetable will vary from course to course but generally these 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.
Liberties college also has a range of part-time courses that may suit you if you have commitments that make it hard for you to take on a full-time course.
Most courses at Liberties College 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 working with an Industry Professional (e.g. TV Director) 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.
Yes. Further Education courses at Liberties College can help you get a job in two ways – qualifications and experience.
Many job sectors have very specific requirements regarding qualifications. Liberties College courses provide the qualifications at QQI level 5 and 6 to apply for jobs in areas such as Childcare, Healthcare, IT, Community Care to name a few.
All courses at Liberties College 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, Psychology.
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 at a course at Liberties College will demonstrate to employers that you have what it takes to make a good employee.
This varies by course, but for a lot of our courses, the cost of certain required books is included in the course fees and the college will provide them. This also applies to uniforms if the course requires them.
Practical courses such as Textiles will use specialist materials and again these will be covered in the course fees. However, students will also be required to purchase some of their own personal equipment and materials during the year.
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: https://susi.ie/eligibility/plc-student/
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)
(BTEA) is a scheme for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities who are getting certain payments from the Department of Social Protection.
BTEA is not an unemployment payment. If you are signing for unemployment credits or submitting medical certificates for illness credits, you may apply to take part in the scheme.
Courses must be full-time and lead to a certificate approved by QQI. Please contact the college or your local Intreo office for more information.
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
You can apply to join VTOS if you are:
- aged 21 or over
- receiving unemployment payments, signing for credits
or receiving certain other Social Welfare payments such as one parent family payment or disability allowances
You must qualify for six months before starting your course.
You will keep your Social Welfare entitlements. Courses are provided free of charge including books and materials.
Back to Education Initiative (Part-time) 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.
The college provides a learning support service for learners with specific learning needs such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. 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.
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.
We are unable to guarantee that there will be Erasums+ opportunities in the year 2023 – 2024, but we are currently working on clarifying the situation and will update this section when we have more information.
Yes! ALL of the courses at Liberties College are suitable for mature students (ie 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.
Mature students of Liberties College courses are now completing university studies in colleges such as Trinity College Dublin, UCC, NUIM, Manchester Metropolitan University, TU Dublin. Other students are employed by the Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre, RTÉ, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, HSE, St. Michaels House to name just a few!