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 to be successful in an interview.  For some courses it may be necessary to present a portfolio of work. For specific course requirements see individual course pages.

Course Charges

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.

In addition students are liable for a €200 participant contribution, imposed on all PLC courses in the last budget.  The following categories of student are exempt from paying the contribution:

Full current medical card holders in their own right and their dependent children;
Those who are eligible under the student grant scheme;
Those in receipt of the Back  Education Allowance or VTOS allowances.

Please note, evidence that you are in receipt of any of the above must be provided before an exemption can be implemented.  Therefore, initially only those who produce a full medical card in their own right will be exempt.  All others must pay the €200 contribution and it will be refunded when their eligibility is confirmed.

Grants

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.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Liberties College is not conducting interviews for most courses at this time. Instead, when you apply, you will be contacted by the college with further information regarding your place on your course.

However, we are conducting interviews for courses where there is a specific entry requirement such as a 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.

A selection of general questions which you might be asked at interview.

Why have you chosen this course?
Why have you chosen this college?
What subjects/modules would you expect to study on the course?
Why do you feel this vocational field best suits your abilities and
aptitudes?
What were your favourite subjects at school?
Is there any area in your chosen course in which you would like to
specialise?
Did you undertake any project at school which had a bearing on your choice
of course?
What are your strengths?
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Did you ever hold positions of responsibility in school or in your local
community?
Tell us about your hobbies and interests.
Have you any work experience relating to your chosen career?
Have you visited any companies/departments to see how they operate?
What appeals to you about this course?
How would you rate your attendance/participartion?

Film Production Course

You may be asked questions on the following topics:

Your interest in film e.g. favourite films, directors etc.
Any relevant hobbies or work experience e.g. membership of film clubs, drama groups etc.
Your knowledge of the film course and how it can help you achieve your career objectives.

Look on the interview as a presentation. Use your portfolio to demonstrate your film interests. The portfolio might include creative writing, scriptwriting, film essays, film reviews, photography, art and design work, audio and/or video tapes, DVDs.

Media Courses

You may be asked questions on the following topics:

Favourite Films, Television Programmes, Documentaries.
Any relevant work experience/involvement in the media.
Involvement in extra-curricular activities (Sports/ Scouts/ Drama).
What kind of TV or Radio programme would you make if given the opportunity?
Where you would ideally work in the future? (In front of or behind the Camera/Desk.)

Art and Design Courses

You may be asked questions on the following topics:

What area of art are you interested in?
Have you done some art work at home as well as at school?
Do you know anyone who has done art before?
What will you do if you do not get a place on the course?
What do you think the course can do for you?

At the interview you will be invited to talk about your interests in art and design. The art work you bring to the interview will help demonstrate your art interests.

Technology Courses

You may be asked questions on the following topics:

Do you own a computer?
What computer experience do you have (what do you use it for?)
What operating systems have you used?
Do you use the internet/ what for?
Do you use the Web for communications?

Social Care Courses

You may be asked questions on the following topics:

What experience do you have in this area?
What do already know about disability?
What do you already know about the syllabus?
Do you have computer access?
What qualities do you think make a good Special Needs Assistant (SNA)?
What are your writing skills like?
Business Studies Courses

You may be asked questions on the following topics:

Are you aware of our links with DCU?
Are you interested in going into the 2nd year and forward into DCU?
What in the Business area subjects attracts you (subject)?
Have you any experience (work) in the Business area?
What is you opinion of the business climate in Ireland at themoment?
Would you be aware of any government initiatives to help business at the moment?
Theatre Studies Course

You may be asked questions on the following topics:

You will be asked a question about the audition which you will have done already.
What sort of theatre are you interested in?
Have you any relevant experience in this area?
Do your family support your career choice?
What would you anticipate to be the greatest personal challenge for you on this course?

Interviews are ongoing. Once we receive your application you will be receive an email soon after with a date and time for your interview.

In order to ensure applicants receive an interview, we advise they apply early as courses can close for applications once they are full.

You are required to bring two references and a passport photograph. Please bring copies of your Leaving Certificate results if available and any available mock results otherwise. Some courses may have specific work they want to see at interview, you will be notified of this before your interview, it will also appear on the relevant course homepage a number of weeks before your interview.

For some courses it may be necessary to present a portfolio of work. For specific course requirements see individual course pages.

Interviews for all courses generally take place in the Bull Alley campus or online via Zoom.

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 you can. In many cases advanced entry is possible. Many of our courses have long-established links with colleges in Ireland and the UK, including DCU, TU Dublin, IT Tallaght, Dundalk IT, IADT, and final year entry into honours degree programmes at the University of Ulster, University of Wolverhampton and others.

For further information please check out  Certification & Progression to Higher Education

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.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are likely to be changes to course timetables relative to previous years.

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.

Liberties College are looking forward to welcoming all our students in September. We are following all Government directives and guidance to ensure that everyone working and attending Liberties College can continue to work and study in a safe, effective and comfortable environment.

Under current guidelines including social distancing measures it is not possible to house large class groups in the college, therefore apart from induction which will be held onsite in small groups most courses will begin the first few weeks of their course online. We understand the desire of all students to attend classes in person, so as we receive new advice from our governing body, CDETB that allows for a safe return to college we will inform students of those changes.

All 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 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.

Qualifications

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.

Experience

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.

We are also providing a laptop loan scheme to help our students with remote and online learning.

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.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions we are unable to guarantee that there will be Erasums+ opportunities in the year 2021 – 2022, 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!

Yes, you can join various clubs and societies in the first few weeks in college.

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.

For example, if you have completed a Communications Level 5 module and this module forms part of your new course you may be able to use it. However many of our courses are very integrated and vocational in nature and you may be missing out on the full value of the course if you do not fully engage with all of the subjects. It is advised that you talk to course staff about your situation before you start your course and they will be able to advise you.