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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Please choose a question below:

What are the entry requirements for your courses? Do I need points?

You do not need ‘points’ to start these courses. In general, you should have completed your leaving certificate, but you are advised to apply even if you have no leaving certificate as exemptions can be made in certain circumstances.

Some of our courses such as our 2 year diploma courses may have more specific entry requirements and you can find out about those in the individual course listings. But if you have any concerns about entry requirements please contact us.

Some courses have specific entry requirements like a dance audition or an art portfolio. Please see the relevant course listing for details about those.

Do I need to do an interview to get a place?

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Inchicore 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.

What is going to happen with COVID-19 restrictions in September?

We at Inchicore 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 Inchicore College can continue to work and study in a safe, effective and comfortable environment.

We are working on changes to our buildings and schedules to respond to the current and changing public health guidelines. Some courses may involve some elements of remote learning and/or blended learning. More detailed information regarding your course of study will be made available to you closer to your start date and at your induction meeting.

What are the hours of the courses?

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.

Inchicore 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. You can find out more about our great part-time options here.

What are the class sizes like?

Class sizes are kept small at ICFE 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. It is likely that due to Covid-19 restrictions there will some division of classes into smaller groups for on-campus lessons.

Will I do work experience?

All courses at ICFE 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 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 ICFE 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/ 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.

Do these courses lead to employment?

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

Qualifications

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

All courses at ICFE 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 ICFE will demonstrate to employers that you have what it takes to make a good employee.

How much do your courses cost?

Course fees mostly range from €300 to €500. These fees cover the cost of items and services provided to you by the college – eg. Books, uniforms, field trips, examinations. The Further Education courses at ICFE provide real opportunities at a fraction of the cost of Higher Education or private colleges.

The Government also charges a Levy of €200 but you may be exempt from paying the Government Levy if you hold a current medical card or receive a means-tested social welfare payment.

Will I need to buy books, equipment etc?

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 Costume Design or Furniture Design 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.

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: https://susi.ie/eligibility/plc-student/

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)

(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.

I have dyslexia. Will there be any supports for me?

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.

Can I take part in an Erasmus foreign trip?

Inchicore College has the largest Erasums+ programme among colleges of Further Education and has been awarded the Erasmus+ Vocational Education and Training Mobility Charter by the European Commission.

Almost all our courses offer the opportunity for students to take part in Erasmus+ projects which involves three weeks fully funded international work experience in the following countries: Austria, Finland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden and Slovenia.

These international work placements are extremely popular and students apply to take part. Places are allocated to students based on their application, and interview and their performance on their course. Further information on is available on individual course web pages.

Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions we are unable to guarantee that there will be Erasums+ opportunities in the year 2020 – 2021 but we are currently working on clarifying the situation and will update this section when we have more information.

What Sports teams do you have?

Inchicore College has a proud and successful history of competitive sporting teams, men and women. We have successfully competed in various competitions in GAA, soccer, basketball, cross country running, swimming and golf to name a few. We have well stocked trophy cabinet to show for our efforts!

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

Yes! ALL of the courses at Inchicore 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 Inchicore College courses are now completing university studies in colleges such as Trinity College Dublin, UCC, NUIM, Manchester Metropolitan University, Dublin Institute of Technology. Other students are employed by the Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre, RTÉ, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Eastern Health Board, St. Michaels House.

Are there any clubs and societies?

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

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 ICFE 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. Howeve,r 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.