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Finding a course

There are lots of course options, but before you decide on a course it may be useful to get in touch with the Adult Education Guidance and Information Service based in your local Education and Training Board. Below are the main areas within the 'Tertiary Education Sector'.

Further Education and Training (FET) Courses (NFQ Levels 1-6) 

  • Courses lead to awards from levels 1 to 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
  • Courses are offered by the 16 Education and Training Boards in collaboration with SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority
  • Courses can be full-time or part-time and are delivered in a wide range of ETB settings including further education colleges, Youthreach, adult education centres and training centres 
  • Different centres may offer minor (component) or major (complete) awards 
  • Courses are also provided through community and voluntary groups, commercial training providers and in workplaces 
  • Visit or find contact details for Adult Education Guidance and Information Service based in your local Education and Training Board
  • Visit to find open days and information events happening near you

Third Level Courses (NFQ Levels 6-10)

Third level institutions offer full-time and part-time courses. You can search for courses on or, the National Learners’ Database provides information on a range of further education and third level education courses and allows you to: 

  • Find and compare courses 
  • Create a personal account and save your favourites 
  • Check out the subject choice module for Junior and Leaving Certificate 
  • Gather information on mature student entry 
  • Do an interest assessment to see what suits you 

Community Education (Non-Accredited and Levels 2-6) 

Community education takes place in local community projects and centres and offers the following: 

  • Courses for all adults in a welcoming environment 
  • A positive, informal, non-threatening first step back to education 
  • A wide range of part-time courses generally levels 2 to 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Some organisations may offer courses at level 6 or above 
  • Non-accredited courses for people who wish to learn a new skill, meet new people and/or develop their confidence 
  • Courses including everything from computers skills, personal development, professional skills and hobby based courses 

To find contact details for community education options nearest you contact your Adult Education Guidance and Information Services in your local Education and Training Board or download the information booklet

For more infomration about the AONTAS Community Education Network click here


Where can I find a list of open days?

Many course providers hold open days and information events to show the range of courses they have on offer. These open days are a great opportunity to find out about courses, take a tour of the college or centre, and speak to a tutor.

Although open days can be held at any time of year, many colleges and centres host events in September or January. To find an open day or information event happening near you visit the One Step Up calendar

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