IAESTE Traineeships

iaeste paid work experienceIAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experiences) is a worldwide network that organises paid, course-related traineeships for students and recent graduates of technical subjects such as Engineering, Science, and IT. A huge variety of employers, ranging from multinational companies to university research departments to start-up enterprises, offer traineeships through the programme. IAESTE was established in 1947, operates in 87 countries worldwide and has approximately 4,000 international participants each year.

IAESTE is open to students currently enrolled, preferably in the third year or above, in technical courses such as Engineering, Science or IT in third-level institutions in the Republic of Ireland. Graduates can apply within the first year of their graduation. Applications are accepted online between September and December each year. Traineeships can last from two to 12 months and be hosted in any IAESTE country other than Ireland.

All IAESTE countries have a national office to coordinate the programme and liaise with employers and trainees. The majority of countries also have a wide support network of local volunteers who help trainees settle into and explore their host countries. In Ireland, IAESTE works with diverse employers including Trinity College Dublin, SAP, Ericsson, and Threefold.

There is an application fee and a further placement fee on acceptance of a traineeship, to contribute to the running costs of the programme. IAESTE trainees pay their own travel costs, including any required visa or work permit processing fees. All trainees must have valid international health insurance before travelling.

More information about this years IAESTE application process can be viewed online at https://www.leargas.ie/news/apply-iaeste/

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Pre Nursing Courses

pre nursing courses in IrelandPre-nursing programmes are designed to give a solid foundation in the theory and practice of Health Care and Nursing Care for those who intend entering the nursing, paramedical or community care service.

Pre-nursing courses have a number of different aims. Firstly, they provide foundation skills and entry requirements to access degree courses in Nursing. They develop and foster a range of personal and interpersonal qualities necessary for work in a range of care environments. They teach and emphasise the importance of creating and maintaining appropriate relationships with the client, their family, and other professionals involved in their care. On completion, graduates will have acquired specialist knowledge, skills and competence in the role of the care assistant.

Principal Areas of Study:

Nursing Studies Course Modules
Introduction to Nursing
Anatomy and Physiology
Human Growth and Development
Care Skills
Work Experience
Health and Safety at Work
Social Studies

Irish based pre-nursing programmes are designed to prepare students for academic programmes in the nursing sector and/or employment in the health sector as a care assistant.

Holders of a QQI Level 5 pre-nursing award may be in a position to apply to UL, NUI, UCC, NUI Galway, and the Institutes of Technology for entry to the first year of Nursing Studies Degree Programmes (through the Higher Education Links Scheme). A distinction in 5 modules in the  Level 5 course, is required, which must include a Distinction in: D20001 (Anatomy and Physiology), D20012 (Introduction to Nursing), and D20032 (Human Growth and Development) or C20006 (Biology).  A reserved number of places are allocated to applicants presenting with QQI qualifications. Places are allocated on a competitive basis. The best eight modules, at a single sitting, are considered for scoring purposes. Of course, there is also the option of applying for other related Health Studies degrees in Universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland and various colleges in Britain, like Social Care and Health Promotion.

Most course providers require a Leaving Certificate standard or equivalent and an English language proficiency test where deemed appropriate.  The College Registrar for the Nursing Studies course will discuss and advise you on the course details and career options. Mature students with relevant prior experience may be exempt from the above requirements.

Most Nursing Studies programs are delivered over one academic year and work experience is usually a mandatory part – where students are given a chance to blend classroom theory with hands-on practical experience.

A number of PLC course providers and private colleges offer pre-nursing courses, the courses are usually named Nursing Studies courses and are at level 5 on the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications), some of these are listed below:

Dunboyne College, Meath

Moate Business College

St Louis Community School, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo

Dorset College Dublin

Portobello Institute, Dublin

In an age where some people are reluctant to commit to a four year program, (especially if they are unsure of their suitability or the future employment prospects) a pre-nursing course is an ideal way to sample a course and a work environment to ascertain your compatibility. At the end of the academic year, even if you do not wish to pursue a nursing career, you have a certificate, that entails many valuable transferable skills, that you can take into other career areas related to health care and community work.

View the following link for some Pre-Nursing course listings on Findacourse.ie – www.findacourse.ie/nursing-courses-s19-28.html

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Time To Move 2017

time to move 2017Eurodesk Ireland are inviting youth workers, guidance counsellors, career professionals and students to a collection of events for young people throughout October 2017. These activities will introduce participants to the hundreds of possibilities through which they can go abroad and take part in an international project, explore Europe or gain experience.

All the activities are run by Eurodesk information experts, who are available to have a discussion and helping find the international project most suited to individual needs. Interested in volunteering in another country for a few months? School exchange for a semester? Internships abroad? If so visit http://timetomove.eurodesk.eu/ for more information.

The events will enable participants to:

  • Discuss benefits and challenges of youth mobility in the current context in Ireland and in Europe
  • Meet and network with organisations interested in supporting young people in their mobility projects
  • Find out about opportunities for young people to work, train, study and volunteer in Europe

Today, a network of more than 1000 youth professionals work with Eurodesk in 34 countries to raise awareness among young people on learning mobility opportunities and to encourage them to become active citizens. As a support organisation to Erasmus+, Eurodesk makes information on learning mobility comprehensive and accessible to youth professionals.

Opportunities under the Time to Move programme fall under the following categories;

Studying – Information on programmes such as Erasmus+ and other initiatives can be found at http://timetomove.eurodesk.eu/studying/

Volunteering – Information on volunteering opportunities and organisations who facilitate this can be found at http://timetomove.eurodesk.eu/volunteering/

Internships – Information about the latest recurring European and international internships, traineeships and job opportunities can be found at http://timetomove.eurodesk.eu/internships/

Travelling – Information on accommodation options, rail and alternative travel methods, health insurance and other info visit http://timetomove.eurodesk.eu/travelling/



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Zeminar 2017

zeminarZeminar is a social enterprise created to bring all those invested in the development and well-being of young people in Ireland to one place. It is an event for ‘Generation Z’, particularly those aged between 15 and 20, and their parents, teachers, mentors and coaches. RDS – Dublin, October 10th, 11th, 12th 2017.

Zeminar aims at facilitating the introduction of young people to some of the best and most innovative organisations in the country. Throughout the event there will be workshops, influential speakers, essential resources and fun activities. Attendees will leave the event with new knowledge to help them live happier, safer, and more fulfilling lives.

The first Seminar event in 2016 saw almost 15,000 people visit the RDS over 3 days for 41 workshops, 75 Z-Series talks and over 100 exhibitors. Zeminar 2017 will take place in the RDS Oct 10th-12th.

Zeminer will showcase over 125 participants including; Foroige, PwC, Jigsaw, Bank of Ireland, Seo Linn, Youth Reach, WIT, BIMM, Irish Red Cross, High Hopes Choir, DIT, Badminton Ireland, RNLI, NUI Maynooth and many more..

While the career aspect will be covered, it will represent just 1 of 8 designated zones, setting Zeminar apart from the traditional careers fair. According to research conducted by Headstrong.ie, anxiety, stress, sleep issues, cyberbullying and isolation are some of the difficulties hindering academic and personal growth today. These factors in conjunction with fast-moving technology, academic pressures, unhealthy diets and ever-changing career options present an increasingly complex and challenging environment for young people to navigate.

Zeminar will give attendees the chance to explore the above, discuss career opportunities, hear from inspirational speakers such as The O’Donovan Brother, The Rubberbandits, Sr Stan to name but a few, and discover invaluable tools to assist them on their educational journey.

The 8 designated zones at the event are listed below;

  • Main Stage – Amazing speakers sharing their stories.
  • Youth Org United – Local and National Youth Organisations.
  • Well-Being Gym – Learn how to look after one’s Mind, Body & Soul. This zone will feature interactive content aimed at encouraging attendees to explore and develop their personal toolkit in terms of mental, physical & spiritual welfare.
  • Club Corner – Discover new sports and hobbies.
  • CEO –BOSS IT! Careers, Exams & Opportunities – Not like any other careers fair the ethos of this event is dynamic and interactive. Organisations that exhibit here will not be simply handing out free paraphernalia but displaying what it’s like to actually work or study in their environment.
  • Activation Zone – Spectacular exhibitors captivating your imagination. An open book for exhibitors with one strict caveat: It cannot be passive! It must be an engaging concept that will leave attendees with something thoughtprovoking, inspirational, relevant and practical.
  • Teachers’ Lounge –Teachers, we will look after you! A Zeminar all on its own containing tailored content provided in a relaxed and collaborative environment. Main stage contributors will also present in this area, modifying their content for the other side of the desk.
  • The Social Scene – Eat, meet & have lots of fun.

For more information visit www.zeminar.ie

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Autumn Options for Part Time Learners

evening courses in AutumnSeptember and October are jam-packed with exciting opportunities to sign up to new learning experiences with many evening courses and part time classes on offer throughout the country. Attending a part-time evening course is a great way to enhance a CV, to socialise and make friends, as well as learn something completely new. The abundance of courses available means that there is something to suit everyone.

The following are just a sample of what’s on offer around the country:

CMI (Communications and Management Institute) in Dublin, offers evening courses in everything from Fashion Buying and Merchandising to a Diploma in Criminal Forensic Psychology. There are also courses in Management and Team Leadership, as well as a Diploma in Addiction Studies.

Dunboyne College of Further Education in Meath offer a large selection of adult education evening classes. These include hobby courses, Fitness & Health, IT & Computers, professional courses as well as a range of talks & seminars. More details can be viewed on their online brochure at http://www.dunboynecollege.ie/images/pdfs/Night-Classes-New.pdf

IADT (Dun Laighaire Institute of Art Design and Technology) specialises in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and has a range of part-time evening courses on offer. These courses will be of benefit to any students hoping to prepare a portfolio of art or to try out some creative skills courses before pursuing further study in these areas. More information is available on their website at http://www.iadt.ie/courses/autumn-courses

NUI Galway The Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development continues to offer its Short Courses Series commencing October 2017. Courses consist of 8 weeks of lectures in a number of general interest areas including Literature, Writing, Film Studies, Philosophy, History, Languages, Astronomy and many others. The NUIG short courses brochure can be viewed online at http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/adulteducation/files/Short-Courses-Series.pdf

PCI College is based in Dublin city but offers training in the field of counselling and psychotherapy in other locations including; Cork City, County Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick City and Athlone. Courses provided include a Bsc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy and an MA in Integrative Counselling.

Malahide Community School in Dublin, offers part-time evening courses in subjects including French and computers as well as yoga and ballroom dancing. The classes run on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7.30pm- 9.30pm.

The Sandford Language Institute in South County Dublin offers language courses for all levels. Dutch, Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Italian are just some of the languages available to study in the institute.

– Dorset College in Dublin, offers a selection of courses including an ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business, a CIPD Certificate in Human Resource Management and level 6 course in Leadership (Supervisory Management and Leadership).

Pitman Training offer a large variety of job specific courses to enhance or kick-start career opportunities. With a range of courses on offer at your local centre such as; Management, Medical and Secretarial Diplomas, IT courses and Diplomas, Sage and Accounting Diplomas, plus Audio Typing and Shorthand courses. Pitman Training have locations all over the country in: Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, Limerick, Maynooth, Mullingar, Naas, Sligo, Swords, Tralee, Waterford and Wexford.

For more information on part-time evening course options, view our Part Time and Evening Course Listings on Findacourse.ie. To view articles and other information view our Evening Courses Information Feature on Findacourse.ie.

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Taster Days – What Are The Benefits?

taster days 2017 & 2018It can be very beneficial to gain some experience either working or studying in a field related to a chosen course of study. Especially if that course is going to take three or four years of work and dedication. This has been made easier with the growth in popularity of ‘Taster Days’.

What is a Taster Day?

Taster Days are events held by colleges, whereby the student gains hands-on knowledge and experience of a particular area of study. The students are usually shown the facilities, the type of course material they will be studying and sometimes the work of professionals who have qualified in that area of study. These events can run from one day to several, with longer events usually giving a more comprehensive flavour of the course and career prospects.

How do I find one?

Not all colleges run taster days, but many do and the best way of finding out is simply to give a call to the college you are interested in studying with and ask them if they have any scheduled. It is best to do this well in advance of the course start date as many colleges run these many months before the course begins.


Some upcoming taster days and events are listed below..

Institute of Art Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Taster Day

Running from 31st October to 3rd November this event showcases a range of courses including the following;

  • Photography
  • English, Media and Cultural Studies
  • Creative Media technologies
  • Applied Psychology
  • Creative Computing
  • Entrepreneurship and Management

If you have any queries in relation to the Taster Days, please email info@iadt.ie. More information on IADT Webpage.

Physics Transition Week – University College Dublin

Running for 5 days from December 4th to December 8th 2017. Highlights the work of researchers, academics and clinical professionals in this field. For more info, contact Bairbre Fox on 01 7162210 or email bairbre.fox@ucd.ie

Construction Day – Limerick Institute of Technology

LIT is running a one day construction event on 12th December. More info can be obtained from Pat Gill on 061 293000 or pat.gill@lit.ie

Engineers Week

This is a week long schedule of events taking place from the 24th February to the 2nd of March 2018 in venues throughout the country. For more information on these events, visit Engineersweek.ie

Arts taster Days – NUI Galway

Arts Taster Days will be held at NUI Galway on Wednesday 25 April, Thursday 26th April and Friday 27th April 2018.

There are also a wide range of open days taking place, to view some upcoming open days, visit https://www.findacourse.ie/courses/open-days/

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Higher Education Links Scheme

hels schemeProgression Routes into Higher Education
The Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) gives learners the opportunity to use their QQI Level 5 or 6 major award to apply, through the CAO, for a place in the first year of a higher education programme.

Programmes leading to Level 5 and Level 6 Major Awards are available through providers who have programmes validated with QQI. Application to participate in the programme is made directly to the provider.

Rules for Eligibility to the Scheme
Level 5 and Level 6 Major Awards are made up of a number of Minor Awards known as components. Different combinations of components lead to different Major Awards.

Each component has a credit value, typically between 15 and 30. A Major Award needs 120 credits, made up by combining components. For example: 8 components of 15 credits each = 120 credits.

  • Progression requires a full Level 5 or Level 6 Major Award, with at least 120 credits. In some instances, progression is on the
    basis of specific Level 5 or 6 Major Awards.
  • Components (Minor Awards), or achievement of less than 120 credits, will not suffice for progression under the HELS
  • The applicant is responsible for ensuring that their college/provider applies to QQI for Major Award status on their behalf,
    prior to application to the CAO

Applicants MUST check both the individual Higher Education institution and the CAO websites to ensure they meet any special or essential requirements specified such as:

  • A specific Major Award.
  • A specific grade in specific components.
  • Additional Award requirements such as mathematics.
  • That all credits used for scoring purposes are achieved in one ‘single sitting’

What does ‘single sitting’ mean?
Whilst Major Award may be achieved over more than one year, it is important to note that some higher education institutions require that your 120 credits are achieved within a ‘single sitting’ between 1 August and 31 July of any certification year. Check the CAO and individual college websites for specific requirements.

The Scoring System for FET awards
Once all of the above requirements have been met, a learner can apply for a place on the linked higher education programme. The best score for each applicant is caluclated and the results are forwarded to the CAO in July of each year.

You can calculate your score using the free online points calculator at www.careersportal.ie/qqi/, which is based on the following scoring system:

Each level 5 and level 6 component is scored:

  • 3.25 for a Distinction
  • 2.16 for a Merit
  • 1.08 for a Pass
    This number is then multiplied by the individual component credit value to a maximum of 120 credits (a total of 390 points).

It may be easiest to multiply the individual component credit value by 3 for Distinction, 2 for Merit, and 1 for Pass, multiplying by 13 and dividing by 12.


Note: It is the responsibility of applicants to confirm linked awards, any additional requirements, application processes and scoring systems with the Admission Offices of participating higher education institutions or by visiting www.cao.ie

Detailed information on these progression routes and entry requirements, and on progression routes for apprentices made redundant after Phase 4 of the Apprenticeship Programme, are available from individual higher education institutions.

Note: All information relating to linked higher education courses has been provided by the participating higher education institutions to the CAO and every effort has been made to ensure that it is accurate and current.

More about the HELS
Since its inception almost twenty years ago, higher education institutions have used the scheme to expand transparent progression routes to higher education programmes. While awards standards have been updated over time, once a higher education institution links an award, admissions processes typically continue to consider that linked award as part of an application to participate in higher education programmes, along with revised awards and other new awards.

Linked awards, special requirements and available higher education programmes are published by the admissions office of the individual higher education institution and on www.cao.ie.

More Information – http://www.qqi.ie/Articles/Pages/HIgher-Education-Links-Scheme-(HELS).aspx

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Business Courses

business trainingThe business studies field can be a bit of a maze, with a huge selection of courses to choose from. The choices can range from business startup on to business administration or if choosing specialist topics these can vary from business with a language or business with art or one of several other specialist areas. As business is a subject that easily pairs with nearly every other discipline, there are many more variations than in most other courses.

Two things that you should keep in mind when deciding on a business course are how much time you can dedicate to the course and what level you want to study at. The large range of courses on offer is a bonus in this case as there are courses to suit all schedules and levels.

Courses based on online business and marketing are very popular at the moment but nearly all regular business and commerce courses cover this area so it is good to have a detailed look at the course content for each option when making a decision. Details of courses are always found on the college websites and the majority of universities, colleges, private colleges and IT’s offer business training courses.

The field of entrepreneurship and innovation is another popular area, with many courses featuring modules on topics such as developing and managing early businesses. Courses that have experienced lecturers and well developed tuition in this area are important, as are opportunities for work experience and real world assignments.

Part time and evening business courses including business management and start your own business courses can be viewed on Findacourse.ie at the following link.. https://www.findacourse.ie/business-accounting-courses-c3-0-1.html

All further education colleges offer business training courses in some shape or form and these can be a great starting point for those entering third-level education or the field of business studies for the first time. Most of the level 5 and level 6 courses allow for progression to higher education and can often be structured to suit students with family commitments or in employment.

Some examples of level 5 and level 6 business courses on offer are:
Business Administration with MOS level 6 at St. Louis Community School, Mayo.
Business and Computers Level 6 in Stillorgan College of Further Education
Tourism with Business Levels 5 & 6 in Moate Business College
Business Management in Portobello Institute, Dublin.

There are many higher certificate level 7 business training courses on offer around the country also. A level 7 qualification is a step below an honours degree and can be convenient for those who want to up skill without the commitment of the three to four year degree programme. Level 7 qualifications can generally be easily converted to full honours degrees.

Some examples of level 7 courses on offer are:
HETAC Bachelor of Business level 7 (part time) in Dorset College Dublin
Higher Certificate in Business in Office Information Systems in the Institute of Technology Tralee
Higher Certificate in Business in Social Media Marketing in Athlone Institute of Technology
BA (Ordinary) in Business in Griffith College Dublin

A level 8 degree is an honours degree and as well as the traditional courses that take three or four years to complete, there are also many top-up options, part-time courses and accelerated courses that are suitable for those looking to combine work with study.

Examples of level 8 business courses are:
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Entrepreneurship and Management in Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Business Studies in Griffith College, Cork City
Bachelor of Business Studies from the Institute of Public Administration – (This course can be completed part time by distance learning)

Postgraduate, or level 9 and level 10 courses, are for those who have completed a level 8 degree, however, not necessarily in business. There are many level 9 converter courses available alongside the large selection of full and part-time postgraduate courses and MBA programmes.

Some examples of post-graduate business courses are:
Postgraduate Diploma in Business in Cultural Event Management in Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Specialist Diploma in Supply Chain Management with Ulearning in Limerick City

For more Business Studies course options view the Business and Accounting course page on Findacourse.ie

Author: Fiona McBennett

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Erasmus Plus Programme

erasmusThe Erasmus Programme, set up in 1987 by the European Union, is the most successful student exchange programme in the world and operates in 37 countries. Another Erasmus Programme was established in 2007 and ran until the end of 2013. During that time, 30,000 Irish students travelled to one of the 37 countries and now it’s predicted that by 2020 up to 50,000 will have had the opportunity to study abroad as part of the new programme.

Erasmus Plus took over from the older Erasmus programme on 1st January 2014. A 40% budget increase was amongst the changes which were geared at giving students a chance to increase their skills and knowledge through studying and working abroad. The programme is available to third level students, students in secondary school, further education and adult education as well as youth organisations and charities.

Gerry O’ Sullivan, Head of International Programmes at the Higher Education Authority (the national agency for Erasmus+ in Higher Education), says that students who have been involved in the programme have experienced many benefits such as personal development, greater focus, increased cultural awareness and improved language skills. In the new programme students will be able to do a traineeship in two months instead of three, which is the current programmes minimum, and new students will also be allowed to do a traineeship in the year following graduation which is a first for the programme.

The top five countries of choice for Irish students are France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden but there are many other destinations to choose from. The main bonus of partaking in Erasmus is that students don’t have to pay any extra fees to the college that they choose to visit. Students are also able to apply for an Erasmus grant if they need help in covering the cost of living abroad and students with a disability can apply for additional grant to cover any expenses that occur.

Studying abroad with the Erasmus Programme is a brilliant opportunity to get a taste for what it’s like to live in a different country, to absorb a different culture, to immerse yourself in a different language and to meet new people. To be able to do all this with no additional tuition fees is an experience not to be missed.  To have been involved in work or study in another country is a great addition to a CV, especially if you are studying a language, politics or International Relations, but everyone can benefit from travel and a broader education.

Leargas is the national agency for Erasmus+ in Adult Education, School Education, VET and Youth. They operate a number of Erasmus workshops and discovery days. To view more information about Erasmus Plus with Leargas, view their website at www.leargas.ie

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HEA Nursing Fact Sheet Published

nursing courses facts and figures reportA recent publication by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has shown some interesting data on nursing trends and statistics in recent years. The ‘Nursing Fact Sheet’ looks at the student profile of those studying or graduating in nursing from Irish higher education institutions.

The vast majority of Irish graduates with nursing degrees (96%) remain in Ireland for work immediately after graduation, according to the study. The statistics also show that 90% of those studying nursing are female. About 1,800 students will commence studying nursing at undergraduate or postgraduate level this month.

Some of the key findings are listed below..

  • Overall nursing new entrants decreased by 6% between 2011/12 and 2015/16 but while full-time undergraduate nursing enrolments decreased by 3%, enrolments in postgraduate nursing courses increased by 43%. This reflects a small but growing shift to nursing as a postgrad programme.
  • 20% of nursing students come from Dublin while 9% have Cork addresses.
  • 48% of Irish nursing new entrants were in receipt of a SUSI grant in 2015/16 (compared to 46% of all Irish new entrants in the same year)
  • 90% of nursing new entrants are female
  • 4% of nursing new entrants are non-Irish
  • Of the 2015 nursing graduate cohort, 94% are in employment nine months after graduation
  • 98% of nursing graduates employed in Ireland are working in Health Services
  • 71% of undergraduate nursing graduates are earning between €25,000 and €45,000 (compared to 50% of all graduates), 28% are earning less than €25,000 (compared to 47% of all graduates) and 1% are earning €45,000 or more (compared to 3% of all graduates)
  • 44% of male postgraduate nursing graduate are earning €45,000 or more compared to 41% of females in the same cohort
  • The vast majority of Irish nursing graduates are remaining in Ireland for work (96%) compared to 88% of non-Irish Nursing graduates.

nursing courses facts and figures from HEA

Higher Education Institutes offering nursing courses include; DCU, NUIG, TCD, UCC, UCD, UL, St Angela’s, Athlone IT, Dundalk IT, Galway-Mayo IT, IT Tralee, Letterkenny IT and Waterford IT.

Use the following link to view the full report online – http://hea.ie/resources/publications/hea-nursing-fact-sheet/

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Types of Distance Learning and Online Education

online courses and e-learning options in IrelandDistance learning as we know it today has significantly developed from the foundations of correspondence learning; In the past students would receive course materials including textbooks and other course materials through the mail. These course materials and textbooks allowed for complete independent learning at their own pace.

Many correspondence courses have stood the test of time and the encroachment of technology; however, they have largely been replaced by online courses, which offer instruction and support from tutors, a multimedia educational experience and interaction with other students via various forums. Thanks to technology, the shift from the traditional classroom experience to online or distance learning only seems natural.

Distance education and online learning is a field of education which uses specific tutoring and technology, with the aim of delivering course material, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom. Distance education courses that also require a physical on-site presence for any reason (including taking examinations) have been referred to as hybrid or blended courses of study.

Aside from the range of distance learning courses on offer, there are also variations in the format and the way the courses are delivered and accessed. The format depends on the purpose of the online course. It is important to know which type of distance learning course you are taking, so you can understand the time, technology and even the travel requirements that could be expected of you.

The types of distance learning courses fall under the categories of either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous literally means ‘at the same time’, while asynchronous means ‘not at the same time’.

Synchronous distance learning involves live communication either through sitting in an on-line classroom, or chatting online. Asynchronous distance learning sometimes has a set of weekly deadlines, but otherwise allows students to work at their own pace. Synchronous learning is less flexible and disrupts the student’s life to a greater extent. It is, however, the most popular format used by university online learning departments, as it facilitates a greater amount of interaction between students and tutors, especially if working towards a degree or masters programme.

Those courses that weigh more heavily on projects and assignments thrive in an asynchronous format because they provide the students with more time to focus on their work. With open schedule online courses, students are allotted the greatest amount of freedom. This is an asynchronous form of learning in which students are provided internet-based textbooks, mailing lists, email addresses, to complete their coursework.

Blended distance learning courses combine synchronous and asynchronous learning which creates a structure in which the student is often required to meet at a specific time in a classroom or Internet chat room along with working online independently.
Some distance learning colleges provide students with round the clock access to eLearning for the duration of the course. The student is usually given a comprehensive course manual, along with access to numerous online resources along with being assigned a personal tutor. Assessments are usually uploaded online and feedback follows promptly.

There is no need to feel isolated in your distance learning studies as there are many supports available to you from the provider. With easy access to tutors, questions or queries can be submitted and answered very easily with the online system. There are often also open forums where other peoples’ questions and answers can be viewed and therefore can be used as a reference for others. Many offer a record of your progress throughout you studies or track your progress for you, which you can see every time you log on.

Aside from private distance learning providers, some Higher Education Institutes offer distance learning via their Adult & Continuing Education departments or have their own Centres for Distance Learning. These courses often require you to meet with your tutor and other students occasionally for workshops and tutorials. In most cases, you receive a set of self-paced, self-instructional learning materials. Learning materials are broken into modules, which you study on your own. These programmes of study can lead to various awards including: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business and Masters Awards. They also offer additional supports including: the opportunity to study in groups, return to-study skills modules along with a day-to-day advisory and support service.

Regardless of the types of distance learning courses; what they all have in common is a proven track record of success for learners along with excellent employment prospects.

View distance learning course listings on Findacourse.ie

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CAO Second Round Offers and Other Options

third level studentsFor many students, a college place will await them after the first round of offers from the CAO. For others there may be some disappointment, perhaps the course offered on the first round is cause for uncertainty or downright refusal. If so there is always the second round to follow and this sees many new options arising for those questioning the suitability of the first round.

Second Round Offers

Second round offers are made just over a week after the first round (This year they go out on 31st August), with the closing date for acceptance of these offers on September 6th. If options are still failing to arise, there are still some other options available to students..

Available / Vacant Places

The CAO vacant places list is updated daily following the first round of offers. This list can be viewed on the CAO website (www.cao.ie). If going this route, students need to examine the course options and career opportunities carefully and try not to make a snap decision out of fear of not making it to college. More details of the CAO Vacant Places option can be viewed on the video below (video guide provided by www.cao.ie).

Repeating the Leaving Cert

For some students this will be the best option, many students (this author included) have enjoyed a much happier and less stressful leaving cert year the second time around. The hard graft has hopefully been done to a large extent so with motivation and planning it should be possible to see better results second time around. It’s a good idea to view some of your exam scripts from last year to see where you went wrong (although normally viewed with the hope of appealing exam results, this can be a successful tool for improving future results also – Viewing dates are August 28th and 29th). If the core subjects have been passed there is also the possibility of taking up a new subject to pick up points. If choosing this option, try to select a subject with some crossover with past subjects (for example Biology will have crossover content with Home Economics).

Post Leaving Cert Courses (PLCs)

Many places will be filled for the more popular PLC courses at this stage, however it’s worth checking out if you’re preferred study area was not offered via CAO. Many PLC colleges offer viable progression routes onto third level and many of the courses will offer career options without need for further study. This will also be a good option if you wish to try out a certain area of study before continuing on with it full time through the CAO.

Click Here to View PLC Feature on Findacourse.ie

Mature Students

There are lots of options available for those with youth on their side. Should third level study not be available right now then it could easily be again in the future. Many students enter the CAO with some years work experience or other suitable study achievements behind them. Even if lacking the required points now, students who have passed their leaving cert may return as mature students and use this work experience or study to gain entry in the future. For more information on mature entry, view the video below (video guide provided by www.cao.ie).

and remember if you still can’t decide what’s best for you, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Guidance counsellors are there for a reason and can be of assistance in choosing the correct path. For more info contact your local school or ETB or view www.guidanceireland.com to find a local guidance counsellor.

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CAO Vacant Places

CAO Vacant places (also called Available Places) is a facility which enables students to apply for CAO places on courses that are not yet filled. After round one offers have been made a continuously updated list of courses with available places can be found on the CAO website – cao.ie. More details about applying for vacant or available places can be viewed on the video below (video created by cao.ie)

Applicants who have already registered with the CAO may make an application for a vacant place at no extra cost. Applicants who have not yet registered with the CAO may apply for vacant places for a fee of €40. All applicants must meet the minimum entry requirements for the course they are applying to, they will then be ranked on points in comparison to other vacant places applicants.

More information about vacant (available places) can be found at the following link – https://www.cao.ie/apply.php?page=vpl_enter

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CPD Courses

cpd coursesCPD or, Continuous Professional Development, refers to lifelong learning or continuing education. It is the means by which people advance their skills and knowledge related to their professions. In today’s competitive and rapidly changing world, taking part in a CPD course can be essential to ensure continued employment and career advancement.

Most professions have CPD obligations and as a result, there is large a variety of courses available around the country covering all career fields, from engineering to teaching. A new website running in partnership with Findacourse.ie is now online and will promote CPD courses on an ongoing basis. Log onto CPDcourses.ie for more details

The following are just some of the CPD course providers on Findacourse.ie that can help to enhance a CV and improve career progression options:

Griffin College provides a course in Commercial Lighting. Members of Engineers Ireland qualify for CPD credit on completion of this 5 week part-time evening course. Locations are Cork City, Dublin city centre, Galway city, Kilkenny, Limerick City, Belfast City and Londonderry.

Portobello Institute offers a course in Environmental Impact Assessment in Dublin City Centre. This part-time evening course is for managers, to improve and audit environmental performance. Members of Engineers Ireland, The Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and the Institute of Archaeologists Ireland are eligible for CPD accreditation on completion.

– Portobello Institute also provides a REPS Fitness Instructor Level 2 course which is accredited by the European Health and Fitness Association. Students are eligible for CPD credits on completion and the course is an essential requirement onto the level 3 Personal Trainer course.

Pitman Training offer a wide range of courses in the areas of IT, business and accounting, management and professional development. Courses can be completed on a flexible learning basis.

Hibernia College is Ireland’s only government-accredited eLearning college. It offers a selection of CPD courses for teaching professionals such as summer courses and professional development courses in areas such as special education and numeracy and literacy. There are also courses on offer for professionals in the pharmaceutical and bioscience industries.

IPASS (Irish Payroll Association) is Ireland’s leading training provider for those seeking to upskill or reskill in the areas of payroll, VAT and taxation. The association offers training courses in many locations around Ireland.

These are just some of the options on offer for CPD courses. For more information on job training and professional development, view job training courses on Findacourse.ie at https://www.findacourse.ie/job-training-courses-ireland.html

Author: Fiona McBennett

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Sales Training Courses

sales training coursesDo you have the ‘gift of the gab’? Perhaps you are the persuasive sort that can convince your friends that trekking through the Antarctic would be great fun. If so then a career in sales could be for you. Being a strong sales person will always be in demand. The top people have a deep understanding of their products, know how to relate to their customers and – in all probability – have that charming sales patter down to a fine art. As fans of The Apprentice will know, Alan Sugar simply can’t get enough of people who can swap products for cash, and he’s not the only one.

We often hear about ‘born salespeople’. It’s certainly true that there’s a particular, outgoing personality that’s a key requirement when it comes to doing the job well, but that’s not to say that sales technique isn’t a skill you can develop and improve. That’s where sales training – both on a business-wide and individual level – can become a key factor in the success of a company and of an individual. After all if you can bring in significantly more than the company pays you, your boss will be your biggest fan.

Courses are varied, both in price and cost, and picking the correct one is a case of matching your needs or the company’s needs to the specific content on offer. Many industries have their own specialised training courses, and while these may be a little more expensive, the precise skills learnt along the way could prove very helpful for those with more targeted ambitions. Colleges such as Griffin College in Dublin and CMI College for example, offer a range of training programmes, with Griffin College offering a course focused specifically on the development of telephone sales skills..
sales training in Ireland
Course content will vary depending on who you go with, but should involve plenty of theoretical study, tips and – where possible – hands on practice of the techniques that you learn. Content will usually contain most of the obvious dimensions of selling – the sales process, how to close a sale, discussion of price and how to deal with factors that influence the customer, for example – but many also delve deeper into other, related areas. Psychology, in particular, is often cited as an important part of sales training. How to make additional sales on top of the main ones and controlling the consultation process are also common additional features, with others dependent very much on the area you wish to focus on.

Other courses are more long term and even offer work experience and higher-level qualifications along the way. Of course, they’ll also require a more significant time commitment, sometimes as much as a year’s part-time study. There is also the option of online training options for those who prefer to study in their own time and at their own location.

With so many people and companies already involved in sales, there are plenty of options out there for both individual and corporate training, and we recommend shopping around and finding out about the courses specific content before you head along. After all, they can be costly, and given the variety, you can probably find a course that’s very well suited. There are plenty that run in the evenings or at weekends, as well as during the working day. Why go to the effort? Even if you’re not a salesperson, there are very few jobs in the modern world that don’t involve and ability to sell yourself, your company and your skills at some stage along the way. It makes sense to do so to the best of your ability.

Sales training courses on Findacourse.ie – www.findacourse.ie/Sales-Training-courses-s15-84.html

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