The private college route
Nine of the forty-five colleges listed in the CAO 2011 Handbook are privately owned, fee-paying colleges.
They are: Dublin Business School, Aungier St. Dublin 2; Griffith College, in Dublin, Cork and Limerick; the American College Dublin; the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute of Ireland in Limerick; Independent Colleges, Dublin; IBAT College, Swords Co Dublin; and Grafton College of Management Sciences, Gardiner Row, Dublin 1.
All of these colleges offer a range of programmes leading to HETAC awards, for which the application process is handled by CAO. Most of the private colleges also offer courses leading to awards from overseas-awarding bodies or universities.
The two largest independent colleges are the Dublin Business School, with over 9,000 full and part time students, and Griffith College Dublin, with campuses in Cork and Limerick, totalling over 8,000 full and part time students.
Dublin Business College, which incorporates both the former L.S.B. College and Portobello College, offers a range of courses in accounting, many other branches of business and arts, law, psychology, and social science. The college is now owned by an American company, Kaplan, the education division of the Washington Post company.
Griffith College, whose Dublin college is located on a seven acre campus in South Circular Rd, offers programmes at honours degree, ordinary degree, and higher certificate level in business, accounting and finance, law, law with business, computing science, journalism and media communications, interior architecture, interior design, and fashion design.
The tuition fees for Griffith College’s computing science Level 8 degree are covered by the Department of Education and Science for the first two years of the programme.
The American College Dublin offers two Level 8 honours degree courses, one in Accounting and Finance and the other in International Business. The college was established in 1993 as a non-profit educational trust. It is located on Merrion Square in three restored Georgian houses, one of which is the former home of Oscar Wilde.
Independent College, Dawson St, Dublin 2, is among the newest private independent third-level colleges in Ireland.
Its courses include Arts, Journalism, Law, Accounting, Computing, and Psychotherapy, with a range of programmes in these areas at both undergraduate and post-graduate level, in full-time and part-time mode.
It also offers a range of management courses, including diploma courses in Event Management and in Public Relations.
Independent Colleges offer four Level 8 degree programmes, Journalism, Law, Arts and Business Studies, through the CAO system in 2011.
Grafton College of Management Sciences operates in Dublin and London, and is opening a third campus in Pakistan.
Both it and IBAT College, Swords, offer a number of business courses at both Level 8 and Level 7/6.
The National Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute of Ireland offers courses in the area of counselling, psychotherapy, addiction studies, and youth and counselling studies.
Courses in the independent private colleges are not covered by the free tuition fees scheme or third-level maintenance schemes, although students may avail themselves of tax relief on fees for most courses in these colleges.