Sunday 18 August 2019

Direct Entry Courses and Private Colleges

Veronica Foo, a student on the Stage Management and Technical Theatre at Trinity’s Lir Academy
Veronica Foo, a student on the Stage Management and Technical Theatre at Trinity’s Lir Academy

Students can also go into higher education on direct entry courses that are not listed on the CAO, and anyone interested applies to the college. There is a wide range in areas including business, acting, social care and computers.

There are about 60 direct entry courses listed in the ‘courses search’ area of, a very convenient way to see what’s available.

Courses may run in either publicly-funded institutions or private colleges. The main providers are private colleges, such as Griffith College in Dublin, Limerick and Cork, and DBS in Dublin.

A large number of courses are still accepting applications.

An example in the publicly-funded sector is a Level 8 Stage Management and Technical Theatre at Trinity’s Lir Academy, for those who wish to pursue a career in theatre, TV or film. It covers training in technical aspects such as lighting and costume as well as business and setting up and running a company.   

Other examples abound.  Another  is  the Level 7 in Agricultural Mechanisation in IT Tralee  It will be accepting applications until Friday, August 16.

Meanwhile,  Limerick IT offers a number of Level 6, 7 and 8 programmes across its  campuses in Limerick, Thurles and Clonmel, with progression to  a degree level programmes possible upon successful completion of a Level 6.  ​

In the private sector. as well as traditional courses, Griffith College has an Earn and Learn initiative in collaboration with leading employers, including the Central Bank. It is aimed at school-leavers who want to enter the workplace immediately while studying part-time for a degree.

Many of these colleges will be holding open days in the coming weeks.

Typically, fees for a private college are around €5,000, although many are less. They are tax deductible at the rate of 20pc and with the ‘student contribution’ at €3,000 in public sector colleges, more and more families are finding that attending a local private college may be more affordable than moving away from home  for third-level study.

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