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Flexible Learning FAQs

What is Flexible Learning?

The Flexible Learning Department in TUS provides training, continued professional development and education programmes to individuals and for industry.

Our programmes range from Level 6, right up to Masters Level 9. These programmes are part-time, flexible and suitable for professional development to upskill and enhance your career prospects. The majority of these part-time programmes are delivered during the evening to facilitate workers and participants with family commitments.

The Department of Flexible Learning works in partnership with industry and employers in the Mid-West region to identify skills needs and areas for educational development. To date we have collaborated with some of the leading companies in the Mid-West to deliver tailored upskilling programmes to suit their employee’s needs. These programmes can range from short term Special Purpose Awards to address a specific skill need, to longer-term programmes. Delivery methods are flexible in nature and can be a combination of online, on-site, day release, evening classes or weekend workshops.

To discuss how your organisation can collaborate with the Department of Flexible Learning, please contact:

Head of Flexible Learning

Dr. Órlaith Borthwick



t: +353 61 293802

Academic Information

  • What is major/minor/special purpose/degree/diploma etc. award?

    A Major Award is normally a Higher Certificate (120 Credits), Ordinary Degree (180 Credits) or Honours Degree Programme (240 Credits).

    A Minor Award is an award which provides recognition for learners who achieve a range of learning outcomes, but not the specific combination or volume of learning outcomes required for a major award.

    Special Purpose Awards (SPA’s) are standalone and have a distinct identity which reflects their clearly defined purpose.  A SPA will always be smaller than a Major Award in terms of total number of credits and duration.  SPA’s can range on a scale from Level 6 to 8 and between 10 and 40 credits.

  • What does Level mean in the course description?

    The Level of your award links to the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).  This is a nationally agreed framework which allows education providers to match the level of their academic programme with the demands of the qualification.  For example the Level 5 Certificate is a Level 5 award.  The Level also reflects the amount of independent work and analysis that you are expected to do with this increasing as you move up the various levels.  Details of the NFQ can be found at

    Normally you can consider that a programme/module at

    • Level 6 will have content and being delivered in a way which is similar to that in a first or second year of a 4 year degree programme
    • Level 7 will have content and being delivered in a way which is similar to that in third year of a 4 year degree programme
    • Level 8 will have content and being delivered in a way which is similar to that of a final year of a 4 year degree programme
  • What are ECTS credits?

    ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer System and has been developed in line with the Bologna Accord.  This allows for your credits gained in an Irish HEI to be recognised throughout the world. See for details.  In LIT we normally have 5 Credit or 10 Credit modules.

  • What is the difference between a module/programme award?

    A module is a particular unit of study on a particular topic e.g. Maths or Web Development 1.  Each module has a number of credits and a defined schedule for delivery.  A programme is made up of one or more modules and a student completes the individual modules to complete a programme e.g Higher Diploma in Business Management or Certificate in Near Zero Energy Buildings.  The Award is what the student receives having completed their full programme of study e.g. Pass or Distinction.

  • What is the difference between a City & Guilds Award and any other award?

    LIT is an approved City & Guilds Centre.  LIT provides the modules, completes the majority of assessments and facilities examinations.  Exams are set by City & Guilds and held on the LIT Campus.  Students receive a City & Guilds Award and credits these programmes can be used to apply for a entrance onto programmes in LIT or other Higher Education Institutes.  Full details on the City & Guilds Programmes are available at

Application and Registration

  • Are there any discounts available?

    There are no discounts available on programme fees in general.  If you receive funding from a particular agency, your employer or via a funding programme e.g. Springboard this is normally termed as being Sponsored.  The Flexible Learning Department will arrange with you and the Sponsor in relation to payment of fees. Some programmes are approved for Springboard funding or sometimes other forms of funding through Skillnet groups. If a course is approved for funding this will be stated on the fees section of the course website page.

  • How do I apply for my programme?

    The application process for each programme is different. Some programmes can be applied for online, others require the download and submission of an application form via email or post. You should check the website page for the programme you are interested in for details on how to apply.

  • My course dates are not yet currently available. What should I do?

    If your course dates are not yet set on our site make sure to register your interest by emailing

  • Where can I order my student card?

    You will find information HERE on how to order your Student Card and how to upload your Image for your Student ID card through Microsoft Office 365.

Finance and Funding

  • How can I apply for tax relief for my programme fees?

    Tax relief is available at the standard rate of income tax for tuition fees paid by or on behalf of students who attend an approved programme of study which must be at least two years in duration. Further information and an application form for tax relief on tuition fees is available from the Revenue Commissioners’ website, A receipt for fees paid must accompany the completed application form.

  • Is there funding available for flexible learning programmes?

    Students are advised to review or contact the Dept. of Social Protection or Local Employment Services who may be able to provide assistance. Some programmes are approved for Springboard funding or sometimes other forms of funding through Skillnet groups. If a course is approved for funding this will be stated on the fees section of the course website page.

  • What are the fees for my programme?

    The fees for each programme are listed on the page for each programme. Search for your programme of study using the search function on this website and you will see the fee information on the course page.

Online/Blended Learning Programmes

  • How is the online content delivered?

    On-line content normally includes a mixture on recorded lectures, on-line resources for review by the student, on-line discussion forums and other collaborative means which allow for student interaction.  Some programmes may include live webinars where both the lecturer and students engage in live, synchronous discussions and exchanges.

  • What is the difference between online and blended learning?

    An on-line programme normally has over 80% of the content delivered fully on-line and there is limited actual ‘class time’ where students meet each other, and their lecturer(s) in person.  Blended learning programmes can have between 20-80% of the content delivered on-line with the remaining involving either lectures/practicals/tutorials delivered at one of LIT’s campuses.

  • What type of computing equipment do I need to complete an online programme?

    If you are doing an on-line/blended learning programme you will need regular access to a computer/laptop which has the following characteristics:

    • Operating System (Windows or Mac) which includes programmes such as MS Word and MS Excel (or similar)
    • Has a robust internet connection. Ideally this should be a broadband connection which will facilitate downloading content, viewing of video e.g. on YouTube or within the VLE, and uploading of documents (assignments) to the VLE
    • Has a set of Headphones or high quality speakers which can be used to listen to recorded content (lecturers etc.)

    Other optional requirements may include:

    • Access to a webcam which may be used for live webinars
    • Has the capacity to have other relevant software installed which may be indicated as being relevant by the lecturer.
    • Printer to print relevant materials

Recognition of Prior Learning

  • What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

    Recognition of Prior Learning is the generic term for systems such as Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) or Advanced Academic Standing which are used within Higher Education to describe the awarding of credit to applicants on the basis of demonstrated learning that has occurred prior to admission. The philosophy underlying RPL is to enable and encourage people to enter or re-enter formal education, leading to qualifications, by awarding exemptions or recognising credit for what they already know from the programme curriculum. The onus is on the applicant to demonstrate the prior learning, by preparing and submitting adequate evidence, under the guidance and advice of the institution.

    There are two main categories within RPL:

    1. Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL): the awarding of exemptions for un- certificated learning gained from experience. It should be noted that exemptions can be awarded only for achievement of learning outcomes, not experience per se.
    2. Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL): the recognition of formal learning for which certification has been awarded through a bona-fide educational institution or other education/training provider. Under the principle that such credit should only be awarded once, such prior learning requires recognition rather than accreditation.
  • What is the process of RPL?

    Full details of the process of RPL are available here.

Study and Workload

  • Do I need my own computer or laptop?

    Only if you are studying on-line/blended learning programmes is a computer absolutely necessary.  However, most programmes do provide notes via the Institutes Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) and often you have to submit assignments and assessments in electronic format.  Access to a computer would be beneficial for most programmes.

  • How much self-study should I plan for?

    Normally a 5 credit module equates to 100 Total Learning Hours.  Total Learning Hours includes the time you spend in class (lectures, tutorials, practicals) and the time you spend completing work outside of college.  So if you have 3 hrs per week of class time for a module you should plan to spend at least another 4 hours per week doing your own study.

    You should bear in mind that the workload will increase at particular times e.g. when assignments are due.

  • What is the difference between lectures, tutorials and practicals?

    A Lecture normally involves the lecturer providing information to you in various formats (presentation, reviewing book chapters etc.) and there can be limited interaction/discussion on the topic.

    Tutorials are used to explore topics in a more interactive way.  This may include problem solving, reviewing particular formulae, discussions on particular topics etc.

    Practical are normally in a lab environment (computer, science, engineering etc.) are involve demonstration of a technology/software/method and allow for students to learn new skills and competences.

  • Will I have access to the library?

    Students can access the Institutes’ Library once they are a registered student via the LIT Student Portal.