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Further Education and Training - Progression Pathways

Further Education and Training

Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain, but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon - Ikkyu ̅

Equity of access to higher education has always been a priority. We know that to truly serve our stakeholders we must facilitate communities in creating their own future in education. We aim to provide many educational pathways to ensure all can reach their peak. 

Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS)

TUS has long recognised and accredited skills and knowledge obtained by learners on further education and training (FET) programmes. We participate in HELS, established to give learners the opportunity to use their Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Level 5 or 6 major award to apply, through the CAO, for a place in the first year of a higher education programme. 

Applicants MUST check both the individual Higher Education institution and the CAO websites to ensure they meet any special or essential requirements specified. Once all of the above requirements have been met, a learner can apply for a place on the linked higher education programme. 

The learner is then assessed as part of the normal CAO application process on the basis of FET QQI points.

See How To Apply - Year 1 below for full details of HELS.  

FET Progression Pathways

In addition to HELS, TUS has established links with several partner Colleges of Further Education. We offer preferential entry to applicants who hold a QQI L5 or 6 major award from one of our partner colleges, given that the applicant satisfies the certain entry criteria. 

  • Eligible applicants are given additional points or, in many cases, are guaranteed a place in Year 1 of their chosen programme.
  • Offers to applicants under the FET Progression Pathways Scheme are made in advance of Round 1, which gives more time to organise accommodation and make travel arrangements.
  • Any QQI L5 or 6 major award from partner Colleges of Further Education is eligible for consideration for a place on any TUS programme. The award does not have to be in the cognitive area. 
  • All TUS programmes welcome applications under the FET Progression Pathways Scheme, some programmes may have additional requirements such as: art portfolio assessment, interview, Garda vetting, etc. 
  • Applicants with a QQI FET Level 6 award in a cognitive area may be eligible for advanced entry into Year 2 of relevant programmes.

Further Education providers who wish to discuss a Progression Agreement with TUS are invited to contact our Director of Progression Pathways: Maura.Clancy@lit.ie

More Information

  • How to Apply - Year 1
    How to apply for consideration under the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) for Year 1 entry:
    • Eligibility requires a full Level 5 or Level 6 major award, with at least 120 credits. 
    • Components (minor awards), or achievement of less than 120 credits, will not suffice for progression under the HELS.
    • Any QQI L5 or 6 major award from any FET college/provider is eligible for consideration for a place on any TUS programme. The award does not have to be in the cognitive area. 
    • 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 grade in specific components, additional award requirements such as mathematics, that all credits used for scoring purposes are achieved in one ‘single sitting’, art portfolio assessment, etc. 
    • You can calculate your score using the free online points calculator at: www.careersportal.ie/qqi/
    • 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 calculated and the results are forwarded to the CAO in July of each year.
    • The learner is then assessed as part of the normal CAO application process on the basis of FET QQI points.
    • Successful applicants will receive an offer through the CAO at Round 1. 

    Further details on HELS can be found at: Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) (qqi.ie)

    For a detailed listing of TUS programmes, the essential major award and components of that award see: www.cao.ie/index.php?page=fetac_search2

    How to apply for consideration under TUS FET Progression Pathways for Year 1 entry:
    • Check the list of LIT FET partner colleges to ensure your FET college is part of the scheme. Your FET college will also advise and guide you on this. 
    • Check the specific entry criteria for the chosen programme(s) to ensure eligibility. For example, number of distinctions required, level of mathematics required, art portfolio, etc.
    • Apply to the CAO for Year 1 entry to the chosen TUS programme(s) for 2022. The CAO application deadline is 1 February 2022 with a late deadline of 1 May 2022 for non-restricted programmes. 
    • Inform your FET college of your application. Each FET partner college must contact Admissions at TUS with details of their eligible learners, including learners’ CAO numbers. This enables TUS to identify eligible learners and ensure they benefit under the scheme. 
    • Successful applicants will receive an offer through the CAO at Round 0 (early August).
  • Partner FET Colleges
    Limerick
    • Limerick College of Further Education
    • Central College Limerick
    • Colaiste Mhuire, Askeaton
    Clare
    • Ennis College of Further Education 
    • Ennistymon Vocational School    
    Tipperary
    • Colaiste Mhuire Thurles    
    • Clonmel Technical Institute
    • Nenagh Vocational School    
    • Templemore College of Further Education    
    Cork
    • Mallow College of Further Education
    • St. John Central College Cork    
    • Colaiste Stiofain Naofa College of Further Education
        
    Galway
    • Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) Galway City
    • Galway Community College
    • Galway Technical Institute    
    Waterford
    • Waterford College of Further Education    
    Laois
    • Abbeyleix Further Education Centre
  • Partner Education and Training Boards/Schemes
    Education and Training Boards
    • Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB)
    • Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB)
    Education and Training Schemes
    • Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)    
    • Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
    Relevant Publications, Brochures and Websites

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