• QQI Special Needs Courses

    QQI Special Needs Courses

    In line with the recent Irish Government Announcement of 610 New SNA Posts from September 2015 we have just launched a new QQI Special Needs Assistant course that combines three of the most important QQI SNA Level 5 and 6 component Awards.

    QQI Modules included are: Special Needs Assisting Level 5, Children with Additional Needs Level 5 and Special Needs Assistant Level 6.

    »Click here for further details on this new combined SNA training course
  • Welcome to The Open College

    Welcome to The Open College

    The Open College is Ireland's Largest dedicated provider of QQI / FETAC awards with over 90 Levels 5 & 6 courses to choose from.

    We offer these programmes through our industry leading Distance Learning, eLearning & Attendance Learning platforms and we always aim to provide them at Market Leading prices.

    Click here for more information on our range of Industry Leading QQI courses.
  • QQI Healthcare Programmes

    QQI Healthcare Programmes

    As new Government regulations stipulate that a QQI Level 5 qualification is the minimum requirement for an individual to work within the Healthcare sector, The Open College's suite of Healthcare modules will enable participants to satisfy this requirement and avail of the employment opportunities that exist within the Care sector.

    We have over 18 QQI Healthcare Awards including our QQI validated Major Award:

    Healthcare Major Award - 5M4339 (QQI Level 5) »Click here for more information
  • QQI Montessori Major Awards

    QQI Montessori Major Awards

    The Open College is delighted to announce the launch of our brand new Major Award in Montessori with ECCE (QQI Level 6).

    This part-time distance learning ECCE with Montessori programme will enable learners to work as autonomous practitioners in an ECCE setting providing them with a broad range of theories and practice in Early Childhood Care and Education in addition to a comprehensive knowledge of the Montessori Method of Education.....

    »Click here to find out more
  • QQI Sports Major Award Launched – New

    QQI Sports Major Award Launched – New

    We are delighted to announce the launch of our newly validated QQI Level 5 Major Award in Sports, Recreation & Exercise - 5M5146.

    QQI Level 5 Modules that will be covered during this new 12 month programme include: Exercise & Fitness, Leisure Facility Administration, Leisure Facility Operations, Sports and Recreation Studies and Sports Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition, Health & Safety and man more.

    For more details please click here.....
  • All QQI component Awards from €259!

    All QQI component Awards from €259!

    Due to popular demand we are running our 50% off all component award courses for the months of November 2015.

    Special Needs Assistant Course Bundle - Combined Levels 5 & 6 - Only €685. Click here for more info...

    Other offers include Childcare & Healthcare Support Major Award programmes from only €900.

    »Click here for more Special Offers
  • QQI ECCE Levels 5/6 Childcare Enrolling Now

    QQI ECCE Levels 5/6 Childcare Enrolling Now

    The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DYCA) has extended the deadline for minimum qualifications in the Early Childhood Care & Education Sector to September 2016.

    Enrol now for our ECCE Level 5 & Level 6 programmes. Successful graduates will be qualified in time to meet the deadline and the new regulations.

    »Click here for more on all our QQI Childcare courses
  • Journalism & Writing Courses

    Journalism & Writing Courses

    Courses Available in:

    Creative Writing - 5N4765 (QQI Level 5)
    Feature Writing for Print (QQI Level 6)
    News Writing for Print (QQI Level 6)
    Print Journalism - 5N2152 (QQI Level 5)
    Writing Skills for Journalism - 5N2435 (QQI Level 5)

    »Click here for more on all our QQI Journalism courses
  • QQI Law Courses

    QQI Law Courses

    The Open College have a choice of 5 QQI Levels 5 & 6 Law courses.

    Courses Include:

    Business Law (QQI Level 5)
    Business Law (QQI Level 6)
    Criminal Law (QQI Level 5)
    Employment Law (QQI Level 6)
    Legal Studies (QQI Level 5).

    »Click here for further details on all our Law Courses


Welcome to The Open College

The Open College is Ireland's largest dedicated provider of QQI awards and was founded to offer these programmes to the general public by Distance Learning, eLearning & Attendance Learning and to provide them at Market Leading prices.

We offer a choice of over 90 QQI (formerly FETAC) Levels 5 & 6 distance learning component Certificates and Major Award programmes in a variety of categories including Business & Finance, Healthcare, Childcare, Journalism, Teaching & Special Needs, Management, Digital Media & IT, Psychology, Law, Montessori Teaching, Sports & Exercise and many more.

The QQI qualifications you can achieve through The Open College are fully recognised by employers both nationally and internationally with some awards now mandatory requirements in sectors like Childcare and Healthcare.

We are enrol all year round through our industry leading distance learning and elearning programmes. Check out our unbeatable prices and monthly special offers including our new Bundle offers on all our Distance Learning course and many more.

Attendance Courses Enrolling Now:

Early Childhood Care & Education (5M2009) - QQI / FETAC Level 5 Major Award
Healthcare Support (5M4339)- QQI / FETAC Level 5 Major Award
Train the Trainer Dublin (6N3326) - QQI Level 6
Train the Trainer Cork (6N3326) - QQI Level 6 
Training Needs Identification & Design (6N3325) - QQI Level 6

New QQI Distance Learning Course Just Launched:

Special Needs Assistant (QQI Level 5 & 6) combined

About Us

The Open College was founded to offer courses on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) to the general public by Distance Learning, eLearning & Attendance Learning and to provide these courses at affordable prices.

We are recognised as Ireland’s leading dedicated provider of QQI / FETAC award courses and this recognition is based on the quality of our course materials, the professionalism of our tutors and the exceptional value for money we offer which is why we always ask – ‘why pay more for the same course?’.

The Open College is an independent private college with many hundreds of students and over 40 staff providing over 90 QQI Levels 5 & 6 Award courses. Established in 2004 and FETAC Accredited in 2008 The Open College is a social entrepreneurial organisation with a proud record of innovation in education which has in just over three years become Ireland’s largest dedicated provider of QQI approved courses.

The Open College is also one of only seven Private Education Providers in Ireland that secure all fees paid by students and guarantee that all fees are fully bonded and protected for courses of over 3 months duration.


»Find out more About The Open College

Benefits of gaining a QQI Award with The Open College are:

Choice: We offer many Learning formats from Distance learning, eLearning, Classroom & Blended Learning.

Value: We have the Best Value in the Marketplace with our Unbeatable Course Offers - €200 off most award courses or 2 for 1 on all component awards.

Flexibility: Start our courses at any time. We enrol students throughout the year and with our Distance Learning format you can study at your own pace and anywhere that suits you.

Course Options: Majority of our courses can be completed in less than 3 months.

Support: Continuous One to One tutor support for all Leaners by fully qualified and industry experienced tutors.

Accreditation: You can continue to earn while you learn and gain an Internationally Recognised Qualification. All our Awards are Fully Validated & Approved by QQI.

Security: All student fees for our QQI / FETAC Major Award courses are fully secured and protected by a Bond.

Quality: QQI and SOLAS Approved Training Provider.

Irish Owned: We are proud members of the Guaranteed Irish movement - 'promoting Irish jobs and Irish Excellence'.

Reputation: Our reputation for quality is supported by our continued growth and expansion in the Further Education sector.

Services: We are an approved Garda Vetting Organisation and we can also cover our Learners Insurance requirements while out on Work Placements if required.

Transparency: We always publish all our course prices and inform the learners on everything they need to make the proper decision, hence our extensive and industry leading website.

About the Open College

»Click here to Request a Free Prospectus

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is a state agency established by the Quality Assurance and Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012.

QQI is an amalgamation of the previously operational Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC); the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC); the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI).

QQI are responsible for a number of areas including:

  • Developing of awards and standards
  • Validating Education and Training programmes
  • Reviewing providers of education and training
  • Maintaining the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
  • Authorising the use of the International Education Mark
  • Developing Quality Assurance
  • Facilitating Qualifications Recognition.

Qualifications, Standards, Awards, Recognition

In the area of qualifications, they are responsible for maintaining the ten-level NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications).
QQI are also an awarding body and set standards for awards we make in the NFQ.
QQI validate education and training programmes and make extensive awards in the Further Education and Training sector including in the Education and Training Boards.
QQI also make awards in Higher Education mainly to learners in private providers. The universities and institutes of technology largely make their own awards.
They also provide advice on recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland and on the recognition of Irish qualifications abroad.
As a new function of QQI, they will publish a directory of providers and awards in the NFQ.

Quality Assurance

In the area of quality assurance, they are responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of quality assurance in further and higher education providers in Ireland. This includes the universities, institutes of technology, Education and Training Boards and providers in the private further and higher education and training sectors (availing of QQI awards). They publish the outcomes of these external reviews on this its website - www.qqi.ie.

Types of QQI FET Awards

The Common Awards System makes use of the NFQ’s four main award classifications:

Major Awards
A major award is the principal class of award made at each level. It represents a significant volume of learning outcomes. Major awards usually comprise of 8 minor awards / modules. The CAS Specification for each major award lists the mandatory modules which must be completed along with the elective modules which are required to make up the overall specified credit value of the award. The default credit values for Major awards are as follows:

Level Default Credit Value
1 20
2 30
3 60
4 90
5 120
6 120

Minor Awards
Minor awards are also commonly referred to as component certificates. These awards are single modules which can be completed and certificated individually. All minor awards are linked to a major award which allows learners the opportunity to build on their minor awards and work towards gaining a major award. It is important to note that minor awards are achievements in their own right. Learners wishing to focus on one specific area or gain a specific skills e.g. Digital Marketing, Team Leadership etc. may find that completing a minor award in that area is much more appropriate that completing a major award which may be too broad to meet their specific needs. The default credit values for component awards are as follows:

Level Default Credit Value
1-2 5
3-4 10
5-6 15

Special Purpose Awards
A special purpose award is an award type developed for specific areas of learning that have a narrow scope. All special purpose awards comprise one or more components. This means that the credit value of this type of award will be higher than that of a minor award but significantly lower than a major award. An example of this type of award is the Special Purpose Awards in Training and Development 6S3372. This 30 credit special purpose award is a specific award in Training and Development and consists of two mandatory components / modules at level 6 each with a credit value of 15.

Supplemental Awards
A supplemental award is an award which recognises learning concerned with updating/up-skilling and/or continuing education and training. They are occupation related awards and they consist of one or more components. An example of this type of award is the Level 6 Supplemental Award in Gas Safety which consists of one component with a credit value of 20.

The Open College is Ireland's Largest dedicated provider of QQI FET awards by distance learning, attendance learning and eLearning. We have over 90 QQI awards on offer. To view our full catalogue of QQI Major, Minor component and Special Purpose awards please click here.....

Featured Courses

Below are some of our most popular and newly launched QQI/FETAC courses.

Request a Free 2015 Prospectus

Want to find out more about our range of QQI Courses? Click below and we will post you out our Free 2015 Prospectus which will include full details and prices on all our QQI Distance Learning, eLearning and Attendance Learning programmes.

»Click here to Request Prospectus

QQI Distance Learning Courses from The Open College