• QQI Courses Enrolling Now

    QQI Courses Enrolling Now

    Gain the skills that employers are looking for with flexible part-time QQI accredited distance learning programmes.

    Complete an accredited online programme from the comfort of your own home with Ireland's Largest provider of QQI Online Distance Learning Courses.

    Over 100 fully accredited part-time courses available in: Healthcare, Childcare, Special Needs Assisting (SNA), Business, Psychology, Law, Sports and many more.

    Click here to view our full range of courses.
  • Online QQI SNA Courses

    Online QQI SNA Courses

    In line with Government announcement of 1,100 additional SNA Posts in 2023 we are enrolling now for our online QQI Special Needs Assistant combined course.

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

    All 3 QQI Modules for only €790! Easy Payment Plans also available.

    »Click here for further details
  • Online Healthcare Assistant Courses

    Online Healthcare Assistant Courses

    QQI Level 5 Healthcare Courses enrolling now. The Open College's suite of part-time Online Care Assistant (HCA) modules will enable participants avail of the current employment opportunities that exist within the Irish Care sector.

    We deliver over 18 online QQI Healthcare Courses including our QQI Healthcare Assistant Major Award.
  • Online QQI Childcare Courses

    Online QQI Childcare Courses

    We have over 20 QQI Early Childcare and Special Needs modules to choose from.

    Including the two ECCE Major Award programmes which are now mandatory requirements in the Childcare sector.

    These include Advanced Early Childhood Care & Education 6M2007 and Early Childhood Care & Education 5M2009.

    »Click here for further details on all our QQI Childcare Awards
  • Degree Programmes – Sept 2023

    Degree Programmes – Sept 2023

    We are delighted to announce the launch of our next intake for our comprehensive fully Online Degree programme – BA (Hons) in Health & Social Care.

    Commencing again in September 2023 this online three year BA (Hons) Degree aims to facilitate knowledge of professional health and social care practice with consideration to both the theoretical knowledge and professional competencies which underpin the role of the health & social care practitioner.

    Find out more........
  • Business & Management

    Business & Management

    The Open College have over 25 QQI distance learning Business and Management courses to choose from.

    Courses include: Business Management, eBusiness, Finance, Communications, Customer Service, HR, Economics, Project Management and many more.

    Flexible Learning - Courses from only €295 - Easy Payments Available.

    »Click here for our full range of QQI Business & Management Courses
  • QQI Sports & Leisure Courses

    QQI Sports & Leisure Courses

    Have you checked out our new QQI Level 5 Major Award in Sports, Recreation & Exercise - 5M5146.

    QQI Level 5 modules that we offer through this distance learning 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 many more.

    For more details please click here.....
  • Special Offers

    Special Offers

    Never mind Black Friday or Cyber Monday here's to Gold December from The Open College.

    To celebrate the festive season we're giving away an extra 5% off our QQI Courses on top of all our existing Special offers. Amazing value courses now from €245.

    Use the Coupon Code: GoldDecember while checking out on any orders or while enrolling over the phone.


Welcome to The Open College

The Open College is Ireland's largest provider of Online Distance Learning Courses accredited by QQI. We have successfully educated and awarded in excess of 19,000 students with QQI qualifications over the last number of years.

Open all year round and enrolling on all our courses throughout the year, we deliver industry leading flexible part-time programmes and education choices utilising a variety of delivery methods that include Distance Learning, eLearning & Attendance Learning and provide these QQI courses at market leading prices with flexible payment options on all courses. 

Our range of courses offer more opportunities than ever before with a choice of over 90 Online QQI (formerly FETAC) Certificates and Major Award programmes and undergraduate Degree Programmes in a variety of categories including:  
We are fully accredited and approved to offer awards which are part of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications, which is overseen by the Irish Department of Education. The QQI qualifications you can achieve through The Open College are recognised by employers both nationally and internationally. 

Click here to view our full range of QQI Online and Attendance Learning training courses.....

About Us

The Open College was founded in 2004 to offer courses on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) to the general public by Distance Learning, eLearning & Attendance Learning.

The Open College is widely recognised as Ireland's leading and largest private provider of Online QQI award courses. We have successfully educated and awarded in excess of 16,000 students with QQI qualifications over the last number of years.

We are an independent college with more than 60 highly qualified staff comprising: the Board of Management, Independent President, Course Directors, Tutors and Administrative Personnel who deliver and supply over 90 QQI Levels 5 & 6 courses with many thousands of students certified each year.

All Open College courses of over 3 months in duration are bonded and protected which provides confidence and security to all learners that their fees are fully protected.

Open all year round, we offer a flexible choice of learning formats: Attendance Learning, Blended learning and our renowned Distance learning/eLearning programmes. These offer invaluable options for independent study, informal learning and varied communication channels with one to one tutor support.

»Find out more About The Open College

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

Size: We are Ireland's largest QQI accredited Distance learning course provider. We have successfully educated and awarded over 19,000 students with QQI qualifications during the last number of years.

Choice: We offer an extensive range of courses through flexible Learning formats from Distance learning, eLearning, Classroom & Blended Learning. Our range of courses offer more opportunities than ever before with a choice of over 90 QQI Levels 5 & 6 component Certificates and Major Award programmes in a variety of categories.

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

Value: We offer the Best Education Service and Value in the FET sector.

Services: We are an approved Garda Vetting Organisation. The Open College also cover our Learners Insurance requirements while out on Work Placements and all at no extra cost!

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

Study Support: Continuous One to One tutor support for all our learners 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 Major Award courses are fully secured and protected by a Bond.

Quality: QQI and SOLAS Approved Training Provider.

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

Transparency: We always publish all our course prices and inform our learners on everything they need to make the proper and informed 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.....

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