Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. As the majority of our courses can be completed by online distance learning and from your own home, The Open College is open and enrolling students. Click here for more information on all our available courses.
All the QQI and Degree awards are recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications in Ireland, UK and Europe. These awards are also recognised Internationally. For a full list of our programmes please click here.
- Convenience of learning at home, place of work or other preferred locations.
- Option to customise the learning, ability measure your progress, flexibility and part-time.
- Access is available around the clock.
- Ability to be able to learn at your own pace.
- Access is available across all devices – PC, Laptops, iPads & all Smartphones or if you do not wish to access all the content online we can also print and post the course content to you.
- One very important aspect of learning with The Open College is the Tutor Support provided:
- The Open College have over 40 Tutors across all course categories that work Monday – Friday.
- Through our multiple communication channels you can message your Tutor with your query and they will message, call or text you a reply.
- Support throughout your study – as much or as little as you like.
- Academic Writing & Plagiarism support tools / resources are made available.
- Draft Assessment submissions and detailed feedback.
- Fair & Transparent Marking and Feedback on final results.
Yes. All our distance learning courses can be paid for over a three, six or 10 month period (depending on course length).
We may also at certain times during the year run extra Easy Payment offers on all our Major Awards (Childcare, Healthcare, Montessori & Business) in which payments can be spread over 10 months. Terms and Conditions may apply. Please click here for further details.
Yes. People on Social Welfare Benefits & Jobseekers wishing to participate on The Open College’s extensive range of training courses, may be eligible to avail of Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) funding or Technical Employment Support Grant (TESG) funding to facilitate their entry to a particular training programme.
The allocation of funding for participation on our courses, will be solely at the discretion of the DSP – Social Welfare facilitator and will be dependent upon the availability of funding at the time of application and the applicant’s ability to satisfy the eligibility criteria.
Occasionally employers fund courses fully or partially. Local Charitable Organisations may assist with fee contributions, if approached.
In order to make an application for funding for your desired course from Department of Social Protection the following steps need to be completed:
- Please print off the course details of interest to you.
- Arrange an appointment with a DSP facilitator in your local Department of Social Welfare office to check your eligibility for funding.
- During the meeting with your DSP job facilitator please inform them that completing the training course forms a key element of your back to work plan.
- Provide the Facilitator with the course brochure and request funding to participate on the training course.
- If you are successful in obtaining funding, your Facilitator will provide you with funding forms for us to fill out.
- Please post these forms to The Open College where they will be completed, signed and returned to your local social welfare office
- If you are successful in obtaining funding please contact us to secure your place on the next available course.
For modules or component single awards students have up to 8 weeks to complete.
For Major Awards (8 Modules), students must be complete these within 12 months.
The recommended time for completion of all individual components is 8 weeks, within these 8 weeks about 16 – 18 hrs of study a week is expected.
This would meet Study and completion of Assessment Requirements.
The benefit of Online courses is that you as the learner are in control of your time whether is it during the week or at the weekend during each of the 8 weeks allotted to complete the award.
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.
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|
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|
For a full list of our programmes please click here.
The hours can be completed in blocks or over the duration of the programme. Each course page will detail if a workplacement is required under the section – “Programme Entry Requirements”. If you are unsure if your selected course requires a placement please contact us on 01 206 1828.
A student would be pushed to finish a major award any sooner than 10 months. This will require the student to complete more hours per week above the 15-18 hours normally set. The 15 – 18 hours includes a work placement of approx. 6 hours a week.
Until we have validated existing programmes to include Transnational agreements for Work Placements and External Exam sessions in other countries we are unable to allow students commence a programme unless they complete the placements and invigilated exams in Ireland. So, you can only complete our QQI accredited courses when you are living in Ireland. All other online non accredited programmes can be completed while abroad.
Yes. We have Protection for Learners for courses of more than 3 months duration. This means that if, for whatever reason, we cease to provide the programme that is over 3 months in duration which you enrolled for, we have specific and legally binding arrangements in place to finish out that programme for you at no extra cost. All Major Award course fees for programmes over 3 months in duration are fully protected and secured by a Bond.
If we cease trading those learners who have not finished their programme will be fully protected by this Bank Guarantee which will be automatically triggered and the fund that covers all Fees paid by learners will be transferred to QQI by our Bank to enable QQIprovide further study options for these leaners or the refund of fees most recently paid so that they can complete their programme and all of this will be at no extra cost to the learners affected.
Yes. Our main aim is to help you enjoy your learning experience and to successfully complete your course. You are appointed a tutor for the duration of your course. Tutors will:
- Help you understand the course content
- Assess your progress on the course through assignments
- Provide you with written feedback on your assignments
- Help you with course-related challenges.
Yes. The Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) links specific QQI Level 5 and 6 Advanced Certificates to reserved places in a variety of higher education programmes. For QQI CAO applicants there are 40 higher education institutions including universities, institutes of technology and private third level colleges offering places on a variety of courses.
In addition to the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) which links specific QQI Level 5 Certificates and some Level 6 Advanced Certificates to a number of reserved places on higher education courses, the Institutes of Technology and some higher education institutions operate an admissions criteria and scoring system for non-specific QQI Level 5 Certificate and Level 6 Advanced Certificate applicants. In addition some higher institutions may have further education requirements, so it is important that you confirm this and any other specific requirements with the CAO and the Admissions Office of the individual institutions.
For further details click below to Download a pdf version of :
Progression from QQI Level 5 Certificates and Level 6 Advanced Certificates to Higher Education Courses.
HELs Progression QQI Update:
A new scoring system has been agreed by QQI for all level 5 and 6 awards, providing access through CAO to the first year of programmes leading to awards at levels 6, 7 and 8. This will be applied from 2013.
When will I receive my Certificate? Once you have completed your course and all of the required assessment work your tutor will notify the college of your completion. Based on your course completion date you are then assigned to the next available certification period. Please contact us on 01 206 1828 or email@example.com for details on the next QQI Certification dates. Your completed assessments are then Internally Verified by The Open College before being presented to a QQI External Authenticator for moderation. Your Provisional results are issued to you following this process. QQI will then issue all certificates to The Open College which will then be sent to you at the address supplied on the during the enrolment process.
What is Internal Verification? QQI State that the Internal Verification Process involves “verifying that the provider’s assessment procedures have been applied across the range of assessment activities and confirming assessment results by checking learner evidence exists and marks and grades are recorded accurately” (www.qqi.ie)
During The Open Colleges Internal Verification process your work is reviewed by the Internal Verifier to ensure that all of the required assessments are complete. The Internal Verifier opens each assessment to check that it has been sent in correctly and that all assignments are present. A sample of your work will be checked for plagiarism using plagiarism detector software and the results will be recorded. Your work may be viewed by the External Authenticator when they visit the college as part of the External Authentication process.
What is External Authentication? QQI state that the purpose of the External Authentication process is to “ensure fairness, consistency and validity of assessment and of the outcome of assessment for learner results across each major, special purpose, or supplement award. The authentication process will ensure that QQI receive accurate and quality assured learner results.” (www.qqi.ie)
The external authenticator is an independent individual who is selected from the QQI quality assured panel of external authenticators.
The external authenticator visits the college and as part of the External Authentication process and reviews ALL of our students work and reviews the college’s assessment process. Once the the reviews are complete they then authenticate the results.
As part of QQI quality assurance procedures final grades cannot be issued to students until the Internal Verification and External Authentication is complete.
If you have any further questions on our Certification process please do not hesitate in contacting us at 01 2061828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several ways to pay your course fees. You can pay online or by cheque, credit or debit card, cash, banker’s draft or bank transfer.
Online payments can be made securely by Credit or Debit Card with all payments processed through our secure Irish Payment provider – Realex.
Cheque or Postal Order Payments
Alternatively you may post a Cheque, Postal Order or Money order made payable to The Open College, The Learning Centre, Leopardstown Business Centre, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, Ireland.
Paying by Bank Transfer
The fastest way of making payments to The Open College is by direct bank transfer. For students transferring funds directly to the College account please contact us on 01 2061828 for our account details. Please Note: Always mention your student ID whenever you make a transfer.
If you would like help, email us at email@example.com or call us at 01 206 1828 / 01 206 1829.
7 Day Refund Guarantee:
If you decide that you wish to cancel your enrolment, you may do so provided that you notify us of cancellation in writing within 7 days of enrolment stating the reasons for cancellation and that you return all Course Materials to us in their original form. A €100 administration fee is non refundable. For further details on Refunds and other Terms and Conditions please click here.
The college has a strict policy in relation to plagiarism of submitted work, and if it is established, the penalties may include resubmission of work (where the maximum grade awarded is a pass) or exclusion from the programme. Please read your student guide for detailed information on this and how to avoid plagiarism.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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