Progression to Higher Education

Progression to Universities & Institutes of Technology (IoTs)

Courses in this prospectus are at Levels 5 and 6. Courses in Universities and IoTs are at Levels 7 and 8. All Universities and IoTs accept growing numbers of applications on the basis of performance in FETAC Level 5 assessments. In many cases holders of the FETAC Advanced Certificate (Level 6) may apply for advanced entry.

UK institutions are open to applications and offer advanced entry to holders of Edexcel HND qualifications. Progression opportunities for FETAC graduates are growing each year. There are now real and substantial opportunities for PLC students to progress to third level.

A Few Basics:

• Learners working towards FETAC Awards may apply for places in Higher Education courses through CAO, as Leaving Certificate students do.
• Some PLC courses have links that allow students to apply directly to enter the second year of a university/ IoT course.
• Some Liberties College courses have made agreements that enable a student to apply to enter the third year of a university/IoT course.
• Mature students (over 23 years) and Access programme students may apply directly for places through routes defined by each institution.

Requirements for entry to higher education courses are set by the Admissions Office of each institution. FETAC offers guidelines on CAO provides detailed information at (click on student resources for FETAC information).

The Pilot Scheme (CAO):

Nineteen HE institutions allow applicants to apply through CAO for places across a range of courses, using a points system like the Leaving Certificate. Again, a full Award is required and there are minimum requirements. The Pilot Scheme awards points on the scale: Distinction – 50 pts; Merit – 35 pts; Pass – 20 pts., so an applicant with 8 Distinctions will have 400 points, and so on.


Universities and IoTs are asked to recruit at least 15% of their intake from a mix of categories – mature applicants, disadvantaged, special needs and so on. They are also keen themselves to find students who can take up places in the second or third year of courses. Admissions Offices offer entry routes for all these places and usually accept direct (i.e. not via CAO) applications. Examples of access routes from Liberties College are:

• Edexcel HND students (Media) may apply for advanced entry (second year) to UK Universities and to many IoTs. An agreement with the University of Wolverhapmton enables qualified HND graduates to enter the third year of designated degree programmes.
• HE Access course students may apply directly to Trinity College (Arts/Social Science) and to other universities using the Higher Education Access Route.
• Mature students of Youth and Community Work may apply to NUIM for admission (with credit) to the BA in Youth and Community Work.

Further Information

A large number of courses in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have a reserved quota of places for applicants presenting FETAC Level 5 and Level 6 Awards. Such applicants compete for these places separately from all other applicants. Application for Higher Education courses are made through the CAO and applicants are ranked based on their performance in the eight modules that make up their award. Students must have attained the FULL Level 5/6 FETAC major Award. A full FETAC major award normally contains 8 components. A Component Certificate will not suffice. In many cases, to be eligible, students must obtain a minimum of 5 distinctions in their award. Certain courses within the HEIs may require specific achievements in particular specific modules, (e.g. Distinction or Merit or Pass) within the FETAC level 5/6 major award. Some courses may require a minimum set of achievements, e.g. 5 Distinctions. Applicants should consult the prospectus of each individual Higher Education college and the FETAC section of the CAO website for details of such specific requirements. page=studentresources Notwithstanding the minimum entry requirements mentioned above, relevant cognate courses and/or specific pre-requisite FETAC modules may be required for some courses in higher education. Details of FETAC awards which allow for such progression are shown in the prospectus of each individual Higher Education college.

Some examples:

1. Liberties College Social Studies students complete the FETAC Level 5 Award Code 5M2181. This award is the cognate award for entry, through the FETAC system, to:

• Social Science, NUIM, MH107
• Social Science, UCD, DN550
• Social Care, DIT, DT571
• Social Care Practice, ITT, TA025
• Applied Social Studies in Social Care, ITB, BN107

2. Liberties College Liberal Arts students complete FETAC Level 5 Award Code 5M3114. This award allows for progression, through the FETAC system, to:

• Arts degrees in NUIM, MH101
• Arts degrees in UCD, DN500.
• Arts in NUIM, MH101
• Arts in NUIM, DN500
• Politics in NUIM, MH112
• Anthropology in NUIM, MH111,
• Contemporary Culture and Society in DCU, DC238
• International Relations in DCU, DC231
• English Media and Culture Studies in IADT, DL821
• Applied Psychology in IADT, DL825
• Education, Religion and English(Second Level Concurrent Teaching degree)in Mater Dei, MD201
• Education, Religion and History (Second Level Concurrent Teaching degree)in Mater Dei, MD301
• Arts in Mater Dei, MD500

Applicants are advised that further, more detailed information about progression using a FETAC award can be found on the CAO website. page=studentresources

Examples of Student Progression from Liberties College in 2013

No. of students FETAC Course completed Course Level College
25 Liberal Arts 8 TCD UCD NUI, Maynooth DCU UCC St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra National College of Ireland
9  Trinity ACCESS 8 TCD WIT Griffith College 
23 Applied Social Studies 8 TCD NUI, Maynooth IT, Tallaght IT, Blanchardstown
7 Health Care Assistant 8 TCD Dundalk IT
9 Montessori & Childcare 8 DIT CIT
13 Youth & Communty Developement 8 NUI, Maynooth
8 Art Portfolio 8 NCAD DIT
4 Media HND-Edexcel 8 UK Universities * advanced entry
3 Advanced Actor Training 8 LIR Academy, TCD

Mature Students

Mature students are particularly welcome in Liberties College. Universities and Institutes of Technology recruit at least 15% of their allocation from mature applicants. Mature students (over 23 years) may apply directly for such places through the routes defined by each institution. Mature students in Liberties College receive much support and benefit from specific workshops arranged to assist with the application procedure to third level. Our mature graduates have gone on to study Social Science in NUI, Maynooth and UCD, Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy in Trinity College, Nursing in Trinity College, Contemporary Culture and Society in DCU and various Arts programmes within the University sector.

UK Institutions

UK Institutes are open to applications with FETAC Awards. Applicants wishing to apply to 1st. year may apply as EU candidates through UCAS -the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service in the UK. UK colleges may allow advanced entry to holders of Edexcel HND qualifications for example: Liberties College Edexcel HND students (Media) may apply for advanced entry (second year) to UK universities and to many Institutes of Technology. An agreement with the University of Wolverhampton enables qualified HND graduates to enter third year of designated degree programmes.