The BEA & VTOS Student
Back to Education Allowance (BEA)
In Liberties College around 30% of all students are receiving Back to Education Allowance. These students are in any of our 35 courses who have been unemployed or in receipt of payment through the Department of Social Protection and have made a decision to return to full-time education. BEA students continue to receive all their benefits and allowances.
You can apply to most courses as a BEA Student if you are 21 years or older and

• in receipt of Job-Seekers Payment or Credits for at least 3 months before commencement date of the course
• in receipt of One Parent Family Allowance
• in receipt of Disability Allowance
• in receipt of Disability Benefit, Invalidity Payment, Widow’s/ Widower’s Payment, Dependent Claimant

How to Apply
Complete the standard college application form available from the Admissions Office. If you receive a course place offer you will meet with the College BEA/VTOS coordinator Eileen McPartland who will guide you through all additional procedures.

What are the advantages of being a BEA student?
  1. You will continue to receive social welfare payment as you do now.
  2. Since May 2014 there is no longer payment of meal and travel allowances. PLC Maintenance Grant: Up to 2009 BEA students could apply for a student maintenance grant. This is no longer so, due to changes in the 2010 Budget. For up-to-date information refer to
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
We have a small number of VTOS places, the majority of which are allocated to three dedicated VTOS (core) courses.
• Applicants for the places available must be in receipt of one of the qualifying payments for at least 6 months before commencement date of course.
• VTOS participants may be eligible for meal and travel allowances and some course expenses (incl. books and materials expenses) are covered by VTOS funding.
• VTOS participants are not eligible to apply for a student maintenance grant. (Student Universal Support Ireland SUSI)
As required by government legislation, a registration charge of €200 (in addition to the course charge) will be payable by all PLC Students.
The following categories may be exempted from paying this charge:
• Full medical card holders.
• Applicants who are over 21 years of age and who are in receipt of a Back to Education Allowance (BEA) or Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) allowance - as outlined above.
• Candidates who are eligible under the Student Grant Scheme.
• Dependent children of medical card holders.
In order to avail of a possible €200 refund, students must provide evidence of exemption prior to or at registration.
Make yourself available to new personal and career opportunities. There are times when the best way forward is to return