Free part-time and conversion courses

From May 2019 Springboard+ offers over 9,000 free places on 288 courses leading to awards at certificate, degree and post-graduate level. The majority of courses are part-time for a maximum of 12 months and are open to all eligible applicants whether they are Employed, Unemployed or a Returner. However, restrictions may apply for Unemployed applicants for 2 Year Part-time ICT Skills Conversion Courses.

The following are eligible to apply for courses in 2019/20 academic year (subject to the applicant meeting all requirements, e.g. academic requirements):

  • Returners
    • May apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria.
  • People in employment
    • May apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria.
  • The unemployed or formerly self-employed
    • All courses are open to these category of applicants, with the exception of the two year part-time ICT conversion courses which are not open to those in receipt of a Jobseekers-related payment

Graduate with skills in growing sectors

All courses lead to qualifications in enterprise sectors which are growing and need skilled personnel, including information and communications technology (ICT); manufacturing; international financial services; and key skills for enterprise to trade internationally. Qualifications are also available in cross-enterprise skills such as innovation, enterprise/entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and project management.

Keep your social protection supports

Most Springboard+ courses are part-time, enabling you to keep social protection supports. However, a number of the courses available are ICT Conversion courses, which can be one year full-time or two year part-time. In relation to the one year full-time courses those who are in receipt of a Jobseekers payment and satisfy Department of Social Protection criteria of being in receipt of a payment for 9 of the previous 12 months can apply for the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). In relation to the two year part-time ICT Conversion courses, those who are in receipt of a Jobseekers payment, or a Farm Assist payment, or a Qualified Adults of Working Age payment are not eligible for these two year courses. Please see Am I Eligible? for more details.