In addition to the universities and the Institutes of Technology, there are a number of different colleges in Ireland. They belong to two categories: On the one hand there are the Colleges of Education and on the other hand there are other independent colleges with different orientations.
Colleges of Education
The colleges of education are in government hands. They train teachers for the first years of school. Within three years, students can complete a Bachelor of Education and then obtain a postgraduate diploma.
If you want to become a teacher at a secondary school, you must be trained at a university or other higher education institution. For this profession, a Higher Diploma in Education is required after the Bachelor’s degree, which requires one year of academic performance.
Some colleges of education also specialize in specific subject areas and only train teachers in certain areas such as home economics, sports or religion.
Private colleges in Ireland
In addition to the state colleges in Ireland, there are also independent colleges that are privately owned and funded by tuition fees. Usually they are professionally oriented and specialize in areas such as theology, design, hotel management, administration and others. This includes, for example, the Dublin Business School, which focuses on business. The Griffith College Dublin other hand, offers a wide range of subjects to study.
Some of the degrees awarded at colleges are recognized by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). QQI is responsible for maintaining and further developing the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). It measures the quality standards of the Irish higher education landscape.
Other degrees from private colleges are partially recognized by foreign universities with which they have entered into a partnership. But there are also courses of study that have no validation whatsoever.
Course Choice During a Semester Abroad in Ireland
An important part of preparing for a semester abroad in Ireland is course selection – after all, it is up to the students to determine what they learn during their time at university or college. In addition to the content, it also depends on the temporal compatibility, later creditability and other factors.
In order to select the best courses for themselves from the wide range of courses offered by Irish universities, students need some information beforehand, which is briefly summarized here.
The course choice in Ireland
Irish universities typically have digital course catalogs for international students to use to choose courses for their semester abroad in Ireland. To learn more about the country of Ireland and continent of Europe, please follow sportsqna. These are arranged according to study areas.
Usually, students submit their desired course list together with their application. It should be noted that this is only a non-binding overview. The university will most likely not give any feedback on this, but in this way it can better assess the demand for certain courses and tailor their offers accordingly.
A regular semester workload in Ireland is 30 ECTS points. As a rule, five to ten ECTS points can be earned per course. Most students choose four courses.
Flexibility is important
The students only make a binding enrollment on site. It can of course happen that the desired courses overlap, are no longer offered or are already full. Therefore, the students should be flexible and not be disappointed if it doesn’t work, because there is almost always an alternative.
For international students, often not all courses that are on the curriculum are offered for a semester stay. Courses with restricted admission, such as those in the medical field, are usually reserved for those who complete a full degree in order to preserve their chance of a place in the course. Interested parties will certainly find other suitable courses in the diverse range.
Those interested can find further information on choosing a course during their semester abroad in Ireland in the experience reports of other international students.
Tips for choosing a course during your semester abroad in Ireland
- It makes sense not to take too many courses as they are relatively labor-intensive. In most cases there is compulsory attendance, as participation is also relevant to the grade. The completion of a course generally consists of a project work.
- Students should plan enough free time to get to know the country and its people. However, recipients of BAföG abroad must ensure that they meet the criteria for full-time study in order to remain eligible for funding.
- Some courses are scheduled for a full academic year. Each student has to decide for himself whether it makes sense to take this for just one semester.
Advantages for German students when choosing a course during a semester abroad in Ireland
Thanks to the proximity to Germany, communication with the Irish universities to plan the course selection is easy, as there is no major time difference.
There is also the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), which standardizes the evaluation of academic achievements within Europe. This means that complicated conversions of credit points and other services are usually no longer necessary.
Recognition of academic achievements
In most cases, crediting the work done at the home university is no problem thanks to ECTS. In the run-up to the semester abroad, students conclude a Learning Agreement between their home university and the Irish university, in which the eligibility of the chosen courses is confirmed.
This also applies to universities without university status such as the Institutes of Technology. The QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) takes care of quality assurance and makes it possible for the work to be credited through ECTS.
In general, however, the following should be noted: The students must definitely seek individual advice in advance in order to ensure that their academic achievements will also be recognized afterwards.