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FAQs

Application

HOW DO I APPLY?

You can apply online.  Click the “Apply Now” button which is on our website’s homepage and on every course page. You will need to have your PPS number and an email address to complete the application.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO APPLY?

Application is free!  Once you have been offered a place on your chosen course, you will have to pay an acceptance fee of €50 to confirm that you are accepting the place.

CAN MATURE STUDENTS APPLY FOR THESE COURSES?

Mature students are welcome on all our courses.  The Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for mature students and appropriate experience can be considered as being equivalent to the Leaving Certificate.

DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE COMPLETED YOUR LEAVING CERTIFICATE TO APPLY?

Each course has its own entry requirements as listed in our brochure or on our webpage for the relevant course.  In general, you must have achieved 5 passes or 5 O6/H7s or a combination of 5 O6/H7s or have achieved the LCA with a Merit profile, or have achieved a full relevant QQI Level 4 Award. However, we do consider other qualifications and life experiences.  You will have an opportunity to discuss entry requirements when you attend an Information Meeting.

CAN I APPLY FOR A COURSE IF I AM A NON-EU CITZEN?

Yes.  We advise non-EU citizens living outside Ireland to contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service on www.inisgov.ie to ensure the course you are considering applying for is eligible for a student visa.  Non-EU citizens living in Ireland are welcome to apply and require a PPS number (Personal Public Service Number).  Non-EU citizens are required to pay a tuition fee set by the Irish government which is currently €3653 (applicants who are married to an EU citizen or have a child born in Ireland or have refugee status, or have been granted leave to remain on humanitarian grounds or are asylum applicants eligible to seek work are exempt from paying this fee), other course fees will also apply.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS?

We open for applications in January each year for courses commencing in September.  We accept applications until the end of September, however, we advise you to apply early for your chosen course as places on all courses are limited.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY APPLICATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED?

You will receive an email to acknowledge your application. We will then write to you to offer you a place on your chosen course subject to you meeting the course entry requirements   You will also be invited to attend an Information Meeting where you will be given an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification on any issues.

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?

In general, you must have achieved 5 passes or 5 O6/H7s or a combination of 5 O6/H7s or have achieved the LCA with a Merit profile, or have achieved a full relevant QQI Level 4.  Mature students, who don’t have a Leaving Certificate, are welcome to apply.  For specific course entry requirements, you should check out the relevant course page in the brochure or on the website.

WILL I HAVE TO ATTEND AN INTERVIEW?

There isn’t an interview, however, once you apply you will be invited to attend the Institute for a Information Meeting where you will meet staff who will provide guidance to ensure that the course you have applied for is right for you. 

WHEN WILL I KNOW THAT I HAVE BEEN OFFERED A PLACE?

You will receive an email to acknowledge your application within a few minutes of pressing the submit button on the application form. We will then write to you to offer you a place on your chosen course subject to you meeting the course entry requirements . You should receive this letter within 10 days of submitting your application.
 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I HAVE BEEN OFFERED A PLACE ON A COURSE?

You will be required to pay the €50 acceptance fee to secure your place on your chosen course. 

WHAT DO I DO IF I WANT TO CHANGE MY FIRST PREFERENCE COURSE TO ANOTHER COURSE?

You will need to write or email us (office@bfei.ie) to let us know that you would like to change courses.  We will be happy to make this change as long as you meet the entry requirements and there are places available on the course that you wish to change to. 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I WANT TO WITHDRAW MY APPLICATION?

If you are no longer interested in taking your place, before the course commences, you should email office@bfei.ie to let us know so that we can offer your place to another applicant.

Once the course commences, if you wish to leave, you should talk to your Course Coordinator and/or a member of our Guidance Team.

Fees

WHAT FEES WILL I HAVE TO PAY?

You will have to pay an acceptance fee of €50.

In response to the cost of living crisis, we are implementing a significant reduction in fees for all domestic (EU, EEA) students undertaking a Post Leaving Cert (PLC) course in the upcoming academic year 2023-2024. All fees (exams, student services, product fees), excluding the acceptance fee of €50, have been waived.  Non EU/EEA students will be required to pay tuition and other course fees.

Please note that fees associated with the EMT optional qualification on the Pre-Paramedic Fire and Ambulance course will not be waived.  

Repeat exams and appeals fees will also apply. 

Our Fees and Refund Policy is available on our website. 

ARE THERE ANY FEE EXEMPTIONS?

Students on the VTOS scheme will be exempt from all fees.

WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY FEES?

You will be required to pay the €50 acceptance fee to accept an offer of a place on one of our courses.    

HOW DO I PAY MY FEES?

The €50 acceptance fee must be paid on-line.  To pay fees online, you will need to go our website’s homepage (www.bfei.ie) and click on the “Apply Now” button.  You will need a log in and password (these details will be listed at the top of any letter you receive from us). Once you have logged in, you can pay the acceptance fee using a laser card, debit card or credit card.   

IF I DO NOT TAKE MY PLACE IN BLACKROCK INSTITUTE, IS THE €40 ACCEPTANCE FEE REFUNDABLE?

The €50 acceptance fee is non-refundable. Our Fees and Refund Policy is available on our website.

IS THERE ANY GRANT ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS DOING FURTHER EDUCATION COURSES?

Yes.  PLC Maintenance grants are available to eligible students.  Eligibility depends on individual financial circumstances and a grant must be applied for online, through Student Universal Service Ireland (SUSI), www.susi.ie.

CAN I ATTEND AND CONTINUE TO RECEIVE SOCIAL WELFARE?

Two special programmes exist that may allow applicants who are receiving benefit attend a course and continue to receive payments. The first is called VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme) and the second is called BTEA (Back to Education Allowance).  Applicants must fulfil certain criteria to be eligible. Places are limited so early application is advisable. You should contact your local Intreo Centre (Social Welfare Office) for further information.

Mature Students

WILL I BE IN A CLASS WITH POST LEAVING CERTIFICATE STUDENTS?

Yes, however, classes tend to be me a mix of mature students and post leaving certificate students. Mature students account for over 35% of the total number of students in the Institute and on some courses, mature students account for up to 90% of the students.

WILL I BE ABLE TO KEEP UP? I HAVE BEEN OUT OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR YEARS.

As long as you commit to the course and attend regularly you should be fine. Our small class sizes ensure that students get a lot of attention and support from teachers.

HOW MANY HOURS/DAYS WILL I NEED TO ATTEND?

This varies from course to course. Some courses are timetabled 5 days a week, others are timetabled for 5 mornings a week, while others are timetabled over 4 days. On average, you can expect to be in class for 20 – 25 hours each week.

IS THERE A MORNINGS ONLY OPTION?

We offer a number of courses that are timetabled during the morning (from 8.50am until 1.00pm or 2.00pm.  Full details are on our website under the Mornings Courses link.

Progression

DO THE COURSES ALLOW FOR PROGRESSION TO HIGHER EDUCATION COURSES IN UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTES OF TECHNOLOGY?

Yes.  There is a well-established progression path for students who have achieved a full QQI certificate to progress to degree course in Higher Education intuitions.  This is known as the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS). Please note that different Higher Education institutions have different requirements in terms of what courses they accept under this scheme. 

Check out the updated BFEI CAO Progression Pathways Chart with new progression options included for TCD, NUI Maynooth and University of Limerick.  CAO data shows that many BFEI graduates from 2018/2019 secured excellent CAO offers.  Of the BFEI graduates that applied to CAO:

  • 72% received offers
  • 66.6% of those offers were at Level 8
  • UCD and TUD (City) are the most popular progression routes for BFEI graduates

General

WHEN DO CLASSES START?

Induction takes place in early September and classes commence in mid-September.

WHEN ARE THE HOLIDAYS?

The Academic Calendar is on our website www.bfei.ie.   Courses start in mid-September and continue until May.  There is an October mid-term break (1 week), a Christmas break (2 weeks), February mid-term break (1 week) and an Easter break (2 weeks).

WHEN DO I GET MY TIMETABLE?

Your timetable will be given to you at course commencement. Timetables are subject to change.

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE COMPLETED A FETAC/QQI COURSE PREVIOUSLY AND WANT AN EXEMPTION FROM SOME MODULES?

You need to talk to your Course Coordinator when classes start.

WHAT DO I DO IF I NEED TO HAVE A SOCIAL WELFARE/MEDICIAL FORM STAMPED BY THE INSTITUTE?

Forms can be given to a member of our Admin staff at the reception office downstairs.  They will be completed and stamped and can be collected when classes commence.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY DETAILS HAVE CHANGED (ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER ETC)?

You will need to write or email us (office@bfei.ie) to tell us and we will then update your record on our system.

IF I'M OUT SICK WHAT DO I DO?

You need to ring or email your Course Coordinator to let them know. Doctors’ certificates must be given to your Course Coordinator when you return.

WHEN WILL MY ASSIGNMENTS BE DUE?

You will be given an Assessment Schedule in September/October which will contain the deadline dates for your assignments. The schedule will be updated in January/February for assignments due later in the academic year.

DO I ORGANISE MY OWN WORK EXPERIENCE IF ITS A MANDATORY PART OF MY COURSE?

Yes, you will organise your own work placement. Your Work Experience teacher will assist you.

WHEN ARE THE RESULTS OUT?

Results will be posted usually in July.  Results will not be given over the phone. Students taking QQI courses will be issued with provisional results in mid-May.

WHEN IS GRADUATION?

Graduation takes place in late May in the O’Reilly Hall in UCD. Eligible graduates will be invited in mid May. 

HOW DO I ARRANGE TO SEE A GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR?

You can contact the Counsellors by:

  • Requesting an appointment by booking online

WILL MY ATTENDANCE AFFECT MY RESULTS?

Your attendance will affect your results in that you will miss out on elements of the assignments that your teacher requires. It is difficult to get a proper ‘feel’ for the coursework just from your teachers’ notes.   Class discussions play a big part in the learning process. It is vital to have good attendance in order to get the best result you can.

IS THERE PARKING AT THE INSTITUTE?

We are located on the Main Street in Blackrock.  The Institute does not have its own car park.  There is pay and display parking available in the vicinity and in local shopping centres.

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BFEI
Main Street
Blackrock
Co Dublin
A94 X383

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