FAQ

Academic Calendar 2016-2017

Grants and Funding

Timetables

Higher Links

Facilities

Number of Students

Types of Courses

Supports Available

Clubs and Societies

Mature Learners

Disability Support

Accommodation

Examinations

Registration and Application

SOLAS Further Education and Training

10 Notable People in Dun Laoghaire booklet

 


Grants and Funding

Am I entitled to any financial help?

DFEi will not adjudicate on whether any learner is entitled to financial help.  It is the learners responsibility to contact the Department of Social Protection if they are in receipt of benefits or SUSI (universal grant awarding body) for grant information.

Where can I seek financial help?

Student Maintenance Grants:                                           www.student finance.ie

VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme)          Contact DFEi

BTEA (Back to Education Allowance Scheme)                   Contact local Social Welfare Office

Other funding                                                                     www.studentfinance.ie


What types of grants are available?

Grants are available to learner’s at DFEi on the same basis as they are to other third level learners subject to a means test.  Details of the Grant Scheme are available from www.studentfinance.ie.


Am I eligible for Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)?

Refer to your Social Welfare Officer.


If I am entitled to a grant or allowance how much will they be?

  • The maintenance grant is means tested and the award of a grant amount is the responsibility of www.susi.ie.
  • The VTOS allowance will cover all fees (in most cases) and most of the costs associated with your course.
  • The BTEA allowance is limited and you are asked to refer to your social welfare office for full details.

If I receive a grant or allowance, will I still pay the €200 Government Levy?

Learners who receive a maintenance grant, VTOS or BTEA allowance are exempt from this Government Levy on production of the valid documentation.

Do any fee exemptions apply?

Refer to www.dfei.ie or page 3 on DFEi’s Prospectus.

 

Medical Card

Grant

BTEA

VTOS

NON-EU

Non Refundable Deposit

 

 

 

Exempt

 

Student Services Fees

 

 

 

Exempt

 

PLC Government Levy

Exempt

Exempt

Exempt

Exempt

Exempt

Examinations Fee

Exempt (QQI only)

 

 

Exempt

 

 

What is the cost of my course?

Full course details are listed under Admissions Information on www.dfei.ie

When do the fees have to be paid?

All fees for the full college academic year have to be paid prior to course commencement.

Will the college accept applications from Non-EU students?

Yes.  However, it is important to note that a separate fee applies to non-EU students.  Please contact the college for details.


Timetables

How long will I be expected to be in attendance at the college during the day?

The duration of your typical college day depends upon your course of study.  For full time courses teaching in DFEi occurs from 9.00am to 5.30pm.  Classes commence at 9.00am and are of one hour duration.  DFEi has a common lunch break from 1.00pm to 1.30pm, after which classes resume hourly until 5.30pm.

Will I be in the college from Monday to Friday?

This will depend upon your course of study.

When will my timetable be available?

Timetables are available at induction.  This usually occurs during the first week in September. 

What time does the college open and close?

DFEi opens at 8.30am and closes at 6.00pm.

What way are the breaks structured throughout the day?

There is a morning break at 10.55am for 10 minutes.  The common lunch break runs from 1.00pm -1.30pm daily.

What is the college academic year?

The college academic year runs from mid-September until May.  The college closes for Mid-term, Christmas and Easter holidays as determined by the Department of Education and Skills.

Can I further my educational attainment at University or in an Institute of Technology on completion of my course?

Yes.  DFEi awards are certified at QQI Level 5 or Level 6.  A learner can use their award to progress to further or higher education through the higher education links scheme.  This scheme links QQI Level 5 Certification and Level 6 Advanced Certification to reserved places on a variety of higher education programmes.  DFEi also has advanced entry links with a number of IOT's and Universities. Refer to page 7 in DFEi’s current prospectus.

How do I apply for a place in Higher Education (3rd level) using the award I gained at DFEi?

Each applicant applies through the CAO system(www.cao.ie).  During July QQI results are issued to the CAO and the participating institutions (Universities, Institutes of Technology and private 3rd Level Colleges).

Which colleges have links in place with DFEi?

DFEi has a number of direct entry links with certain IOT’s and Universities.  These are listed on the relevant course page and also on page 7 of the current prospectus.

Are there minimum requirements to avail of the higher links?

Each CAO course will identify and list any special entry requirements.  However learners should note that achieving distinctions in all components is essential to achieve (but not guaranteed) you first or second CAO choice.

How many places are assigned for Further Education graduates in third level institutes?

Each third level institute sets aside a certain number of places for QQI applicants.  No college of Further Education is entitled to reserve places. 

Does every course have a higher links option?

Yes.  However QQI awards are undergoing change to a Common Awards System (CAS).  As a result of this, links to the new awards are still being finalised.  learners are advised to check the websites of the IOT’s or Universities, to which they are seeking a place on a course, for further information.  DFEi publishes up to date links information for registered and participating learners of DFEi.


Facilities

Are there canteen facilities in DFEi?

Yes.  DFEi has a large canteen facility that is serviced by vending machines.  learners can purchase fresh sandwiches, tea/coffee, minerals and snacks.  The canteen also has a number of microwaves and Panini presses available for use.  There is also a supply of hot water for those who wish to make their own tea or coffee.

Are there fully equipped rooms for specialised subjects?

Yes.  DEFi has the following dedicated facilities:

Radio Studio

Photographic Studio

TV and Video Studio

Science Laboratory

Sound Engineering Studios

Two dedicated Nursing Rooms

2 dedicated CAD suites

10 fully equipped Computer suites

Electronics Laboratory

Construction workshops including Furniture Making and Sustainable Technology facilities

Dedicated Design/architectural Drawing Studio

Is there a car park for learners?

No.  Learners have no access to parking facilities on campus.  Learners are advised that parking is a premium in the Dún Laoghaire area and are advised to use public transport at all times.

Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute (DFEi) is located on a two and a half acre site at the Monkstown end of Dún laoghaire.  It is a five minute walk from both Dún Laoghaire and Salthill DART stations and is well served by bus routes 7, 7B,  45, 46A, 59, 63, 75 and 111.  The N11 and M50 are also easily accessed.

Is there a library or study rooms available?

A well-stocked library is available during opening hours for reference or study.

Are there sports facilities available?

There are no sports facilities available in DFEi.  Recreational facilities available in the canteen.  These include a table tennis table, soccer table and a pool table.

Is there a Counsellor/Career Guidance facility in the college?

Yes.  learners can avail of this service through prearranged appointment.


Number of learners

How many learners attend DFEi each year?

Approximately 800 learners attend full-time Further Education courses in DFEi.  DFEi also provides apprentice training for the trade of Carpentry and Joinery.  There is also educational provision for BTEI learners. DFEi Night school offers a variety of courses to the community, approximately 1,000 learners participate annually.

How many people are likely to be in my class?

Depending on the course there are usually between 24 and 30 students assigned to a class-group.

Are there enough places in second year to accommodate applicants from first year?

Yes.  On successful completion of a level 5 course, first year learners will be accommodated if they apply for a place in second year.

Is DFEi always a busy place?

Yes.  DFEi is a vibrant creative institute where learners are actively engaged in creative learning.  Due to the nature of the courses on offer at DFEi many learners enjoy participating in learner events and field trips which are held throughout the year.

 


Types of Courses on Offer

 

What type of courses are on offer at DFEi

The courses on offer in DFEi are PLC (Post Leaving Certificate) courses. They are orientated towards academic and vocational skills development up to Level 5 & Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications, www.nfq.ie. There is also a Night School which offers a wide variety of courses. Some of these courses are also on the National Framework of Qualifications.

How long is the duration of courses

The courses cover the duration of one academic calendar year.

Does DFEi provide courses which are exclusive to DFEi?

There are some courses which are unique to DFEi’s provision. DFEi courses are uniquely enriched by DFEi’s specific teaching and skills expertise, college resources and facilities.

If I complete the first year of a course successfully, will there be a place for me in second year?

Yes, once a learner successfully completes the first year of a programme of studies they are entitled to seek a place in the second year of the course. DFEi also reserves the right to admit learners into the second year of a course programme on the basis of their overall attitude, behaviour and performance

Do I need to have completed my Leaving Certificate to be offered a place on a course in DFEi?

A Leaving Certificate or equivalent is normally the standard of educational attainment expected of prospective learners. However, it is not the sole criterion. Mature learners who possess a positive attitude and life experience successfully apply and study courses within DFEi. DFEi assess all Applicants on the merits of their application and through an informal interview.

Learners should note that admission to the second year of a courses is dependent on attendance, work input, general attitude and results in year 1.

 


Supports Available

 

Is there a Guidance Counsellor in DFEi?

Yes, there is a Guidance Counsellor in DFEi. The Guidance Counsellor is available to meet any learner. This meeting can be arranged by appointment, in the confines of safe secure confidential office. He is present in the college from Monday to Friday throughout the academic school year.

If I have difficulty with coursework, who do I speak to?

If a learner is encountering difficulties with their coursework, the first person they must consult with is the subject teacher of the course module with which they are having difficulties. The class tutor and Guidance Counsellor may also need to be consulted if further supports are required. The learner may need to liaise with the Guidance Counsellor for an assessment of learning needs. The learner may be entitled to specific learning supports throughout the duration of their course.

Is there somebody to whom I can consult regarding financial difficulties?

The Administration Office will listen sensitively to learners who present with financial difficulties. Every learner’s case will be dealt with in an expeditious and confidential manner and a payment plan put in place.

Are there study support facilities?

There is a learner library and resource room, equipped with computers and internet access for learner use.

Is there help available to apply for third level courses

The Guidance Counsellor is available to assist any learner in their application to third level courses through the CAO, or through other higher education routes in Ireland and the UK.

 

 

Clubs and Societies

Are there clubs and societies in DFEi?

There are learner generated activities throughout the year in DFEi. Learners are encouraged to form particular interest associations amongst themselves. Available college facilities can be utilised for such purposes, with the requisite permission of DFEi’s senior management team.

What kind of groups are there?

Groups can be formed around common interest themes and activities. These can range from music and arts performances, quizzes, charity fundraisers, to other cultural and educational interests.

How often do they meet?

The amount of times a group may meet is entirely at the discretion of the group members, and the availability of the required college resources for such meetings to occur.

Is there a Learner Council?

Yes, there is an elected Learner Council put in place at the beginning of the academic year.

Do learners have a representative?

class representative is nominated for each class group, and a learner council is formed from these learner class representatives. Two learners are also put forward to represent learner concerns on the Board of Management in DFEi.


Mature Learners

Is DFEi supportive of mature learners?

Yes, DFEi encourages and supports all learners in their learning objectives. DFEi is especially aware of the richness in life experience and diversity of accomplished skills already present within mature learners. This adds greatly to the depth of peer learning among learner groups.

What percentage of the learner population in DFEi accounts for mature learners?

This figure ranges from year to year. However, over the past five years the average percentage of the learner population who fall into the category of being mature learners is somewhere within the region of between 20% - 30%.

Is there a society within DFEi for mature learners?

Mature learners are encouraged to integrate and participate in any learner society which may be formed in DFEi. However, this does not exclude the possibility of mature learners forming a specific learner group/society within the college, which serves a specific need for mature learners.

What kind of support is in place for mature learners?

Teachers and management are supportive of mature learners in their endeavour to successfully complete their chosen course of study. The Guidance Counsellor is also available to advise and assist mature learners so as to help them adjust to a formal learning environment. There is also a learning centre, equipped with computers and internet access for learner use


Disability Support

Is the college accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, DFEi is accessible for people with disabilities. However, particular disabilities may require particular attention and a more detailed assessment of college accessibility.

Is there support in place for learners with learning disabilities?

Supports for learners with learning disabilities are assessed by the Guidance Counsellor. The supports and resources available are set out according to DES and the HEA criteria. A supplementary handout is available and can be found under the Admissions Section of DFEi’s website.

As a learner with a disability, can my privacy be guaranteed?

A learner's details and personal circumstances are protected according to the Data Protection Act (1998 & 2003). However, if a disability requires specific supports for the safe and successful participation of learners on a course, some information may need to be shared in a sensitive manner with the permission of the learner.

Will my disability affect my application?

Every application for a course is considered according to the learner’s suitability for successfully participating on a course of study. DFEi has an open access policy to all learners who apply for courses. This policy encourages learners who present with disabilities to fully participate in their chosen course of study. However, some disabilities may not be conducive to successfully participating on particular courses. In this regard, DFEi reserves the right to not accept a learner on a specific course programme if it is deemed that a learner’s disability is not conducive to a safe learning environment according to Health & Safety regulations, or the learner’s specific disability is incompatible with successfully achieving course learning outcomes.

Are course requirements different for people with disabilities?

No, course requirements are the same for all learners who participate on a course of study. However, the ways in which these course requirements are demonstrated by the learner may be adjusted to better suit the communication skills of the learner who presents with a disability. This will be determined by the subject teacher according to the criteria stipulated in the module descriptor.


Accommodation

What accommodation is offered for learners from outside of Dublin?

DFEi does not offer or recommend any accommodation facility to learners who attend courses from outside of Dublin. Learners who seek accommodation are advised to contact the relevant authorities who may be able to assist them in this regard.

Is the college on DART or Dublin Bus routes?

Yes, DFEi is well serviced by both DART and Dublin Bus routes.

Does the college recommend any letting agents or websites?

No, DFEi does not recommend any letting agent or website, as this does not fall under the college’s remit of responsibility. An accommodation list prepared by Crosscare is available from the Administration Office.

Is there a way to contact other learners about sharing a property?

Placing a notice on a learner notice board in the college may be a good way to contact other learners about sharing a property. However, learners must keep in mind that they are responsible for this aspect of their personal welfare. It is not the college’s responsibility to mediate between learners about affairs which are outside of its jurisdiction.

 


Examinations

When do exams take place?

Normally exams take place at the end of the academic year – end of April/beginning of May. However, some exams do occur during the academic year. The subject teacher and exam secretary will advise and notify learners about exam dates and times.

What percentage is required to pass?

The module descriptor outlines the requirements for successfully participating in and completing a course subject. It also specifies the percentage required for a pass grade.

Is there an extra fee for exams?

The course registration fee paid at the beginning of the academic year covers the cost of a learner’s participation on a course. This includes examinations.

When will I be notified of my exam results?

When the External Authentication is completed and the Results Approval Panel meetings have occurred in the various course departments, the course results will be posted out to learners. This occurs early during the month of June.

Who marks my exam?

The subject teacher is responsible for the marking of exams.

Do all courses require the sitting of an exam

No, some courses are assessed by means of continuous assessment of learner work throughout the academic year. The subject teacher sets assignment briefs which enable the learner to focus their learning activities around the production of specific academic work or specific skills demonstrations. Usually modules are assessed by a combination of both assignment briefs (given to the learner at points throughout the year) and also an exam at the end of the academic year.

 


Registration and Application

What is the final date to apply for my course?

The courses in DFEi start at the beginning of the third week in September. It is advisable to apply at the earliest convenience so as to be assured of your place on a course. There is no set date for final application. However, it is not in the interest of the learner to delay starting a course. It is at the discretion of management and teaching staff to assess whether or not a learner might be able to successfully start at a later date. It is unusual for a learner to make a late application to begin a course beyond the first few weeks of October.

How early can I apply?

The earliest a learner can submit an application for a course in DFEi is in January with a commencement date of the following September.

Do I have to attend for an interview?

All prospective learners must attend an interview for their course of study. These interviews are held at different times throughout the year, so there will be more than one opportunity to attend

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, there is a registration fee and the amount due varies from course to course.

Once I have been offered a place on a course, when are my fees due?

Fees can be paid anytime between 10th June and 24th August. However, if a learner successfully submits a late application for a course, the registration fee must be paid during the first week the learner starts their course.