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Welcome from the Funded Flexible Learning Office

On behalf of the Funded Flexible Learning Office, and all of my colleagues in TUS Athlone Campus, I would like to thank you for your interest in our funded programmes for the academic year 2022/23.

I am delighted to announce that we have secured substantial funding to help enable you to start your learning journey with us.

Under the 2022 Springboard+, ICT Skills and Human Capital Initiatives, TUS Athlone Campus has secured in excess of €4.9 million to provide over 1000 course places for those who are seeking to reskill or upskill.

These funded places are spread over 22 courses in a broad range of disciplines including Leadership & Management, Quality, Biopharmaceutical, Packaging, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and Culinary Skills to name just a few.

Full details of these programmes of these programmes andd you can apply for your chosen programme on www.springboardcourses.ie

In each programme listing you will find a contact name and email address, so please do reach out to us if you need help deciding which course is the best fit for you.

I look forward to meeting you in September.

Janine King
Funded Flexible Learning Coordinator

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The aim of the funding initiatives is to help you transition into industries where there are significant employment opportunities.The funded programmes in Athlone Institute of Technology give you the flexibility to continue pursuing your work endeavours as you expand opportunities with practical new skills.

These initiatives, funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund also remove the financial barriers to education for many people that would love to further their education, but it wasn’t possible as they didn’t have the means to do so.

These are free and part-funded programmes specifically designed for two cohorts of applicants:

The Employed includes anyone working – be it full time or part time – salary is not taken into account.

The Unemployed includes

Springboard courses are part-time and one year or less in duration.  There is a range of programmes from certificate to master’s degree levels – levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Level 6 courses are free for everyone, levels 7, 8 and  9 are free for the unemployed, and the employed must pay 10%  – this is usually only between  €500 -€900, which is fantastic value, considering some of these courses are worth up to €8500.

HCI Graduate Conversion courses are full-time and one year in duration.  Level 8 & 9 programmes are available and are more intensive than part-time programmes so they require considerably more time commitment from participants. They are conversion programmes which enable graduates to acquire a qualification in a different discipline.  These are newly-developed courses for graduates to reskill in areas where there is evidence of skills shortage and emerging technologies.  They are free for those who are unemployed below but recent graduates (Summer 2021) must pay 10% of course fee even if they are unemployed. The employed must also pay 10%.

 ICT Skills courses can be full time (one year in duration) and part-time (two years in duration).  The Unemployed pay nothing and the employed only pay 10% of the course cost.  This is generally approx. €500-€800.  The Unemployed are not eligible for the part-time offerings, but are eligible for the full-time offerings.

Full time programmes no longer mean face to face classes Monday to Friday.  They are generally delivered in a blended flexible (partly or mostly online) manner, so it is worthwhile to check the delivery timetable if you are working, as they may be suitable for your particular circumstances.


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The vast majority of applicants are eligible for this funding – in fact over the last number of years we have refused very few on the basis of funding eligibility, Therefore, we would encourage everyone to apply if they see a course they are interested in, as we will carry out a full individualised eligibility check with you after your application.

All applicants must live in Ireland and have a valid PPS number.

You must be either:

The period of residency for holders of Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM is calculated from the date of receipt of the Stamp 4. Any period of residency in the state before this date will not be taken into consideration.

You must have lived in an EU country for three years out of the last five.

And of course you will have to meet the academic entry requirements for the course you would like to do.

Full details are on www.springboardcourses.ie

You must also must fall into one of the employment categories employed or unemployed for Springboard+ and ICT Skills, and employed, unemployed or a recent graduate for HCI Graduate Conversion programmes.

You must also be able to prove your eligibility by supplying relevant documentary evidence before the start of the programme to demonstrate your eligibility.


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There are progression routes available on most of our programmes right up to Level 9 – in fact when we are designing programmes this is something we focus on and do our utmost to provide.

Full details of progression routes can be found on www.aitflexiblelearning.ie

Also bear in mind that funded learners can avail of funding for 3 years out of a rolling 5 year cycle – so if you start a funded programme in September which is one year, you can add on additional years or qualification for three years if they are available.

As an example, if you do your Postgraduate Certificate this year, you could do your Postgraduate Diploma the year after and your Masters after that – once you remain eligible.


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Applications must be made via www.springboardcourses.ie

Direct applications to TUS Athlone Campus will not be accepted.

It is important that you fill out the online application form as fully and completely as you can, as this will be used to make the initial assessment of your application.  If successful you will be made a provisional offer.

At the end of July/beginning of August we will request documentation from you to support your application.  This will be specific to the type of programme you have applied for – Springboard+, ICT Skills or HCI Graduate Conversion.

It is essential that you supply all requested documentation as soon as possible so that we can deem if you are indeed eligible for the provisional place offered. Shortlisted candidates may be called for a brief interview.Further detailed information will be supplied during the application/offer process.

Demand for all programmes has always been exceptionally high, particularly for Level 6 programmes.  Therefore, we recommend that any interested candidates should apply as soon as the programmes open.  We operate rolling closing dates, so that all applicants up to these dates are assessed together.  If places are left over after applications are assessed the programmes will open with a new closing date and this process repeats until all places are allocated.  Thus, there is no guaranteed that courses will reopen after a closing date has passed.  Incomplete applications will be updated to Unsuccessful after these rolling closing dates in order to be fair to all applicants.    Therefore  we would urge you to gather and organise the required documentation noted below as soon as you make an application so that you have it ready when we request it.

All communication regarding assessment of eligibility and allocation of places will be made by email and/or via www.springboardcourses.ie


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Fee liability is calculated based on the level of the programme as well as your employment status when you start your chosen course.  You must submit all documentary evidence as stated below in order for your fee to be assessed correctly.

You Are… Specific Eligibility Criteria Documentary Evidence Required Fee Liability
Employed You are in employment. You must provide a recent redacted payslip or letter from your employer.  All financial information must be redacted (deleted or blacked out) if submitting a payslip.  Your name, your employer’s name and the date must be clearly legible. Level 6 courses are 100% funded – no fee liability.

Level 7, 8 and 9 courses are 90% funded – you must pay 10%.

Unemployed* You are in receipt of one of the following Department of Social Protection payments:

· Jobseeker’s Benefit / Jobseeker’s Allowance / PUP

·  One-Parent Family Payment

· Disability Allowance

· Carer’s Allowance

· Farm Assist/Fish Assist

· Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil    Partner’s (Non-Contributory or    Contributory) Pension

· Blind Pension

·  Deserted Wife’s Allowance.

You can generate a statement of your DEASP payments by logging on with your MyGovID to https://services.mywelfare.ie/

Please ensure that the statement shows at least 9 months and is up to the date that you have made your application.

If you cannot avail of this service you can provide a letter from Department of Social Protection confirming your payment or a recent payment slip from the Post Office.

All courses are 100% funded – no fee liability.
Formerly Self-Employed – Unemployed You were formerly self-employed but are now unemployed and actively seeking work. You don’t need to be in receipt of a Department of Social Protection payment. You must provide a letter or statement from Revenue stating that you are no longer trading or a similar letter from your former accountant. All courses are 100% funded – no fee liability.
A Returner – Unemployed You have been out of the work environment due to childcare or other caring obligations and require upskilling or reskilling to get back to the workforce.

You must meet one of the following requirements:

·  You are on home or other caring duties for 9 of the previous 12 months

·  You are economically dependent on a partner or spouse and have been unemployed for 9 of the previous 12 months.

You must provide supporting documentation and swear a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths about your status.  You must provide this declaration to AIT. All courses are 100% funded – no fee liability.
Recent Graduate (for HCI Graduate Conversion only) You are a recent graduate who completed their studies in Summer 2021. You must supply a copy of your final transcripts showing that you successfully completed your programme in Summer 2021, and that you have been assigned an award classification to be conferred. You must pay 10% (regardless of employment status).

*You are not eligible for a 2-year part-time ICT Skills conversion programme if you are getting a jobseeker’s payment (including Farm Assist) or you are a qualified adult of working age on someone else’s social welfare payment – if this is the case you are only eligible for a 1-year full time ICT Skills conversion programme.
Please note that all eligibility criteria stated are correct at the time of publication of this document.  Please ensure you check www.springboardcourses.ie for any updated criteria before you make an application.


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The main reasons why people choose to return to study are:

Factors to consider are:

Postgraduate Programmes

The main advantage of acquiring a postgraduate qualification is that they open many more opportunities for future employment by equipping you with additional specialised skills and expertise.  The jobs market is becoming increasingly competitive, therefore specialising at postgraduate level can make you a stronger job applicant.  In many industries salary scales are linked to relevant qualifications, so by having a postgraduate qualification you could earn a higher salary.

Questions to consider are:

HCI Graduate Conversion Programmes

Conversion programmes enable graduates to acquire a qualification in a different discipline.  These are newly-developed courses for graduates to reskill in areas where there is evidence of skills shortage and emerging technologies.  A well-chosen conversion programme can give you distinct advantage in the jobs market by adding to the knowledge and expertise gained during your undergraduate qualification.  They are highly valued by employers as they demonstrate motivation to learn new skills.  They can also give you the opportunity to reach your full potential if you feel that you didn’t quite reach it during your undergraduate qualification.

Questions to consider are:




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Applying for a Course

How many courses can I partake in?

You can apply for up to 10 programmes but you can only accept one place if offered.  When you accept a place on a programme all other applications are automatically cancelled.  However, we would recommend that you research all courses before applying and only apply for the ones you really wish to pursue, rather than applying for 10, as this will help ensure that you will not miss the opportunity to be fully assessed for the best course for you.

I am having difficulty making my online application. Who do I contact for assistance?

Firstly contact us in the Funded Flexible Learning Office, email [email protected] so that we can help you ascertain what the issue is, as we can help with most that occur.  If we are not able to help we will advise you to call Springboard Technical Support on (076) 6151247 or send an email to [email protected] with your query.

I applied for one of these courses before but I didn’t start it.   Do I need to reapply or can you use my old application?

You will need to submit a new application for the 2022 courses however you should continue to use your old login details for the Springboard+ website. You should login and update your application with any new skills, qualifications you have gained since and supply new eligibility documentation when requested.  Please note that dependent on demand for programmes at each closing date shortlisting of applications may apply, therefore there is no guarantee that you will be allocated a place on a course even if you have been in the past.  We would recommend early application if you are interested in applying again.

I have accepted an offer with a different provider, but I have changed my mind and now want to apply for a course with TUS Athlone Campus – how do I do this?

You will need to contact the other provider and ask them to “release” you on their course.  When they do this you will be able to apply for other courses.

I am still enrolled on a course with another provider but I have finished it.  Can I apply for a new course with TUS Athlone Campus?

Your record needs to be updated by the other provider before you can apply for new course.  Contact the other provider and ask them to do this.  When they do this you will be able to apply for new courses.  Note, your record cannot be updated until all results from your previous course have been processed and released.

Do I need to speak with academic staff before making an application staff prior to applying for a course / making a decision?

Unless an interview is part of the application process for the programme, there is usually no requirement to meet with the academic staff. However, for any applicant wishing to discuss one or more of the courses in detail with the academic staff, please contact them directly via the email address supplied in the course descriptor on www.springboardcourses.ie

Submitting Requested Documentation

What if I can’t/don’t submit all of the documentation?

If you do not submit the requested eligibility documentation within the timeframe advised (this will be from end July/beginning August) you will be deemed not eligible and your provisional offer of a place will be rescinded.

I am unsure if I am eligible – how can I find out if I am?

We are happy to assist you in any way that we can.

Reach out to us by email [email protected] and we can schedule a phone call or an online individual eligibility check via Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Fee Liability

I was unemployed when I applied, but have found employment since – will this affect how much I have to pay?

All level 6 programmes are 100% funded – you pay nothing – once you have demonstrated your eligibility.

For programmes at levels 7, 8 and 9 fee liability is calculated on the start date of the programme.  Therefore if you become employed before the programme starts you will become liable for 10%.  If you become employed after the programme has commenced you remain 100% funded.

I was employed when I applied, but have become unemployed since – will this affect how much I have to pay?

If you are employed when you apply but become unemployed (on an eligible DEASP payment, or have formally wound up self-employment) before the course starts you become 100% funded and will not have to pay anything.

Do I have to tell you if my employment status changes after I accept a place on a course?

It is very important that you inform us of any changes in your employment status between accepting a place and the start date of your programme, as you must supply evidence of your status to Springboard on the start date approx. 6 weeks into your studies.  This may mean a change to your fee liability.  Records are strictly monitored at all times so we will become aware of any necessary changes to your fee liability.

I have to pay 10% – when do I pay this?

This must be paid before course commencement.

Accepting an Offer

How long to I have to decide to accept an offer?

Generally offers last for five working days.  Where places are in high demand this may reduce to three working days to allow fairness for all applicants.  When you receive your offer you can log into your account on www.springboardcourses.ie to see the acceptance deadline for your offer.

I missed the deadline to accept my offer – what can I do?

Email us at [email protected] to explain that you missed the deadline.  If places are still available we will make a new offer to you.  Please note second offers have a much shorter deadline acceptance (1-2 working days) so please ensure you are ready to accept an offer before you request a new one.

I am having difficulty accepting my offer.  Who do I contact for assistance?

Firstly contact us in the Funded Flexible Learning Office, email [email protected] so that we can help you ascertain what the issue is, as we can help with most that occur.  If we are not able to help we will advise you to call Springboard Technical Support on (076) 6151247 or send an email to [email protected] with your query.

I cannot accept an offer as I did not complete a previous funded programme – what do I need to do?

Firstly check here to see if you are eligible to do another funded programme –https://springboardcourses.ie/pdfs/Declaration%20for%20Returners%20(2021-22).pdf

If you believe you are eligible to partake in another programme send an email to us at [email protected] detailing the reasons you did not complete your previous course, and include any documentary evidence to support this.  For example if it was for work reasons include a letter from your employer confirming this, or if it was for medical reason include documents such as letter from your doctor confirming a medical issue at the time.  If the reason was personal and cannot be evidenced through documentary evidence please explain this in the email.  We will review your submission and if it is deemed acceptable we will request an unblock on your account which will mean you can accept your offer after a few days.  You will be informed of the decision by email.

I am unemployed – how will this programme affect my social welfare payments?

Springboard+ programmes are part-time and in the main will not affect your social welfare payments.

HCI programmes are full-time, and will definitely have an effect on your social welfare payments.

ICT Skills part-time programmes are not available at all to those on Jobseekers payments.

We deliver programmes of study to you, we do not have any involvement in the administration of social welfare payments.

Therefore, it is essential that you advise the Dept of Social Protection of your intentions to partake in a funded programme (even if it is a part-time programme) in order to ensure that you are fully aware of the implications (if any) on your social welfare payment.


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Visit the Springboard+ website for further Information


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