Four new tertiary degree courses in Donegal have been announced by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D.
The four degrees are a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Laboratory Science, a Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Engineering Technologies, all of which are new degrees, and a tertiary access route into the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in General Nursing.
The first year of these programmes will be completed with the Further Education and Training (FET) Service of Donegal Education and Training Board, with students continuing their studies with Atlantic Technological University (ATU).
The innovative access routes to these degrees are some of the first of their kind to give applicants the opportunity to start their degree in the Further Education and Training (FET) sector. Unlike other degree courses, applicants do not need to wait for CAO points as they can apply directly. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview when they will be required to show evidence of their eligibility based on the information provided in the application process.
This collaborative development between Atlantic Technological University (ATU), Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB), Mayo Sligo Leitrim ETB and Galway Roscommon ETB, follows a government request to develop a multi-campus award that integrates the delivery of higher education in the FET sector to widen participation to individuals and communities who would not traditionally consider third-level education as a viable or realistic option for them. This increases the number of locations regionally where students can begin their studies, enhances flexibility through providing several programme paths and widens access through more flexible entry requirements.
Speaking at the launch of 23 tertiary degrees courses in total around the country, Minister Harris said: “This is the single biggest transformation to education access in decades. Today, we launch 23 degree courses outside the points system. We know the points system has not worked for many of our young people. Today, we can tell the next generation of students they can access degrees in nursing, business, engineering, and media without ever engaging with the CAO system. This is the start. We have much more to do but today, we change the system and ensure the learner is at the heart of all we do. I want to thank the National Tertiary Office, the Higher Education Authority and SOLAS for their leadership in driving this forward.”
Donegal ETB’s Chief Executive Anne McHugh, who is also a member of ATU’s Governing Body, welcomed these new degree courses, saying: “Donegal ETB was delighted to build on existing positive relations with our ETB and ATU partners to develop these groundbreaking tertiary degree programmes. This is the start of enhanced opportunities and pathways for learners which will widen and increase access across our region in a flexible and responsive way.”
Donegal ETB will host a number of degree course evening information sessions from 7.00-8.00pm in the following locations over the coming weeks:
- Thursday 13 July: Buncrana (Inishowen Gateway Hotel)
- Monday 17 July: Donegal Town (Central Hotel)
- Tuesday 18 July: Dungloe (Waterfront Hotel)
- Wednesday 19 July: Gort an Choirce (Óstán Loch Altan)
- Thursday 20 July: Letterkenny (Radisson Blu Hotel)
The four courses are:
1. Bachelor of Science in Industrial Laboratory Science: https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=40505176
Students will spend the first year of their programme in their local ETB and will then complete the remaining two years at one of three ATU campuses, depending on the pathway of study they choose to complete at ATU campuses in Galway City (Biochemistry Pathway), Letterkenny (Biopharmaceutical Science Pathway) or Sligo (Life Sciences Pathway). In Donegal, the first year of this course will be delivered at Donegal ETB’s FET Centre at Port Road in Letterkenny.
2. Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business: https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=405028
The Bachelor of Business Honours degree in Business offers three specialisms. Students will start the degree programme with a common year one in the ETBs and at the end of their first year decide on which specialism they wish to pursue for the remaining years of study in their chosen campus. They can choose from Business with Enterprise and Innovation at ATU Donegal, Business with Digital Business at ATU Galway or Business with Supply Chain Management at ATU Sligo. In Donegal, the first year of this course will be delivered at Donegal ETB’s FET Centre at Port Road in Letterkenny.
3. Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Engineering Technologies: https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=404946
Students will spend the first year of their programme in their local ETB and will then have the choice of three different locations (ATU Galway City, ATU Sligo or ATU Donegal) to continue their studies. In ATU Galway City and Sligo, students will be offered the Sustainable Engineering Technologies for the Manufacturing Industry stream, and in Donegal they will be offered the Sustainable Engineering Technologies for Computing stream. In Donegal, the first year of this course will be delivered at Donegal ETB’s Training Centre in the Ballyraine Industrial Estate, Ramelton Road, Letterkenny.
4. Tertiary Access Route into Bachelor of Science (Honours) in General Nursing: https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=404998
This is a unique access route into the BSc Honours degree in General Nursing with ATU across three ETB campuses – those who successfully complete this QQI Level 5 course and meet all of the academic requirements within it, will progress automatically into Year 1 of the BSc in General Nursing with ATU in its Castlebar, St. Angela’s, Sligo or Letterkenny campuses. Where progression to ATU for undergraduate study is not possible or preferred, a QQI Level 5 Certificate for a major award or component award will be offered. There will be no deferral option upon completion as any offer of a place within ATU must be taken up in the year of offer. Places on this course are limited to twenty. In Donegal, the first year of this course will be delivered at Donegal ETB’s FET Centre at Business Park Road in Letterkenny.