Frequently Asked Questions

Q.
What are the key course dates for the online programmes?
A.

After you submit an application you will be requested to send with your application a photocopy of all your certificates (signed and dated by you) and relevant academic qualifications. Please include a copy of your birth certificate or passport, along with evidence of other qualifications, notably an official record of any third level or other accredited course’s that you have completed. If you have a foreign qualification, please see below

Q.
What is the closing date for applying?
A.

The closing date for completed applications is 1st September each year (unless otherwise stated on the web page for a particular course). Late applications may be accepted beyond this date up to 14th September depending on availability. Courses are filled on a first come first served basis.

Q.
What happens to my application form after I apply?
A.

The Admissions office will send you a confirmation of receipt of your application form. Once received, applications are processed by the Admissions offices of IT Sligo. Applications are then forwarded to the relevant Course Co-ordinator for the programme in IT Sligo for assessment in accordance with entry requirements for the course. In some instances, applicants may be invited to attend an interview. Successful applicants are informed in writing by the Admissions office and are required to complete and return an acceptance form and pay an initial booking fee of €250 to secure their place.

Q.
What is my PPS number?
A.

This is your Personal Public Service number (formerly RSI number) and is relevant only to residents of Ireland. You will find more information here.

Q.
How long will it take before I know if I am eligible?
A.

A. The process of assessing applications that fulfil the normal entry requirements and the offering of places normally takes about one week. Applicants are required to provide copies of their prior their prior learning qualifications so this may delay the process somewhat. For example, if you are applying for a Level 7 (Ordinary Degree) in Engineering and you already hold a Level 6 (Higher Certificate) in Engineering, this would fulfil the normal entry requirements. Applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirements for a course may still be eligible.

However, it may take up to 4 weeks to have their application and qualifications assessed. If you have not heard back from us after one week of sending in your application or would like to obtain the status on your application, please contact the Admissions Office at 071-9318511 or email admissions@itsligo.ie.

Q.
What if I don't meet the normal eligibility requirements for a course?
A.

If you have three or more years of relevant work experience and have taken other education or training, this may fulfil the eligibility requirements. Please include this in as much detail as possible on the application form. Check the eligibility requirements for the specific course you are interested in on the web page for that course. Please review the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ webpage also for more details.

Q.
What other documents will I need to send along with my application form?
A.

After you submit an application you will be requested to send with your application a photocopy of all your certificates (signed and dated by you) and relevant academic qualifications. Please include a copy of your birth certificate or passport, along with evidence of other qualifications, notably an official record of any third level or other accredited course’s that you have completed. If you have a foreign qualification, please see below.

Q.
I have a British / Northern Ireland qualification - am I eligible?
A.

The Irish awarding bodies and qualifications authorities and the UK awarding and qualifications regulatory bodies have undertaken an exercise to align/cross reference the qualifications frameworks in the UK and Ireland. To see how your qualification broadly compares to the Irish framework of qualifications, please click on this link : http://www.qualificationsrecognition.ie/uk.html

For example if you are applying for a Level 7 degree course in IT Sligo, you will need to have achieved the equivalent of an Irish Level 6 course which would normally be a HND and in certain cases a HNC. This should be listed on your application form along with any other educational qualifications and work experience you have. The IT Sligo admissions department will then review this and inform you if you can join the degree programme or are required to undertake a Qualifier programme. If you wish, you may also have your UK / Commonwealth qualification assessed on the website http://www.naric.org.uk/

UK NARIC is the National Agency which provide information about the equivalency of qualifications and skills from overseas to the UK’s national qualifications frameworks. This makes it easier to compare your qualification to an Irish qualification particularly if you were educated in a Commonwealth country such as Australia, South Africa, India or Pakistan. The costs of having your qualifications assessed by

UK NARIC is approx €50. This service normally takes between 10 and 15 working days.

Note that for IT Sligo applicants, our preference is that you use the Irish qualifications authority on http://www.qualificationsrecognition.ie/ However, the UK service is a useful backup as in certain cases they provide a speedier response time to assess your qualification.

Q.
I have a foreign qualification and want to know if this will allow me gain entry to the course.
A.

If you hold a foreign qualification, you may wish to have it recognised in Ireland in order to establish if you have fulfilled the entry requirements for a course (or also to gain employment in the State). Qualifications Recognition Ireland facilitates the process of the recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland. In order to have your qualification evaluated, you must complete an application form and submit documentation relating to your qualification. According to their website, this service currently isoffered free of charge. In order to submit your award for evaluation, please proceed as follows:

  • Read the fact sheet on www.qualificationsrecognition.ie which will give you some information regarding the recognition process.
  • Complete the Application for Recognition of an International Award.
  • Once you have completed the form and attached all relevant documents, post to:

Qualifications Recognition – Ireland,

The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland,

5th Floor Jervis House,

Jervis Street,

Dublin 1

  • Once you receive the report back on your qualification, please submit this to IT Sligo along with the appropriate application documentation for your course.
  • Please note that this process can take 8 to 12 weeks. If you plan to apply for a course you should do this immediately.
Q.
What are the Course Fees?
A.

Course fees are listed on the page describing each programme? On receipt of a formal offer of a place, the student must within 2 weeks pay a booking fee of €250, which is to secure your place on the course. This fee is non-refundable and is credited against the course fees upon registering as a student. If you do not pay the €250 booking fee within 2 weeks, then we cannot guarantee to hold a place for you on the course. The balance of fees must be paid as soon as possible.  If a student wishes to pay by instalment (one per semester) the student must contact the Admissions office to arrange.

Module and Programme fees are shown on each course page and are paid via Visa Debit or Credit Card using the online payment facility (details emailed by Admissions).  The fees include registration, access to the online lecture system, and examinations and eventual award. The student will have to purchase any required textbooks.

Q.
What other costs are involved in taking an online course?
A.

The only other significant costs involved are for books and periodic travel to IT Sligo. Text books cost on average about €60 per module but can vary significantly. Travel to IT Sligo is kept to a minimum and is typically about 3 days per year (this can also vary depending on your course) as well as travel to examinations centres (which we try to make available in Dublin and Cork in addition to Sligo).

Q.
Can I pay the fees per semester?
A.

Yes, fees can be paid on a semester basis. The first semester runs from September – December and these fees must be paid on or before 31st October. The second half of your fees to be paid by 31st January. 

Payment can be made online by credit card. 

Please contact Admissions to organise your instalment plan.

Q.
If I withdraw from my programme or defer modules - are fees refunded?
A.

The €250 booking fee used to secure your place on the course is non-refundable.

If you decide to withdraw from your programme of study or defer your studies to the following academic year, the following procedures:

Q.
What if the course is cancelled?
A.

All courses are being offered subject to a sufficient number of students and the necessary resources being available. Students having registered and paid course fees will be refunded in full should the course be cancelled. Refunds typically take 1 month to process.

Q.
Can I get tax relief on my fees?
A.

As the Institute of Technology, Sligo is listed by the Irish revenue as an ‘APPROVED INSTITUTION’ you should be in a position to claim tax relief at the standard rate for tuition fees. In order to determine if the course you apply for qualifies and your own eligibility for a tax refund, please read the information on the revenue website: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it31.html

This information should also be read in conjunction with Leaflet IT31. If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular course qualifies for tax relief you should contact your local Revenue office which is listed on the leaflet IT31.

Q.
Is the online degree accredited?
A.

All of the online degree programmes offered by IT Sligo are the same as our full time courses and are accredited by the Quality and Qualification Ireland (www.qqi.ie). OOI awards / qualifications are at all levels of higher education and training up to PhD level. These awards are recognised both nationally and internationally. IT Sligo offer online courses at Levels 7, 8, and 9 under the national framework of qualifications. More information on the national framework of qualifications is available on their website: www.nfq.ie

HETAC and FETAC have merged along with the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) to become QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland).

Q.
Is there a first year induction programme?
A.

The induction programme for all online 1st year students normally takes place on a Friday before the programme starts in September each year (See key dates above). During this day, you will receive training on the online learning system (MOODLE) and how to access your lectures. You will also have an opportunity to meet your lecturer’s and ask any questions you may have on each subject. Details of this orientation programme will be sent to you approx two weeks in advance.

Q.
Is it necessary to attend the induction programme?
A.

It is highly recommended to attend the induction day in September to become familiar with using the online technologies. If you are unable to attend you will need to contact the programme coordinator in September to gain access to the online modules.

Q.
How much study is involved in an online programme?
A.

Participants should allow 14-18 hours per week, on average. The length of study per module will depend upon a student’s prior familiarity with the course material and the period of absence from formal study. Participants who have been away from study for some time often wonder if they are capable of undertaking a Degree programme. In this case, you can also take the course over a longer period of time by taking just 1 or 2 modules each semester. If you have any concerns in this regard, feel free to contact the Programme

Coordinator who will discuss the various study options and the requirements of the Degree with you. On average our online courses have about 4 hours of live lectures per week (but this can vary). The rest of your study time consists of independent learning, communicating with your lecturers and classmates and carrying out assignments. Live lectures normally take place between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Thursday but this may vary depending on the availability of specific lecturers. If the scheduled times for the live online lectures do not suit you, recordings are available.

Q.
Will all the study be computer based?
A.

The programme are delivered primarily through online learning. This will enable you to view your lectures live over the internet wherever and whenever you want. Normally live online lectures take place between 6pm – 10pm during the semester. You will also have the option of logging in at a later time to watch a recording of your lecture.

The lecturer will also normally provide you with lecture notes, a recommended text book and a reading list. These will be listed via our virtual learning environment system called ‘Moodle’. You will also have to download the readings from the reading list.

There will also be multimedia elements (slide shows, interactive elements, video clips, mini lectures etc) on the system to aid your study. You will also be able to upload completed assignments through the web system and to access the IT Sligo library to search for books, articles and journals to assist your study.

There may also be lectures and workshops for some of the more practical subjects which are held at IT Sligo. You will be notified in advance of these by your lecturer.

Q.
What time do the lectures take place?
A.

The online lectures are normally scheduled between 6-10pm from Monday – Friday during the term. Normally your lectures will take place on two of these evenings. If you cannot attend the live lecture, you have the option of watching a recorded lecture at a later time at your convenience. For some practical subjects, labs and workshop sessions are scheduled in IT Sligo usually once per semester. These will be notified to you in advance.

Q.
What hardware and software do I need to take part in the course?
A.

Participants will require access to a PC and the Internet to be able to participate on the programme. Participants should have reasonably good broadband access. Participants should also be familiar with word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail and Internet browser applications.

The majority of files downloadable from the web system are in Powerpoint, Word or Adobe PDF format. However, you do not need Microsoft Office on your PC as you can use other systems, including free ones such as Open Office and Google Docs to create and read documents.

Q.
Do I need any special software or hardware to view the lectures?
A.

The software used to view your online lectures is normally pre-installed on your PC by the manufacturer. To check the speed of your internet connection and to determine if your PC has the correct software to view the lectures, please click here or copy this link to your web browser: http://admin.adobe.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

If this test fails, instructions are available at the same website to install the correct version of Adobe software so that you can view the lectures. A webcam may be required for some modules. Sound is required to listen to lectures (live or recorded).

We recommend that you use a set of headphones rather than speakers, and it may be useful to have a microphone as some lecturers allow students to ask questions in class by speaking (as well as by typing text).

Q.
How can I find out if I can get broadband at home?
A.

Broadband is now being provided by a variety of internet service providers some of which are local to a particular area. To check if you have broadband in your area, you can check www.getbroadband.ie for a list of providers in your area.

The Department of Communications has also set up a website where you can check if there is broadband available in your area: http://mapviewer.broadband.gov.ie/ into your laptop or desktop computer to connect.

The following is the latest map on broadband areas to be covered under the new national broadband strategy: http://ve.bizmaps.ie/threeireland/Pages/Public/NBSPublicPage.aspx

Q.
Where & when do exams take place?
A.

Final exams take place in January and May each year. Subjects which run in the first semester only (September – December) are normally examined in January. All other subjects are examined in May. If your subject has a final practical exam or presentation, you will be required to attend IT Sligo to sit your examination. For written papers, most exams are offered in Sligo, Dublin, and Cork. You should state your preference for the location of your exam centre on your application form.   You will be asked to confirm this again during the academic year prior to the exams in case your circumstances have changed.

Autumn repeat exams are only held in IT Sligo during the last 2 weeks in August.

Some subjects are assessed through a combination of continuous assessment exercises given throughout the year along with a final written exam. Your lecturer will inform you of the assessment format for the subject(s) you are studying. If you are outside of Ireland or in special circumstances, you may be allowed to take take your examinations online with remote supervision from ProcturU. A fee will be payable to ProctorU for this service.

Q.
When attending IT Sligo, where can I stay?
A.

The Clarion Hotel Sligo Tel +(353) 71 911 9000 which is located adjacent (3 minute walk) to IT Sligo offers online students preferred room and breakfast rates when attending the college. These rates are very

competitive and include free use of the gym. The Clarion also has a limited number of apartments where up to four students can share at even lower rates. Online students can avail of these rates by contacting the hotel directly and showing their IT Sligo ID card at Check-in. Further details will be provided via the online learning system – Moodle.

Students are also free to use other local hotels and B&B’s when attending the Institute.

Q.
Where can I find out about which textbooks are required?
A.

When you are registered as a student, you will be given access to the online learning system Moodle. Here you will see a list of subjects for your course along with any textbooks which may be required. Textbooks can be purchased online via the IT Sligo college bookstore at www.booknest.ie where books are listed under ‘Distance Learning’ or you can also submit a Book Request.

Q.
How long will it take me to earn my degree?
A.

This depends on your previous qualifications. Most of our programmes are “add-on” and assume that you already have a qualification at the level below. So normally, you get your new qualification part-time in two years. If you would like to study over a longer period and take fewer modules each semester, you will complete your degree after successfully completing 60 credits. Subjects are either 5 or 10 credit modules so you can decide on your workload each semester.

Q.
Will my actual degree reflect that I earned it through an online programme?
A.

No. There is no distinction made on the degree which is fully accredited under QQI. Your degree is awarded based on your knowledge, skills and competency, not upon your geographic location. You sit the same exams as the full time students and are awarded the same degree.

Q.
I am an existing student and cannot find the answer to my question on this website?
A.

If you are an Existing IT Sligo Online student and already have an account on Moodle, please login to the Learner General Support Area on the Moodle system. This support area provides more detailed information on items such as examination dates, how to defer exams, technology issues, accommodation at IT Sligo and how to access your lectures.

If you have any questions regarding the course you are on, or a particular subject/module you are taking, you should go either to the course support area or the subject area on Moodle.

Q.
Can I take a programme from outside Ireland?
A.

Not all programmes or modules require attendance at IT Sligo so if you are living outside Ireland you may be able to take part or the whole of your programme, including examinations, without travelling to Sligo. As this is subject to change, it is best to discuss this with the programme coordinator.

If interested, email admissions@itsligo.ie stating the programme you are interested in, and stating that you wish to take the programme from outside Ireland.

Q.
I'm interested in an online programme at IT Sligo, who should I talk to?
A.

If you are interested in any of our programmes, we would very much like to speak to you and would ask you to email admissions@itsligo.ie with your contact details, indicating the course you are interested in. Also why not sign up for a free, live online webinar on “Online Learning from IT Sligo” where you can experience it for yourself and have your questions answered on the spot – click here to register.