Adult education courses are designed so that you can return to education in flexible ways. They take account of your particular needs and circumstances as an adult. There are part-time and full-time courses available. A number of organisations provide specialist help and advice about returning to education.
You don't need formal qualifications in order to take part in many full-time and part-time courses that are on offer. Many courses are provided through your local Education and Training Board. These include adult literacy programmes and courses for early school-leavers, opportunities to return to study for the Leaving Certificate or other certificates and a wide range of vocational training linked to business and industry.
Some courses are generally only open to you if you have completed your secondary education. These include Post-Leaving Certificate Courses and college-based training courses for apprentices, as well as full-time and part-time third-level courses. However, you should check the entry requirements with the school or college as some courses make exceptions for mature students.
The National Framework of Qualifications is a single system against which all learning can be mapped. It allows for a learner to move from informal education, perhaps starting with a community education course or evening class, and progressing to further education and then to higher education.
There are a number of education and training schemes and supports available that can support you to return to education and training.
Education and Training Boards
Since 2013, Education and Training Boards (ETBs) replaced Vocational Educational Committees (VECs). In 2014, the FÁS training division (including FÁS courses) transferred to the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs).