AIT Research Students Awarded Prestigious Postgraduate Scholarships

Three students at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) have won prestigious postgraduate scholarships from the Irish Research Council.

The award scheme offers scholarships for students to pursue a research Master’s or PhD. These can be either traditional or structured, in any discipline and at any eligible Irish higher education institution.

About the winners

AIT’s three successful scholars, Conor Keighrey, Jonny O’Dwyer and Gavin Burke, are all former undergraduate students of the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics. They are part of a prestigious group of researchers in Ireland to receive this award.

Conor’s research will focus on the creation of immersive virtual reality applications for language categorisation and development skills. The aim is to create a system that can help both children and adults who have expressive and receptive language speech difficulties.

Jonny will be working in the area of affective computing. Affective computing looks at how intelligent devices can recognise and respond to a user’s emotions. His project will gather cues from a user’s speech, posture and eye-gaze to predict emotional states.

Gavin’s PhD researches the development of an electroactive polymer for the repair of peripheral nerve severed by a length greater than 3cm. This is a topic in which there has been growing research interest in recent years.

About the awards

The Irish Research Council Funded by the State under the National Development Plan, manage the prestigious Government of Ireland Postgraduate Award Scholarship. The Irish Research Council has opened the 2017 call for the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship scheme. This will close for applications on 2nd November 2016 at 16.00.

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Study an M.A. in Leadership and Management at ICHAS

The Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences (ICHAS) provides a Master’s Programme in Leadership and Management. This Masters programme has helped many of our past students to successfully secure Senior Management roles in their work places while providing them with the skills and knowledge to lead their staff or fellow employees.

The Masters in Leadership and Management is interdisciplinary in nature, aimed at building an integrative approach to professional leadership and management. This Masters programme is designed to support learners to develop the key skills, knowledge, attitudes and approaches required to engage effectively as leaders and managers in their chosen field. A strong emphasis is placed on research within this programme and learners are provided with an opportunity to explore, access, and influence the future direction of current organisational strategies by using the skills acquired during the programme.

All our Degree and Masters programmes at ICHAS are accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and range from Level 7 to Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

We also offer a range of Certificate, Degree and other Masters Programmes here at ICHAS from Certificate in Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills & Practice, B.A’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Youth Studies, Addiction Studies, Business Studies, Business with Business Psychology and M.A’s in Counselling & Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Counselling and Pastoral Care, Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice and Childhood and Adolescent Studies.

For further information on our Certificate, Degrees and Masters programmes please visit or contact us on 061 216288 or email


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Which Course Virtual Week: Ireland’s first online education fair

It’s fair to say that Which Course Virtual Week is a first for Ireland. Online education events have grown in popularity across the United States and Asia, and they are catching on across the rest of the world. Beth Rees of Careers Unlimited explains the how and why of Which Course Virtual Week.

What’s the difference between Which Course Virtual Week and a traditional education fair?
Obviously the big difference is that the Which Course Virtual Week takes place online. However, other than that, it is very similar indeed. The platform has been designed to look like a traditional education expo. In exactly the same way as a physical exhibition, colleges and course providers have booths and staff on-hand. Students can visit the booths to collect information, such as prospectuses and brochures. They can also speak to student recruitment officers, liaise with professional bodies and submit applications. There’s video, text and voice chat facilities, so attendees can choose the option that suits them best.

What are the advantages of an online event?
Time and money! Educational fairs tend to be held in big cities. In Ireland they are almost always in Dublin. This means that every single person outside of the capital has to travel to take part. There’s the cost of transport, and some people may need to take time off work too. It’s not practical for prospective students living abroad to travel to educational fairs either.

Careers Unlimited has run the very successful Which Course event at the RDS since 2007 so it is something we have been aware of for a while. Educational fairs, virtual or traditional, are a fantastic resource for anyone thinking of going to college or returning to education. We wanted to do something that was not only innovative, but that would democratise the process. Anyone considering doing a course in Ireland can take part wherever they are. It doesn’t matter if you are in Athlone or Atlanta, at home, in the office or outside – as long as you have an internet connection you can take part.

Are there any pros for colleges and course providers?
Again, the big gains are time and money. There is no need for college staff to travel or pay for hotels. Colleges don’t need exhibition backdrops, posters, or printed prospectuses. They have a range of digital tools to share information with students and they can include marketing materials such as videos too. As well as video, text and voice chat facilities, course providers can hold webinars, or virtual seminars, to address large numbers of prospective students during Which Course Virtual Week.

What about the human touch? Isn’t it missing with something like this?
That’s a good question! The thing to remember is that although you are meeting in a virtual space, you are speaking to a human being in real time. It’s not like getting stuck in a voicemail loop and desperately hoping to talk to an operator. It is very interactive. Think of it as a combination of Google and Skype. You can search for information beforehand, just like Google, and then have a back-and-forth video or text conversation with somebody who is online and engaged in speaking to you.

That sounds like a format that would appeal to younger people.
Definitely! Although I would argue that most of us in Ireland are comfortable with technology. People born in the 1980s and beyond are regarded as digital natives – that is they grew up with digital technology so an online event like Which Course Virtual Week doesn’t feel foreign for them. A 2014 survey found that nearly 60 percent of Irish adults shop online at least once a month; two-thirds of us say that the internet helps us feel more connected to friends and family; and a whooping eight in ten Irish adults use a smartphone, tablet or laptop while watching television. I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of us use technology all the time.

How does the platform itself work?
All you need is a computer, a tablet or a smartphone with an internet connection. You don’t need to download or install anything. Once you’ve registered to take part, you can start collecting information. Attendees are given a virtual bag – similar to a virtual briefcase where they can store information like prospectuses or application forms from colleges – so that they can compare what’s available. They can speak to colleges over Which Course Virtual Week and they can even enrol in a course through the platform itself. It is very convenient and easy to use.

Is Which Course Virtual Week only for prospective college students?
Not at all! There will be all kinds of course providers taking part. We wanted to make the event as broad as possible. Whether an attendee is looking for an undergraduate degree, a post-graduate degree or a part-time or evening course, we have it covered. There are also plenty of short courses for people who want to improve skills in a particular area, or are just interested in learning a hobby.

Do you have any advice for attendees?
There are a couple of things I would recommend. First off, sign up as soon as possible and gather all the information you need and whittle it down so that you speak to the relevant colleges that run the courses that you are interested in! Also write down a list of what questions you want answered, and you can speak to the ones who best fit your needs.
Finally, keep a pen and paper handy to take notes during your appointment. You will almost certainly want to double-check this information at some point, so it’s better to have it. Some people have great memories, but I forget everything unless I write it down!

For further information on Which Course Virtual Week, please contact Beth on email or see


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FREE Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Science in Computing Full Time and now Part-Time (Even if EMPLOYED)

There are thousands of unfilled positions in the ICT sector in Ireland. The ICT industry needs talented and skilled graduates to fill these positions.

Dublin Business School (DBS) in conjunction with Microsoft Ireland, their Partner Network and other Industry Partners under the Government Springboard initiative is providing participants the opportunity to reskill or cross skill for FREE under an approved and accredited Level 8 conversion award for a Higher Diploma in Science in Computing.

The initiative launched on the 15th June 2016 by Minister for Education & Skills Michael Bruton T.D announced the scheme to provide re-training opportunities for the unemployed and employed as part of a further roll out of the Springboard initiative.

All courses are supported by the HEA and Department of Education and Skills which means the tuition fees normally associated with such programmes are waived.

To anybody holding a Level 8 degree and interested in a career in Software Development, IT Infrastructure and Networking or Web and Cloud technologies, this is the programme you have been looking for. With 44,500 new jobs forecasted to arise in the ICT sector by 2018 it has become a real success story in Ireland.

Graduates of this programme will be qualified for graduate entry level positions in a wide range of IT areas, including Software Development, Database Administration, Networking and Web and Cloud Technologies.

With over 80%** of our ICT graduates to date securing full time employment, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Become part of the ICT success story with DBS today! Applications for Autumn 2016 are now being considered.

“The Higher Diploma in Science in Computing is an excellent industry supported course which has helped me to develop a wide range of highly desirable IT skills. While the workload on the course is highly intensive the opportunities and skills gained from its completion are highly recommended and offer the student the maximum possibility of employment on its completion. The staff and lectures offer great support during the course and have an excellent knowledge of the subject areas. Overall a great experience and I would like to thank everyone at DBS.”

For more information, see DBS ICT Skills Programme, email or call admissions at DBS (01) 417 7500.


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New Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness from Motions Health & Fitness

Motions Health & Fitness is a training provider that offers people who are interested in health & fitness the opportunity to work at what they love. Motions run a number of university accredited courses in Dublin for anybody interested in becoming a fitness professional. Personal fitness is now the most popular form of physical activity in Ireland. With growing numbers participating in all forms of exercise there is an increasing demand for fitness professionals to teach classes, design fitness programs and give guidance and support to people of all ages and levels of fitness.

Motions has just announced that they will be offering a new Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness course this Autumn in D.I.T. Kevin St, Dublin 2. This is a two year full time undergraduate course providing the opportunity to gain a university accredited professional qualification as a specialist fitness professional. The course is aimed at people who would like to work as fitness coaches, personal trainers, gym-instructors and studio teachers in all aspects of the leisure industry. The course is open to anybody with an enthusiasm and interest in health, fitness and physical activity and a desire to promote and teach this to others. The course offers advanced modules in year 2 thus allowing students to develop specialist areas of expertise.

The Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness (HCEHF) is the only university accredited specialist fitness qualification in Ireland. The HCEHF is accredited and awarded by the University of Limerick and all students on the Dublin course are registered UL students. There are other courses that take place in University facilities but they are not accredited by that University.

The HCEHF is a Level 6 major qualification on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). This Framework provides a way to compare qualifications and to ensure that they are quality assured and recognised at home and abroad. It is also on the European Qualifications Framework and it is an EQF Level 5.

In addition to the educational recognition, this qualification is also recognised as the highest Industry standard award by Europe Active. Europe Active represents the European Health & Fitness sector in Brussels. Europe Active is also a standards setting body for the health and fitness industry and promotes best practice in instruction and training. The HCEHF is aligned on the Europe Active Sectoral Qualification Framework (SQF) at Level 5. It has the highest academic standard of any fitness instructor qualification in Ireland and the highest industry recognised standard. The course is approved for SUSI grants for those who are eligible. Even though it is a third level course it is not subject to CAO application.

Motions continues to offer the Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness which is the primary qualification for Fitness Professionals in Ireland. There are 2 part time options in Dublin City Centre, one a day course and the other a night course. The qualification is also accredited by the University of Limerick. Details of the courses are on

Learn more about Motion Health & Fitness here.


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One day training courses from Pery Square Business College

Pery Square Business College will be holding a number of one-day training courses helping students to upskill. These include a one day PowerPoint training course, which will teach students how to give a professional presentation. Pery Square offers PowerPoint Training at an Introduction, Intermediate and Advanced levels.

Pery Square Business College are also holding a one day LinkedIn Workshop. Participants will learn how to set up a LinkedIn profile and brand themselves or their business. They will also learn how to use LinkedIn as an effective networking and marketing tool.

For more information email or phone 061 310 155.



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Major Digital Skills Deficit in Growth Sectors, says Leading Educator and Entrepreneur

IT skills

Improving digital skills among existing workers, as well as new graduates, will be crucial if we are to maintain Ireland’s competitive edge in a number of growth sectors. That’s according to Paul Dunne, CEO and Founder of Digital Skills Academy.

“Staff in a number of key sectors in this country – such as banking, finance and telecommunications – will need to upskill for the future” he says. “There is a risk that the digital technology now widely used in these industries elsewhere in the world is outpacing the existing expertise of Irish staff in corresponding sectors.”

Government and government agencies have highlighted fintech in particular as a target growth sector for the Irish economy, and while there is plenty of startup activity, those already working in the financial services sectors could contribute more to these innovations if they had greater levels of digital capability. “This is only natural,” says Dunne. “Figuring out how to get ahead without falling behind in the process is a challenge for anyone already in full-time employment.”

The importance of improving digital fluency also extends to Ireland’s aspiring workforce. The most recent GradIreland recruitment survey highlighted the importance of digital skills in determining the kinds of jobs the graduates of 2016 and beyond will be qualified for. The survey found most jobs for graduates are currently in banking, insurance and financial services.

However, the study also found that the biggest knowledge shortfall cited by employers (48.3% surveyed) when hiring graduates was insufficient IT and digital skills proficiency.

Digital Skills Academy programmes aim to address the digital skills gap seen in Ireland and internationally.

The one year, online and part-time BSc Degree programmes, accredited by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), are designed to rapidly enhance participants’ career prospects through a blend of online learning and real-world experience working on live industry-assigned projects.

Participants graduate with expertise and extensive experience working in international cross functional virtual teams (Coders, Managers, Marketers, Sales professionals and Digital Designers working together) and with advanced skills in problem-solving, decision-making, and design-thinking.

Digital Skills Academy headquarters can be found in Dublin’s Digital Hub. “Our location in this thriving digital space is no coincidence,” stresses Dunne. “We chose the Digital Hub so that we would have direct and continuous contact with organisations pioneering the digital revolution currently fuelling the global economy. This gives our programme designers – and by extension our participants – access to what’s happening in the digital space in real time.”




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Gaiety School of Acting summer courses now enrolling

summer courses

Have you ever considered a course in acting or theatre? The world-famous is currently taking bookings for their evening summer courses in Acting for Camera, Introduction to Drama, Stand-Up Comedy, Musical Theatre and more.

For more information on taking a summer evening course with the GSA, see

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Brand new Masters in Theatre Practice

National Theatre School University College Dublin and the Gaiety School of Acting, the National Theatre School of Ireland, are offering a new one year Masters in Theatre Practice.

The MA in Theatre Practice is for highly motivated students who want to lead tomorrow’s theatre industry. The programme will offer a unique hybrid model of teaching and learning focusing on academic and practice-based modules and taught by academics at UCD and professional artistic experts and specialists in theatre practice at GSA.

The dynamic combination of conservatory and academia will provide students with an inspiring and challenging environment in which to research and experiment in practices of innovative theatre making. Students will have access to UCD’s full range of facilities as well as the GSA’s suite of studios in their centre-city location.

Applications are invited from those who have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field or discipline and who has practical experience in any theatre or performance discipline. Accreditation of prior experience in lieu of academic qualifications will be considered.

Admission procedures: application, interview, performance workshop, writing sample. Distance and international interviews will be accommodated.

To apply, see


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New MA from NUI Galway: Early Childhood Studies (Masters)

NUI Galway has announced a new Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies. This programme is designed to support emerging professional roles within the broader Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector and to prepare existing practitioners for future opportunities. It offers a progression route for students of NUI Galway’s part-time BA in Early Childhood Studies and Practice but is also open to graduates of other institutions. The course is offered on a part-time blended learning basis over two years. It is designed to complement and support continued employment. Visit NUI Galway’s course page to find out more.

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