Adult Education: a pick ’n’ mix

A sampling of some of the vast selection of adult education courses around

Adults looking at a return to education are spoilt for choice.Here's a sample of the many options for adult learners. Contact your local education and training board for a list of courses leading to a certificate, diploma, or other qualification. Or you can explore full-time degree courses in your local institutes of technology or university.

Science, engineering and technology (SET) courses, as well as those in agriculture, architecture and construction, have become more popular in recent years as students hone in on job prospects, but it’s hugely important to pick a course you are passionate about: don’t go for something that doesn’t truly interest you or you could risk dropping out. Despite the trend towards SET, agriculture and construction, a humanities or arts qualification is still hugely beneficial and employers value people who have shown that they can research, write, and critically analyse and engage with information.

This selection is primarily focused on courses leading to a qualification or job, but you can alternatively look at a night course in your local community college or at the adult education centre in your local third-level institute: UCD and UCC are among those with excellent options. Also be sure to check community education options: Maynooth University’s department of adult and community education and the adult education organisation AONTAS are excellent starting points.

Remedial and sports Massage

Blackrock Further Education Institute, Dublin. One-year sports therapy qualification that leads on to year 2 of a BSc degree in health science with the Institute of Physical Therapy and Applied Science, which is a private college but offers fully recognised degrees.

Pre University Science Course

Colaiste Ide College of Further Education, Dublin One-year preparatory science studies course including biology, microbiology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, laboratory skills and mathematics. In 2013, four students went on to Trinity College Dublin and several others made it to UCD, and Maynooth. This year three students secured places in Maynooth University.

This course could be a valuable investment in the future: engineering and science job prospects remain strong, as reflected by the growth in demand for these courses in this year's CAO points. colaisteide.ie

Graduate entry medicine,

Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin This is designed for students who have already undertaken a primary degree. Many wanted to study medicine from a young age but, for whatever reason, didn’t. A course for motivated and career-focused students.

Various part-time courses

, Cork Institute of Technology CIT’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Management Systems

, part of the manufacturing, mechanical and biomedical engineering departments, has developed programmes in the areas of control and automation, sustainable energy, project management, quality/ manufacturing/ lean six sigma, and biomedical engineering.

The course is part CIT's continuing education prospectus (weekend and evening courses) for 2014/15, which covers a range of courses all disciplines – business and accounting, human resource management, computing, engineering, science, humanities, art, music and maritime, as well as Springboard programmes and customised and in-company training. cit.ie or call 021-4335900.

Certificate in autism studies

University College Cork

A part-time course designed as an introduction to how people on the autistic spectrum see the world. The course is held in UCC, Bantry, Waterford, and Killarney.

The european computer driving licence

The ECDL is the world’s leading international computer skills certification programme, offering learners a highly respected qualification.

Kilroy's College distance learning programme (kilroyscollege.ie), the Ormonde Business School (ormondebusiness.com) and a number of education training boards are among the course providers.

CPD courses for finance professionals

Demand remains high for workers with up-to-date accounting skills. The

is one organisation offering continuing professional development courses: call (01) 637 7200 for details. Alternatively, check out short courses in finance on

.

Multimedia

Waterford College of Further Education

The advent of digital media and the growth of online business make this an attractive full-time course. Students will learn industry computer packages and how to use sound, film, video, photography, artwork, graphics, and animation. Phone 051- 874053 for details.

Bachelor of business studies with German

University of Limerick

Graduates with a European language – particularly German, Spanish or French – stand an excellent chance of being snapped up after college. Emerging market languages including Portuguese (for Brazilian firms), Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Russian are also in demand. If you’ve got a business qualification as well, you’re set. Courses available in all universities and most Institutes of Technology.

Food science with innovation

IT Tralee This course is designed to train people as highly skilled laboratory analysts with expertise in product development, process development and innovation in the agri-food sector. Job prospects are strong. Other agriculture courses are worth a look, particularly those at

University College Dublin

.

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