23 new courses announced for Cork students seeking alternative to CAO

These new coursed will commence in September across 11 locations and 5 fields of provision including Business, ICT, Arts, Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction and Health and Welfare.

The National Tertiary Office has just announced the launch of 23 new tertiary degree programmes for the academic year 2023/2024. 

Established by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science in a joint initiative between the Higher Education Authority and SOLAS, the National Tertiary Office (NTO) was tasked with the development of new progressive pathways through further education to higher education which is central to the government’s ambition of a unified tertiary education system. 

A tertiary course is one that commences in an Education and Training Board (ETB) and continues in a Higher Education Institution (HEI), culminating in the award of a degree. In this proof-of-concept phase, there are 23 tertiary degree courses commencing in September across 11 locations and 5 fields of provision including Business, ICT, Arts, Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction and Health & Welfare.

National Tertiary Office transitioning pathways from further education to higher education

Speaking at the launch today, 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.”

Professor John O’Halloran, President of UCC, welcomed the launch of the tertiary degrees programme “which will provide pathways for students through further to higher education: opportunities that provide pathways that are student-focussed, rather than institutionally focussed, are warmly welcomed.”

The HEI and ETB partners collaborated closely on the development and shared delivery of tertiary programmes to provide students with a seamless transition from FET into higher education and a clearly defined learner pathway right through to professional practice.

From day one of their tertiary degree course, the learner is recognised as a registered student of both the ETB where they are commencing their course and the partnered university which provides the student with access to dual supports and services including libraries, sports, and other campus facilities as well as academic, health and wellbeing supports.

Students interested in pursuing a degree through the new tertiary route should visit the National Tertiary Office website (www.nto.ie) where students may apply for any of the 23 programmes on offer this September.

For the eligibility criteria and course specific entry requirements, please refer to the course information section on the NTO website. General enquiries may be addressed to the NTO and course specific queries should be directed to the relevant Tertiary Coordinator as listed on the website.

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