Entry Requirements

The basic entry requirement to all Level 5 courses is as follows:

  • Over 18 years of age and/or successful completion of the Leaving Certificate
    (or equivalent international qualification)
  • Successful completion of a Level 4 major award
    (or equivalent international qualification)

The basic entry requirement to all Level 6 courses is as follows:

  • Successful completion of a related Level 5 major award
    (or equivalent international qualification)

Some programmes may require specific subjects, or skills. If you have completed a Level 5 course and wish to study at Level 6, please remember that you need to complete a new application.

Our teachers will assess if the course is the right option for you at an interview. All reasonable efforts are made to facilitate diversity and to support learners with additional needs. See the section Open Learning and Students with Additional Needs for more information.

The interview is a formal process, but you needn’t be nervous about it. We make sure that you understand what will be involved in the course, and feel confident that you will be able to be successful.

Top Tips For The Interview

Here are some ideas to help you prepare. Remember, we want to make sure the course is right for you!

  • We’ll ask about your interests and how these relate to the course
  • We’ll ask about what you want to do in the future
  • We’ll ask about your achievements – these could be academic, or events that you have participated in
  • We’ll ask what you think your skills are
  • Above all, let us find out about you

Remember that like all professional interviews, some personal preparation will really help boost your confidence!

Only the applicant attends the interview, third parties are not permitted to attend.

Mature Students

Mature students (over 23 years old) are welcome to apply for all courses at Carlow Institute. Mature applicants who don’t meet the minimum entry requirements, but who have acquired skills or experience, are welcome to apply, and we make sure the course is suitable at an interview. For more information about your skills and experience see the section on Recognition of Prior Learning. The same application form and closing dates apply to all students.

Garda Vetting (Clearance)

Garda Vetting (police / criminal records clearance) is a requirement on courses where students have access to children or vulnerable adults. Students must be vetted for clearance by the Gardaí prior to attending work experience. It is your responsibility to obtain Garda Vetting Clearance / criminal records clearance.

Students who have lived outside the jurisdiction of Ireland /Northern Ireland, and for whom Garda vetting / clearance is unavailable, are required to provide verifiable evidence of criminal records clearance from the relevant police authorities.

We will provide you with information about making an application for clearance, but it is your responsibility to complete any necessary application and to obtain clearance. If you are offered a place on a course, you will be issued with information at registration.

Your Interview

Most interviews take place in late August, following the Leaving Certificate results, but some courses have earlier interview sessions in May – see course information pages for details.

Our staff will guide you through questions to make sure that you are in a position to succeed on the course. You will be able to ask about the course and opportunities available. It is essential to attend an interview – it is your opportunity to see if the course is the right choice for you.

After Your Interview

If the course is the right choice for you, you will be offered a place. As courses are popular, this operates on a first fully registered basis with fees paid in full. We cannot keep places for students who do not pay full fees.

If you aren’t ready to undertake a course, or need more time to develop skills, you will be guided to step-up options, including:

  • Preparatory Level 4 courses, including Literacy and Numeracy
  • Other alternative courses, including work-based learning and apprenticeships
  • Career Guidance Counsellor advice on alternative courses

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