There are a number of steps you can take in finding out about what courses are available either locally or nationally in Ireland you can:

The following course databases provide information on courses throughout Ireland:-

Addresses for Higher Education Institution websites can be sourced, through the following two websites:

  1. Qualifax
  2. CAO

There are other Education Providers, in conjunction with various government departments offering courses throughout Ireland:-

ETBs (Education & Training Boards) organise further education and adult education courses.

TEAGASC provides courses in horticulture, agriculture, forestry and equine studies.  Courses are also offered for adult farmers in financial management, environment and options outside of mainstream farming.  In terms of food courses, TEAGASC runs food processing, food safety and quality systems, food legislation, food innovation and new product development courses.

FAILTE IRELAND in conjunction with third level colleges, offer courses in cookery, tourism/ hospitality, hotel/bar/restaurant/ accommodation and front office management programmes.  Other initiatives are the Trainee Management Development and National Apprenticeship programmes.   Short skills development programmes (13-16 weeks) providing learners with the opportunity to gain initial skills that would be required in the hotel and catering industry e.g. National Culinary Skills, National Restaurant Skills, National Bar Skills, National Catering Assistant Course, Hotel Front Office Skills are held in Dublin, Waterford and other regions.

COILLTEhas expertise in the areas of machinery and equipment, with emphasis on the Agricultural and Forestry sectors. Coillte Training Services offers the following courses: chainsaw courses, advanced chainsaw course, pesticide application, landscaping, manual handling operator’s course, Safety Reps, abrasive wheels, basic tractor course, polepruner, brushcutter strimmer, hedgetrimmer, lawnmower, ride on lawnmower and safety awareness days.  The training centre is located in Mountrath, County Laois.

There are a number of publications listing the courses available to the general public.  These can be very useful when they list courses under career/subject categories, night/day/online attendance, by location and/ or course level.  These may be available at your local book shop, libraryAdult Education Guidance Service, or directly from the publisher.  A selection of books are listed below which can get you started.

  • One Step Up Information Booklet – find your education and training options, AONTAS
  • Institute of Public Administration (IPA) yearbook contains details on both the private and public sectors with over 9,000 organisations listed
  • Working for Work – Exploring Welfare, Work, Education and Training Options for Unemployed People (INOU), Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed
  • Gradireland, Postgraduate Directory of taught courses in Ireland and links to Irish, UK & International study sites
The traditional way to obtain course information is to go directly to the education provider for information on their courses.  You might ring or visit and request their prospectus on their courses.  You might attend their Open Day – so that you will be able to see all of their facilities, attend information sessions on their courses and also meet course co-ordinators.

Education providers usually organise “an Open Day” at least once per year.  These Open Days are usually open to all.  They are an ideal opportunity for you to ask questions about the courses that they offer and to see the facilities.  For a list of open days please go to the Events Calendar on the Qualifax website. If you are not able to attend an Open Day and you have specific questions or doubts about whether a course might be suitable for you, you might like to contact and/or make an appointment to meet with the Course Co-ordinator. This can be especially useful before committing to a long course e.g. an honours degree of four years duration.

Check if the education provider has a website – which may provide you with the most up to date information on their courses as it can be updated by the education provider continuously.

If you are from Carlow you may find the following lists of Carlow education providers helpful:

The Media, particularly local newspapers and radio, are excellent sources of information on locally run courses which may not feature in any of the national directories or websites.

In addition, courses which are run according to demand may advertise a short time before the start of the course. If you are interested in short and/ or local courses it is very important to check your local media regularly.

If you know current or past students of the course you are interested in, do make contact with them. Alternatively, ask the course provider for contact information for students who would be happy to share their experiences. People who have experience of the course will be able to provide lots of practical information, which may not be included in the course prospectus.

The Adult Educational Guidance and Information Services (AEGIS) are managed by the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs). The ETB AEGIS provide impartial careers and education information, one-to-one guidance and group guidance, which help adults who wish to return to education and training, or are already registered on a Further Education Training programme within the ETBs to make informed educational, career and life choices.

Please click on this link to find the contact details for your nearest Adult Educational Guidance and Information Service.

The courses provided by the main education providers will most probably be found by doing an internet search.  However, in every county, a range of courses may be provided by smaller and/ or community providers.  Information on these opportunities can be accessed at your nearest Adult Educational Guidance and Information Service (AEGIS).  (Please find here a list of local further education providers – complied by Carlow AEGIS).  If there is no AEGIS convenient to you, here is a list of local providers of education information you might check with:

  • The Adult Education Organiser of your local ETB
  • The Community Education Facilitator of your local ETB
  • Community/ Resource/ Parish Centres
  • Citizens Information Centres
  • Home School Liaison Officers in primary and secondary schools may provide courses for parents
  • Area Based Partnership Companies 
  • Case Officer at the nearest Intreo office of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.