Are you looking for a new job or a change in career? Maybe a Springboard course can help.

Springboard courses are part of a fantastic Government initiative which offer free or heavily subsidised courses at certificate, degree and masters level, aimed at graduates, the unemployed, employed or those wanting to start their own business. Most of the Springboard courses are one year or less but there are some two year masters. Springboard courses are aligned with the National Framework Qualifications (NFQ ) and are stackable, meaning that you can complete a certificate (Level 6 ) and or a postgraduate diploma (Level 7 ) and then progress onto a masters (Level 9 ). There are more than 250 Springboard courses being offered by universities across the country. These courses were designed to supply industry with specific areas of knowledge and expertise, particularly where there was a skills shortage. These areas include green skills, climate change, digital marketing, manufacturing, engineering and innovation.

Some Springboard courses are offered online while others offer face-to-face tuition. Some offer a hybrid model of both face-to-face and online modules. Some courses also offer work placement or work projects as part of the course, which is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience and new insights into a different industry or company. Some courses may even allow you to arrange your own placement or project, but you would need to discuss that with your course director before you begin the course. Springboard also offers what are called ‘conversion courses’, which means that by completing one of these courses you will be fully equipped to work in the area of the course even if you have not studied it before. For example, there are many data analytics conversion courses around the country which are aimed at upskilling and ‘converting’ those who have never studied data analytics.

Entry requirements

When selecting a Springboard course, it is really important to examine the content or the specific modules that are being taught on the course. Most of these modules are listed on the course description but very often the course director is more than happy to chat to prospective students about the content and requirements of the course. Every course has entry requirements which you need to check out. Do not be put off if you do not meet the requirements. Most universities have introduced a Recognised Prior Learning policy (RPL ), whereby prior related work experience can be used to meet the entry requirements of a course or module, but this is something you would need to explore and discuss with the university admissions, or the course director, prior to commencing the course.

Other factors to take into account before enrolling in a Springboard course include your work commitments, your family commitments and the additional commitments of the course such as study, project work which may involve working with and meeting a team of people, and also the cost and possible travel requirements of the course. Springboard courses have helped many people change careers, upskill, start their own business and also get that promotion, but some Springboard courses have offered people personal development and allowed them to develop knowledge for their ‘passion projects’ which has also proven very rewarding. Information on all Springboard courses is available on, and more information surrounding the funding and eligibility of Springboard courses is available on the

Claire Murphy obtained her masters in career guidance and counselling in Trinity and has more than 10 years' experience working as a teacher and a career guidance counsellor at both second and third level. Claire is currently working as a consultant career guidance counsellor in Psychmed. To book and appointment for a CV or personal statement review, interview skills or help with CAO choice, email her at


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