Galway Community College Progession Routes
Progression to Third level from Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) in Galway Community College (GCC) is a relatively easy process once the student is correctly informed with the relevant information and familiar with the CAO system.
It is the responsibility of the individual learner to familiarise themselves with the different schemes and routes that allow students progress to both FETAC level 6, Institutes of Technology and University. (See information below)
However, there is a full range of Career Guidance supports and individual assistance for students to make the process as easy as possible in Galway Community College, (see www.galwaycc.ie website for a list of student services).
All GCC students will have the opportunity to apply through the CAO facility, as mature learners (+23) and to the UK using the UCAS system where applicable.
1. Can I go to University or an Institute of Technology from a PLC course in GCC?
Students who successfully complete courses at GCC may gain entry to Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) through the FETAC Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) and the Pilot scheme which is based on the FETAC points scoring system (see below).
Certain Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) also reserve a quota of places in specific courses for applicants presenting FETAC level 5/6 awards. Such applicants are assessed separately from all other applicants and may apply in particular to some University programs, depending on achieving certain grades in particular modules (see below).
Successful completion of a Level 5 Award may also lead students into FETAC level 6 awards in GCC, or other centres, which may in turn allow for direct entry to some HEI’s. This process is by direct application to the particular HEI’s and is solely at their discretion. Currently GCC students can apply to progress into second year of some HEI’s programs of which the most current and up-to-date information is available on the FETAC link at www.cao.ie.
A useful source of information pertaining to these courses is available on the course search facility at www.qualifax.ie.
2. Do I have to pass the Full Award for entry to 3rd Level?
Applicants must have obtained a full FETAC Level 5/6 Award (See point 4 below) for progression to Third Level; a Component Certificate will not suffice.
Certain courses may require a Distinction in specific modules within the FETAC level 5/6 award, and certain courses may require a number of Distinctions, e.g. 5 Distinctions (See HEI prospectuses for details of such specific requirements).
3. Will some Higher Education Courses require specific modules/components?
FETAC level 5/6 awards are made up of a number of modules with different sets of modules leading to different awards (Full or Component Certificate).
Some courses require specific awards and it is important to know which awards are accepted for entry to these courses. Details are shown in the HEI’s prospectus or in the FETAC Guide to the Higher Education Links Scheme www.fetac.ie.
4. What is a Full Award at PLC level?
All HEI’s consider only the best 8 Modules in a single Award for the calculation of points. Different points are awarded by different institutions for Distinction, Merit and Pass grades at PLC Level. If an applicant has the correct award linked to the HEI course in question, then the points for the best 8 modules are added together to give a Points Score for ranking purposes (for full details, consult www.fetac.ie ).
Note that a full FETAC Major Award normally contains 8 modules. A Major Award may be accumulated over more than one academic year. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to apply to FETAC for a major award where courses are taken over more than one year.