Funded Flexible Learning


Springboard+ is a Government initiative offering free and heavily subsidised courses at certificate, degree, and masters level leading to qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities in the economy.

Human Capital

The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 offers free and discounted full-time courses in areas such as ICT and Data Analytics, Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction. A number of courses are also available that address green skills and climate change. Courses are at graduate and postgraduate diploma level.

ICT Skills

Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet supports the workforce development needs of businesses within the Technology Sector. We offer a small number of industry-led and fully funded programmes for people who are not in employment, subject to eligibility criteria and the availability of places.

HCI Graduate Conversion Programmes

The Human Capital Initiative or HCI Pillar 1 scheme is a government initiative, run by the Higher Education Authority. Courses are open to graduates, those returning to education, professionals and unemployed candidates.

Welcome from the Funded Flexible Learning Office

On behalf of the Funded Flexible Learning Office, and all of my colleagues in TUS Athlone Campus, I would like to thank you for your interest in our funded programmes for the academic year 2023/24. I am delighted to announce that we have secured substantial funding to help enable you to start your learning journey with us. Under the 2023 Springboard+, ICT Skills and Human Capital Initiatives, TUS Athlone Campus has secured in excess of €4 million to provide over 800 course places for those who are seeking to reskill or upskill. These funded places are spread over 15 courses in a broad range of disciplines including Leadership & Management, Quality, Biopharmaceutical, Packaging, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and Culinary Skills to name just a few. Full details of these programmes of these programmes and you can apply for your chosen programme on In each programme listing you will find a contact name and email address, so please do reach out to us if you need help deciding which course is the best fit for you. I look forward to meeting you in September.
Janine King
Funded Flexible Learning Coordinator

Your life, Our answers

Explore our FAQ’S to learn more about your education options and start your journey in higher education today

You can apply for up to 10 programmes but you can only accept one place if offered.  When you accept a place on a programme all other applications are automatically cancelled.  However, we would recommend that you research all courses before applying and only apply for the ones you really wish to pursue, rather than applying for 10, as this will help ensure that you will not miss the opportunity to be fully assessed for the best course for you.

Firstly contact us in the Funded Flexible Learning Office, email that we can help you ascertain what the issue is, as we can help with most that occur.  If we are not able to help we will advise you to call Springboard Technical Support on (076) 6151247 or send an email to with your query.

You will need to submit a new application for the 2023 courses however you should continue to use your old login details for the Springboard+ website. You should login and update your application with any new skills, qualifications you have gained since and supply new eligibility documentation when requested.  Please note that dependent on demand for programmes at each closing date shortlisting of applications may apply, therefore there is no guarantee that you will be allocated a place on a course even if you have been in the past.  We would recommend early application if you are interested in applying again.

You will need to contact the other provider and ask them to “release” you on their course.  When they do this you will be able to apply for other courses.

Your record needs to be updated by the other provider before you can apply for new course.  Contact the other provider and ask them to do this.  When they do this you will be able to apply for new courses.  Note, your record cannot be updated until all results from your previous course have been processed and released.

Unless an interview is part of the application process for the programme, there is usually no requirement to meet with the academic staff. However, for any applicant wishing to discuss one or more of the courses in detail with the academic staff, please contact them directly via the email address supplied in the course descriptor on

If you do not submit the requested eligibility documentation within the timeframe advised (this will be from end July/beginning August) you will be deemed not eligible and your provisional offer of a place will be rescinded.

We are happy to assist you in any way that we can.

Reach out to us by email and we can schedule a phone call or an online individual eligibility check via Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

All level 6 programmes are 100% funded – you pay nothing – once you have demonstrated your eligibility.

For programmes at levels 7, 8 and 9 fee liability is calculated on the start date of the programme.  Therefore if you become employed before the programme starts you will become liable for 10%.  If you become employed after the programme has commenced you remain 100% funded.

If you are employed when you apply but become unemployed (on an eligible DEASP payment, or have formally wound up self-employment) before the course starts you become 100% funded and will not have to pay anything.

It is very important that you inform us of any changes in your employment status between accepting a place and the start date of your programme, as you must supply evidence of your status to Springboard on the start date approx. 6 weeks into your studies.  This may mean a change to your fee liability.  Records are strictly monitored at all times so we will become aware of any necessary changes to your fee liability.

This must be paid before course commencement.

Generally offers last for five working days.  Where places are in high demand this may reduce to three working days to allow fairness for all applicants.  When you receive your offer you can log into your account on to see the acceptance deadline for your offer.

Email us at to explain that you missed the deadline.  If places are still available we will make a new offer to you.  Please note second offers have a much shorter deadline acceptance (1-2 working days) so please ensure you are ready to accept an offer before you request a new one.

Firstly contact us in the Funded Flexible Learning Office, email so that we can help you ascertain what the issue is, as we can help with most that occur.  If we are not able to help we will advise you to call Springboard Technical Support on (076) 6151247 or send an email to with your query.

Firstly check here to see if you are eligible to do another funded programme –

If you believe you are eligible to partake in another programme send an email to us at detailing the reasons you did not complete your previous course, and cannot accept an offer as I did not complete a previous funded programme – include any documentary evidence to support this.  For example, if it was for work reasons include a letter from your employer confirming this, or if it was for medical reason include documents such as letter from your doctor confirming a medical issue at the time.  If the reason was personal and cannot be evidenced through documentary evidence please explain this in the email.  We will review your submission and if it is deemed acceptable we will request an unblock on your account which will mean you can accept your offer after a few days.  You will be informed of the decision by email.

The aim of the funding initiatives is to help you transition into industries where there are significant employment opportunities. The funded programmes in TUS Midlands Midwest give you the flexibility to continue pursuing your work endeavours as you expand opportunities with practical new skills.

These initiatives, funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund also remove the financial barriers to education for many people that would love to further their education, but it wasn’t possible as they didn’t have the means to do so.

These are free and part-funded programmes specifically designed for two cohorts of applicants:

  • The Unemployed so that they can learn new skills and they can re-enter the workforce
  • The Employed, so that they can upskill and reskill to have better opportunities in the workplace

The Employed includes anyone working – be it full time or part time – salary is not taken into account.

The Unemployed includes

  • Department of Social Protection Clients – those in receipt of eligible payments from the DEASP – including the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Please refer to for a full list of eligible DEASP payments.  For the purposes of determining eligibility for Springboard+ the term unemployed also includes people who are on short term working and in receipt of a Jobseekers payment from the Department of Social Protection.
  • Returners – people who have been out of work due to family responsibilities, or those who are unemployed but aren’t eligible for a social welfare payment, but are financially dependent on a spouse or partner for 9 of the last 12 months.
  • Formerly Self-employed – people who have formally wound up their businesses with Revenue and haven’t been able to find work or avail of a social welfare payment since.

Springboard courses are part-time and one year or less in duration.  There is a range of programmes from certificate to master’s degree levels – levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Level 6 courses are free for everyone, levels 7, 8 and  9 are free for the unemployed, and the employed must pay 10%  – this is usually only between  €500 -€900, which is fantastic value, considering some of these courses are worth up to €8500.

HCI Graduate Conversion courses are full-time and one year in duration.  Level 8 & 9 programmes are available and are more intensive than part-time programmes so they require considerably more time commitment from participants. They are conversion programmes which enable graduates to acquire a qualification in a different discipline.  These are newly-developed courses for graduates to reskill in areas where there is evidence of skills shortage and emerging technologies.  They are free for those who are unemployed below but recent graduates (Summer 2022) must pay 10% of course fee even if they are unemployed. The employed must also pay 10%.

 ICT Skills courses can be full time (one year in duration) and part-time (two years in duration).  The Unemployed pay nothing and the employed only pay 10% of the course cost.  This is generally approx. €500-€800.  The Unemployed are not eligible for the part-time offerings, but are eligible for the full-time offerings.

Full time programmes no longer mean face to face classes Monday to Friday.  They are generally delivered in a blended flexible (partly or mostly online) manner, so it is worthwhile to check the delivery timetable if you are working, as they may be suitable for your particular circumstances.


The vast majority of applicants are eligible for this funding – in fact over the last number of years we have refused very few on the basis of funding eligibility, Therefore, we would encourage everyone to apply if they see a course they are interested in, as we will carry out a full individualised eligibility check with you after your application.

All applicants must live in Ireland and have a valid PPS number.

You must be either:

  • An EU national
  • A non EU national with Stamp 4 for more than three years

The period of residency for holders of Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM is calculated from the date of receipt of the Stamp 4. Any period of residency in the state before this date will not be taken into consideration.

You must have lived in an EU country for three years out of the last five.

And of course you will have to meet the academic entry requirements for the course you would like to do.

Full details are on

You must also must fall into one of the employment categories employed or unemployed for Springboard+ and ICT Skills, and employed, unemployed or a recent graduate for HCI Graduate Conversion programmes.

You must also be able to prove your eligibility by supplying relevant documentary evidence before the start of the programme to demonstrate your eligibility.

There are progression routes available on most of our programmes right up to Level 9 – in fact when we are designing programmes this is something we focus on and do our utmost to provide.

Full details of progression routes can be found on

Also bear in mind that funded learners can avail of funding for 3 years out of a rolling 5 year cycle – so if you start a funded programme in September which is one year, you can add on additional years or qualification for three years if they are available.

As an example, if you do your Postgraduate Certificate this year, you could do your Postgraduate Diploma the year after and your Masters after that – once you remain eligible.

How to Apply for a Springboard+/ICT Skills/HCI Graduate Conversion Programme” state=”off” style=”simple”]

Applications must be made via

Direct applications to TUS Athlone Campus will not be accepted.

  • Just log onto
  • Register for a free account
  • Apply for your chosen course
  • We will be in touch soon after to get evidence from you that you meet the eligibility criteria.

It is important that you fill out the online application form as fully and completely as you can, as this will be used to make the initial assessment of your application.  If successful you will be made a provisional offer.

At the end of July/beginning of August we will request documentation from you to support your application.  This will be specific to the type of programme you have applied for – Springboard+, ICT Skills or HCI Graduate Conversion.

It is essential that you supply all requested documentation as soon as possible so that we can deem if you are indeed eligible for the provisional place offered. Shortlisted candidates may be called for a brief interview.Further detailed information will be supplied during the application/offer process.

Demand for all programmes has always been exceptionally high, particularly for Level 6 programmes.  Therefore, we recommend that any interested candidates should apply as soon as the programmes open.  We operate rolling closing dates, so that all applicants up to these dates are assessed together.  If places are left over after applications are assessed the programmes will open with a new closing date and this process repeats until all places are allocated.  Thus, there is no guaranteed that courses will reopen after a closing date has passed.  Incomplete applications will be updated to Unsuccessful after these rolling closing dates in order to be fair to all applicants.    Therefore  we would urge you to gather and organise the required documentation noted below as soon as you make an application so that you have it ready when we request it.

All communication regarding assessment of eligibility and allocation of places will be made by email and/or via


“I would recommend Springboard+ course to anyone looking to up-skill for a job following their undergraduate degree. Absolutely go for it, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.!”

Sophie Henry

Happy students

“For me, it was a no-brainer for someone looking to change career because you can retrain with limited risk. I would have no hesitation in recommending Springboard.”

Carl Manzor

man, coffee, outdoors-3803551.jpg

“Do it. Even if it is just a short course which takes a few months. It gives you the opportunity to learn new skills, meet, connect, and learn from your colleagues. The courses allow you to work like you will do in if you were in a real work environment and in group. It helps you create a schedule for yourself, and you can have a work/life balance in parallel. I highly recommend Springboard+ courses!”

Julien Goux

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