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Springboard+ and ICT Skills FAQs

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I don’t have a degree. Is there any point in me applying for one of your courses?

Definitely. Many candidates without a formal third-level qualification or who have done some third-level study but not up to level 8 are successful in their applications to our courses. Such candidates are admitted through NCI’s RPEL (Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning) policy. This takes into account previous work/life experience (usually an absolute minimum of 4 years’ relevant experience). It is also an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their commitment to fully engage with the course. In order to be admitted through the RPEL route candidates must also complete an RPEL form which the Springboard Team at NCI will send to them after initial assessment of their application.


What do you mean by suitably qualified?

The standard entry requirements for these courses is at least a pass in a level 8 honours degree. Candidates applying to the course with non-numerate level 8s e.g. BA (Hons) History, will be required to do a logic test. Candidates with a level 9 or higher (postgraduate diploma or masters) can also be considered for these courses as long as the qualification is not in the same subject area. It is just as important not to have over-qualified candidates in the class as it is not to have under-qualified candidates in the class.


Will I need to do an interview or a test?

Depending on your background you may be required to submit additional documentation and/or participate in an interview or logic test, e.g. if you are applying through the RPEL route or if your degree is in a non-cognate area. The Course Director may also request to meet you in person for an informal interview to assess your suitability for the course. We will advise you in due course if any of the above applies to you.


The course I am interested in studying is described as an online course. What does this entail?

This means that your course will be delivered 100% online over the internet and that you do not at any stage need to come into the college to attend lectures or tutorials. It also means that you will be required to ensure that you have sufficient broadband speed and a reliable connectivity to the internet from your chosen place of study.

You are expected to successfully participate in lectures, laboratories and projects using a laptop computer with a substantial hardware configuration from day 1 of your course. A suitable configuration is 6GB of RAM (8GB or more is recommended); a 64-bit x 86 processor (Intel i5 or superior); 250+GB of hard disk; and a recent installed release of Mac OS or Windows operating system. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their laptop is functioning correctly and that they have full administrator rights to the machine. Unfortunately NCI Student IT support cannot provide support to personal devices.


I understand my course has a BYOD policy. What exactly does this mean?

BYOD means Bring Your Own Device policy which means that you are expected to successfully participate in lectures, laboratories and projects using a laptop computer with a substantial hardware configuration from day 1 of your course. Unfortunately NCI Student IT support cannot provide support to personal devices.


What are the laptop requirements for my course?

A suitable configuration is 6GB of RAM (8GB or more is recommended); a 64-bit x 86 processor (Intel i5 or superior); 250+GB of hard disk; and a recent installed release of Linux, Mac OS or Windows operating system. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their laptop is functioning correctly and that they have full administrator rights to the machine.



Do I need to provide any paperwork with my online application?

Yes you do. In order for us to assess your online application you will need to upload electronic copies of the following documentation along with your application. You should try to do this within 1 to 2 weeks of submitting your online application.

  1. Your current curriculum vitae – please ensure this is up-to-date with accurate contact details and no unsupported additions
  2. Career Statement: Please include a 300 word career statement detailing what has motivated you to undertake the specific course in question and how the course fits in with your career objectives.
  3. Copies of educational transcripts for any relevant qualifications listed in your application form and the final certificates/diplomas for any qualifications listed in your application form. Alternatively a Diploma Supplement will suffice if it contains a breakdown of all subjects taken for the duration of the course and you final grade.
  4. Please ensure all documentation is provided in its original language and where it is not in English you must have it officially translated into English by a third party company. Translations done by the applicant are not acceptable.
  5. Non-EU applicants will need to provide a copy of their Stamp 4 EUFAM GNIB card
  6. 1 passport sized photograph in JPEG format to be used on your student card

When should I apply and when will I know if my application is successful?

We recommend that any interested candidate should apply as soon as the courses open. Decisions are made daily. Places at NCI courses are offered on a first come first served basis to eligible applicants from the date the applications are open until either all funded places are allocated or until the application closing date, whichever comes first. Demand for these courses has always exceeded the number of places available therefore courses regularly fill long before the advertised closing date. Decisions are communicated through www.springboardcourses.ie.


I have been living and working in Ireland for almost 10 years. Do I need to do an English language test?

Candidates whose first language is not English may also be required to sit NCI’s English language test. Regardless of how long you have lived or worked in Ireland, if you haven’t already successfully completed an academic course through English lasting at least one year and if you can’t provide a suitable IELTS or TOEFL test result, you may need to do NCI’s English language test. We will advise you if this applies to you.


Will it be possible to meet with academic staff prior to making a decision?

Unless a face-to-face interview is requested by the course director there is usually no requirement to meet with the academic staff. However for any candidate wishing to discuss one or more of the courses in detail with the academic staff, NCI holds a number of open evenings when you can come and meet the staff and chat with them about your course of interest. Please see our website for details.



What if I can’t/don’t submit all of the documentation?

Incomplete applications will not normally be assessed so please try and submit everything as quickly as possible. We do understand that there can be valid reasons for not having all of the required paperwork, e.g. you are waiting on a final result or you have an exam or a project to do in the summer and won’t have a result until September. If you are waiting for an item of paperwork or a final result please submit everything you have and let us know the situation regarding the outstanding documentation so we can see if we can progress your application without it.



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