Springboard offers Free / 90% Funded Higher Education courses – typically 1 year or less - in areas where skills are in great demand across the Irish economy. All SETU courses are part-time and are delivered in flexible modes designed to maximise access including for people who are working.

  • All courses are open to Employees and Returners* as well as to Jobseekers.
  • NFQ Level 6 courses free for all, Employees pay just 10% of the normal course fee for NFQ level 7 – 9 courses.
  • Returners and Jobseekers may access courses free of charge.
  • All courses are open to Jobseekers except the 2-year Computing Conversion courses.

1) Residency / Nationality

To be considered eligible for a place on a Springboard+ course, you will need to:

  • be living fulltime in the Republic of Ireland
  • have your own, valid PPS Number
  • meet the nationality/visa requirement
  • have lived in either the EU, the EEA, the UK, Switzerland for at least 3 out of the last 5 years

You are an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss national or:

You have Stamp 4/Stamp 4 EU FAM, Stamp 5, or Stamp 6 on your Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card. This includes those resident here on Stamp 4 on the basis of:

  • having permission to remain in Ireland as a family member of an EU citizen or;
  • having official Refugee/Subsidiary Protection status in Ireland /being here on the basis of refugee family reunification or;
  • having been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999) or;
  • having permission to remain following the Minister’s decision not to make a deportation order.
  • have lived in either the EU, the EEA, the UK, Switzerland for at least 3 out of the last 5 years

If you are a Stamp 4/Stamp 4 EU FAM, Stamp 5, or Stamp 6 holder, residency is calculated from the date you first received this stamp. Any residency before this time cannot be counted.

If you have Refugee/Subsidiary Protection status in Ireland, residency is counted from the date you applied for International Protection.

Employed applicants must upload documentation proving residency

Please see here for acceptable documentation

Acceptable docs include your P60 for years up to 2018 or Employment Detail Summary from 2019 onwards  /  mortgage statements if you own your home  /  tenancy or rental agreement if you are renting  /  bank statements for at least 3 months of each year showing day-to-day transactions or Direct Debits for utility bills  /  Utility Bills – Phone, Gas, Electricity  /  an employment letter from your current employer, which includes your name, address, date you commenced work, as well as current payslips.

More on proof of residence documentation: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/e2fab-requesting-proof-of-residence/

Unemployed applicants do not need to upload further documents here as your DSP payment establishes eligibility.

Returner applicants do not need to upload further documents here as this is stated in the sworn declaration 

2) Employment Status

When applying for a course through Springboard+ you will also need to apply on the basis of either being:

  • Employed - working either for yourself or someone else.
  • Unemployed - not currently working, receiving a qualifying welfare payment from the Department of Social Protection (unless you are formerly self-employed) and actively seeking employment.
  • A Returner - a Homemaker, on other caring duties, or economically dependent on a partner/spouse for at least 9 of the last 12 months.
  • A Recent Graduate - a graduate from a full-time NFQ Level 8 degree within the 12 months prior to the start of a Springboard+ course and who does not fit into one of the above categories.

Your eligibility is assessed based on your status on the date your course first starts. You will need to meet the eligibility criteria on that date. Documentary evidence of this will be requested during the course before a fee payment is made on your behalf.

Documents you will need to Upload to Prove your Employment Status

Please see here for acceptable documentation

Employed people: a recent payslip showing your name, PPSN, employers name and date [ salary details etc. can be redacted if you wish ]

Jobseekers & People on other Social Welfare Payments: a recent DoSP payment receipt showing your name, PPSN and date; or a recent Bank Statement showing receipt of a different eligible DoSP payment plus a further document showing your PPSN.

Formerly Self-Employed: a letter from your accountant confirming that you are self-employed and including evidence of your PPSN such as Revenue documents. [ People in the 'Formally Self-employed' category will not typically be in receipt of a DSP payment ].

Returners: a Springboard Returners Declaration Form signed by you and the appropriate third-party confirming that you are a returning to the workplace ( for e.g. after stepping away from formal employment to take on caring responsibilities). Please also include evidence of your PPSN - for example your Social Services Card.

More Information

The Higher Education Authority (HEA), who run the national Springboard+ initiative, has comprehensive eligibility information at https://springboardcourses.ie/faq 

Documentation Needed

Images of all of your academic certificates and transcripts. [ simply take a photo of the documents with your phone ]

These will demonstrate that your either (1) meet the academic entry requirements, or (2) they will support an application made on a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) basis.

You will upload the documents to the Springboard website as part of the application process. Where you wish to have multiple documents considered you will need to merge them into a single file.

No offers of Springboard places can or will be made without the documentaion in place.

Academic Entry Requirements

Academic eligibility criteria for SETU Springboard+ courses are set out on each course page.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Where candidates do not currently meet the formal entry requirements they may be able to advance their application using Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL allows candidates to make a case that they do meet entry requirements through a combination of formal certified learning and learning through experience (most typically work experience). See the course webpage and/or contact the SETU Springbaord offices for more information on using RPL to support your application.

English Language Competency

Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to submit documentary evidence of competency in English. Please see Click Here for SETU English Language Requirements.

SETU Springboard+ Courses 2023/24