NCI Preparation Guide - Your journey to NCI www.ncirl.ie/international - National College ...
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2 3 This guide helps you prepare for your journey to NCI. We are delighted that you have applied to study at National College of Ireland (NCI). This guide contains some really useful Accept Your Offer 4 Contents Buy Medical Insurance 5 information and practical tips to help students plan for a successful, safe and stress free Research Your Accommodation 6 journey to Ireland. Apply for Your Visa 8 Within the International Office we have a support team dedicated to Plan Your Budget 10 help and guide students from before they arrive in Ireland, right the way Connect With NCI 12 through to their graduation. We are small team of 3 full time staff (myself, Ellen and Joana) and we are supported by International Peer Mentors Book Your Flight 13 who are students that work with us on a part time basis. I am really proud Complete the Arrival Form 14 of our team and our role in supporting and engaging with international Pack Your Bags 16 students from all over the world. We are passionate about what we do and the positive impact it has in helping students to settle into their new Book your Complimentary Airport Shuttle 18 life in Ireland, allowing them to focus on their studies and to flourish. This Arrive in Dublin 20 has been recognised within the education industry as we won first place Attend Welcome Programme 21 in The Education Awards 2021 for the International Engagement Award. Useful Links 22 From twelve weeks before the start of classes, we begin our engagement with all applicants on the important information they need to help plan “A Journey of a thousand miles begins their journey to NCI and Ireland. During these 12 weeks, every week we send an email with information and guides that covers a different topic. with a single step” Lao Tzu Later that same week we hold a webinar or a Facebook live session so students get to hear more information and to have the opportunity to ask questions or clear any doubts. It is really important to keep an eye out for these communications and take the time read them. We understand that COVID -19 has impacted everyone and the Irish Government and NCI successfully protected and supported international students during this global pandemic. You can get an overview of some of the timely practices that were put in place in Ireland and at NCI here. On behalf of everyone at NCI, I would like to wish you a safe and pleasant journey and I am looking forward to meeting you in Dublin. Best wishes, Sheila Mahon, International Officer Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
4 5 Accept Your Offer Buy Medical Insurance Private medical insurance is a NCI will issue a full offer when you meet our entry requirements. To accept requirement for your Irish study visa and your offer and secure your place, you must pay the relevant tuition fees. if you are from a visa required country, you must submit your insurance with If you do not fully meet our entry Pay your Fees your visa application. requirements, we will issue a Tuition fees must be paid in full before you arrive NCI do not provide medical insurance conditional offer. This will outline what in Ireland and there are a number of ways to pay Tips: your fees. so you must buy this yourself. else you have to do, to get a full offer • Make sure you understand the policy Full details on these payment options are here. and what it covers and you can still accept your place Medical Insurance Providers with a conditional offer. • Understand how you go about You can buy medical insurance from any provider making a claim and if there is an Inform us when you have in your home country* or from Ireland which must excess fee. made a payment include hospital cover and a minimum of €25,000 for Accident and €25,000 for Disease. Also, you • If you defer your start date at NCI You must inform us when you have made a should ensure that it meets all your own needs, you must change the start date Tip: Paying your payment by completing the Payment Transfer especially cover for any pre-existing conditions. of your policy. tuition fees in full will Form. Email it along with a copy of your proof of payment (for example the bank transfer receipt) There are two types of medical insurance policy • If you don’t join NCI remember to speed up the study that you can buy from Irish providers. to email@example.com. cancel your policy. visa process. 1. Travel Policy. These policies are cheaper than This is a very important step, as it is the only way we • Check if your insurance policy private health insurance. They are designed can trace that your payment was received into our covers your journey to Ireland and bank account. You should allow up to ten working specifically for International students and if not, you might want to consider days to receive your receipt. currently meet student visa requirements. buying travel insurance. 2. Private Health Insurance. There are a number of providers of private health insurance in Refunds Ireland such as VHI, Laya and Irish Life. They have a large range of insurance products If you fail to meet the entry requirements or your available which can be more expensive than visa is refused, you will receive a refund of your a travel policy and are generally designed for tuition fees, less an administration fee . Please see everyone living in Ireland. It is recommended the NCI Refund Policy. that if you buy private medical insurance, you buy a product that is designed for international students. For the most up to date information about insurance available to students, please see the Insurance section of the website. * You can buy medical Insurance from your home country for your first year in Ireland only after that you must buy medical insurance from an Irish provider Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
6 7 Research Your Accommodation Finding the right accommodation, at the right price and location, is one of the biggest challenges that students encounter. With the help of this guide, the NCI website and guidance from the international Office you will find SUITABLE STUDENT ACCOMMODATION DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: accommodation in Dublin, which has something to suit everyone’s study and budget preferences. > If you are intending to travel to Ireland on time You decide which option is right for you: student residence or privately rented accommodation. for your first semester, you should consider your accommodation options and book as Which option is best for me? early as possible. > Please check our Accommodation Guide in Student Residences Privately Rented the Downloads section of the website guide to find out the latest advice and requirements + Booking in advance + Monthly rent instalments for suitable accommodation on arrival. + Save time + Flexibility regarding housemates > Make sure your chosen accommodation + Purpose-built properties + Lease for 12 months or more provides you with access to strong wi-fi, + Great facilities + Potentially more affordable as you will need it for your college work + Share with other college students > Consider that student residences are - Can only be arranged when in Dublin equipped with strong wi-fi, and have - Full payment in advance - Need for temporary accommodation in Dublin supports in place to help students conform to - Potentially expensive - Arrival at least 2 weeks before course start Government Guidelines and we recommend - House rules - Time-consuming search student residences as the best option for the - Limited flexibility regarding housemates - Might interfere with studies safe arrival of international students for the - Strict cancellation policy - Target for scams new academic year. There is a large number of student residence for several weeks before you travel to Ireland, for accommodation in Dublin. All of these can be example in a hostel, Airbnb or host family. Be aware booked in advance from your home country. They are that looking for private accommodation is time- very safe and comfortable places to live, all either in consuming as you will have to arrange and view walking distance or with very good transportation links different places. As this will make it difficult for you to to NCI. Due to the high standard of the facilities and focus on your studies we recommend arriving well good location these residences can be expensive. in advance of your course start date to focus on your accommodation search. Students all arrive in Dublin The main difference between student residences at the same time, all hoping to find accommodation. and privately rented accommodation is that you The earlier you come, the less time and hassle you will cannot book private accommodation from abroad. have in finding your home for the next year. You must be in Ireland to arrange privately rented accommodation otherwise you are an easy target for You can find more information on the NCI International accommodation scams. website about accommodation options, website links for residences, short and long term accommodation If you think private accommodation is the best option search engines as well as resources for further reading for you, you must arrange temporary accommodation and support. Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
8 9 Apply for Your Visa Everyone arriving in Ireland has to pass through Immigration control. If you have obtained all the necessary documents in your home country before leaving, Tips: you should not have any problems on arrival. Our tips to help you with your visa application: Applying For a Student Checking on Your Visa Status > Check the Irish Embassy details where your documentation is to be Visa to Enter Ireland You should apply as early as possible for your visa sent. for it to be processed. Each country will have a Students from certain countries will need an entry different processing time, which can range from > Check what the processing time is visa before arriving in Ireland. To find out if you one week to four months. You can track your visa for your country and make sure you need a visa please visit the INIS website. on the INIS website. This shows current processing apply in adequate time. If you require an entry visa you must complete the time and visa decisions, and is updated weekly. If > Ensure your passport is valid for online visa application using AVATS. You should you are refused a visa you may appeal the decision within 2 months. However, as this would affect your 12 months. read the visa application details very carefully and understand what documents you are required to date of arrival in NCI you may need to seek advice > Make sure you have your health submit. on latest possible arrival date from the International insurance before you submit your Office or potentially defer until the next intake. application. We recommend to students that to have a higher chance of a successful visa application you request VISA APPROVAL > Show that you have enough money the help of one of our highly trained agents for You will require visa approval before the start to support yourself while in Ireland. guidance, counselling and support in this progress. date of your programme - even if you are starting The visa office normally requires However, you do not have to use an agent and can apply directly to NCI but please note we cannot remotely in your home country and NCI will €10,000 of available funds or an give any assistance to you in terms of your visa require proof of visa approval to register you education bond. on your programme. submission. > Make sure you explain any gaps in your resume/curriculum vitae (CV). CHECK IF YOU NEED A VISA > Explain why you want to be a You should check if you need a visa for travelling student at NCI and what you plan to Ireland. As part of the Irish Government’s efforts to do after you graduate. to contain Covid-19, some nationalities that did not previously need a visa, must now apply for a visa to > Make sure you understand your come to Ireland. chosen course and its modules. NOTE When applying for a visa, you should apply for a Multi Entry Visa Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
10 11 Plan Your Budget Planning your budget is one of the privately owned. It should be returned to you at the end of your stay unless you have damaged most important things you should do the property in some way. before you leave home. The cost of > Deposit for Utilities (Gas and Electricity) for almost everything in Ireland will be privately rented accommodation. The utilities different to your home country. It is very company sets the fee and it can be up to €200, unless there is a ‘pay as you go’ system for the important to have enough money to utilities in the property. cover your tuition fees and living costs. Average Cost of Living This section helps you estimate the cost for living Additional Tips: expenses such as accommodation, food and other Your biggest monthly expense will be for accommodation and we estimate you should > Bring some Euros in cash with you essentials. budget for the following: and use a credit card (a Forex card Many things can affect how much money you will for example) to have easy access need, so these figures are a guide only. While many 1. Student residence accommodation: average to money until you open a bank students get a part-time job to support themselves, of €200 - €375 per week (private room), €100 - €190 (shared room) account in Ireland. it is better not to rely on work to cover your living expenses. 2. 2-Bed apartment in city centre: average of > It is best not to bring any Euro €2000 - €2500 per month denominations larger than €50 Start-up costs 3. Private room/studio: average of €600 - €1200 as they aren’t widely used. per month These are costs which you will have to pay at > You should allow some room for the 4. Shared room: average of €350 - €600 per the beginning of your stay in Ireland and will not unexpected costs, e.g. visit to the person per month reoccur too frequently if at all: doctor or any travels which are not > Registration with INIS (€300). Please note you yet planned, social outings, etc. will have to pay €300 each time you renew your Monthly Living Expenses registration with INIS. > Make a budget and track it during For cost of living we highly recommend that you your time in Ireland to keep an eye > Medical Insurance. Please note you will have to refer to the following websites for guidance: on your spending. renew your insurance after 1 year. Please see the Numbeo insurance chapter in this guide. > Remember that failed modules will Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) > Television Licence (€160) for your flat or house. result in repeat fees, visa renewal Education in Ireland fees and additional medical > Temporary accommodation during your house hunt if not living in student residences. insurance fees. > Deposit for privately rented accommodation (usually 1 month’s rent). You will have to pay a deposit if you move into accommodation that is Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
12 13 Connect With NCI Book Your Flight We always love to hear from students who are joining NCI and we communicate Due to Covid-19, for this academic year, we recognise that some students may through different channels: be delayed in traveling to Ireland for their programme start date, perhaps due to localised Government restrictions or the limited availability of international flights. Email For this reason students can chose to arrive on time for their programme, or to start We begin contacting students about twelve weeks before the start of classes and we do this mainly by email. their programme remotely in their home country and to travel to Ireland when it is These emails are followed by either webinars or live Q&A sessions. Every week our communications will safe and possible to do so. include important updates to help students prepare for their journey to NCI so it is really important to keep an eye out for them. Flying to Dublin Don’t worry if you miss any of these emails. We will update our ‘Before you Arrive’ section on our website with all our communication. Dublin has direct connections from many major As part of the measures introduced by the international airports. If there is no direct flight Website available for you to Dublin, you will be able to Government to control the spread of Covid-19, protocols are in place to ensure the safe arrival connect through one of many airports. You should The NCI website is a fantastic source of information for every student prospective or current. On the of International students. You must check this also check if you require a transit visa for the International Section you find everything you need to know about your journey as a student: from confirming Government website before you travel to ensure country you will be travelling through. your place to study at NCI to helping you to get ready to come to Dublin and everything in-between. Our you are aware of what you have to do before you website is the place where you find all the up-to-date information you need. It is always a good idea to check Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, arrive into Ireland. here first if you have a question as most likely you will find your answers here. ask for transit visas for certain nationalities even Please note restrictions may apply to your country though the stopover is for a few hours. The website Facebook https://cibtvisas.co.uk/ is useful for checking if you of origin but also the country you are transiting through. need a transit visa. Also confirm with your travel You can follow our Facebook page for up to date information. agent or the airlines for extra baggage benefits/ Also, for each new intake we set up a specific closed Facebook group. Search for ‘NCI International Freshers’ allowance that may be available for students. and find the group for your intake. We encourage everyone to join their relevant intake group as this is great opportunity to connect with other international students and ‘meet’ the International Support Team before you have even travelled to Ireland. We will also do Facebook live sessions on a regular basis to answer questions you may have in preparation to starting your course at NCI. Instagram The International Office has a very active Instagram account. It is aimed at all international NCI students: prospective and current ones as well as graduates. Follow us @nci_int for information on student recruitment, events organised for students, important updates, competitions, Q&A sessions and much more. Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
14 15 Complete the Arrival Form - Everyone must complete it Accommodation in Dublin In order to successfully start your journey to NCI, you must first complete the In this section you need to provide information about your accommodation in Dublin. arrival form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline (1 week before classes start) and at least 5 days prior to your arrival. For the most up to date information and advice regarding suitable STA accommodation during Covid-19, please see our Accommodation Student Information & ARRTING All students must complete this form, and it is Due RIVA AT N Guide in the Downloads section of the website. L FO CI All ne time to Covi Entry w and d Plea during -19, In have letter re turning re RM se se the fi tern atio regist paid th quired fo internat extremely important to ensure you send it to us I am lect rs one t Seme nal Stu of th e ster. follo *S tu den ts d ered eir fees r imm ional . Em ig ail th in full (o ration udents m st Irela residen wing dents elayed on time (up to a week before classes start), and Please complete this section in n visa d with in sec Comple valid a t optio re si ns. dent o velling tr a utsid to e form r set tern at D to in up an ublin Airp complet ap ust ationa proved ort. Stu e this fo > Accommodation can be either Short Term or Long Term: tion te e Ire Ireland lsup pa de rm 1 on I will land fo port yment nts that to be is and r the st @nc as soon as possible, as it will allow us to plan for full. If travelling from abroad, 1. 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Please upp has ess to (“N ort@ ww.ncirl.ie/Le your perso CI”), thr y (C it my es. na ou ogs conta I con bee yo ncirl ga l data gh or in &M n pro ur will only need to fill in sections 1 & 2 first and then .ie l/Privacy and in relaticoonnnection Tel: +35 31 your with thi data s ap protec plica arve l) ct w firm th ith o th ers at m y for 1 accomm vide d. remember you tion tion for 449 4 da ys o odation You will need to fill in this section, to provide us with your flight rights m 878 and will be pro fill out the form again, completing all the other how 6 to co cessed n arriv m eets Web ntact by the NC NCI as al. : htt I data data co p://w protec ntroll ww.n will require visa details so that we can arrange for your airport pick up. tion er office for the pu cirl.ie r, ple rpose sections before you travel. /Inte ase refer s of asse rnatio to the ss NCI ing your nal Data ap Priva plicatio cy Sta n an approval before the start of temen d, if the t, wh ap ich is plicatio avail n able is succ at ww essfu w.nc l, irl.ie your programme, even if you are starting remotely. Declaration Please tick this box to indicate you have read and understood the guidelines for the safe arrival of international students in Ireland. Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
16 17 Pack Your Bags Packing your bags is always a challenge, especially if you are going to a place for the very first time, but the below information should help you when deciding on what to put in your suitcase(s) on your way to Ireland. Clothes Money We like to think that Ireland has a moderate climate, Carry some cash in Euros with you but not too however, we realise that the weather may seem much (approximately €200 - €300). It is safer to quite cold to you compared to the climate in your use your Credit Card (a Forex card for example) to home country. It is also common for the weather have easy access to money until you open a bank in Ireland to change suddenly throughout the day, account in Ireland. so it is recommended to wear layers. You can also expect rain so don’t forget to pack a rain jacket and Documents some warm clothes. If you struggle to find winter clothes in your country don’t worry, as you can Make sure that you always have these documents purchase those when you arrive in Dublin. Have a in your hand luggage as you will need to present look at this video to find out more about weather in them at immigration when you land in Dublin Ireland. airport: Please note that if you are availing of the NCI • Your passport shuttle service, you are only permitted to bring • NCI offer letter & fee receipts 3 pieces of luggage and food is not allowed on board the shuttle. Have a look at this short video • Medical Insurance for some packing tips. • Shuttle driver contact name and number Medicine Due to Covid-19, other documents may be required, please ensure you check this Government Natural sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D. website before you travel for the most up to date Unfortunately we do not get enough of it in Ireland, information regarding required documents. therefore we recommend that you bring a Vitamin D supplement with you. Vitamin D plays a vital role in mood regulation and warding off depression, Customs and it is important to take it in countries in the Certain items are forbidden, and you cannot bring northern hemisphere, such as Ireland, especially them with you. Some of them are obvious such during winter months. as firearms, explosives, animals, plants and If you need to bring any medication with you, illegal drugs. For more information please please make sure that it is in the original packaging, see the website of the Irish and that you have a prescription written in English Revenue Commissioners. and signed by your doctor. This is very important to avoid confiscation of your medicine by the immigration officers. Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
18 19 Book Your Complimentary Airport Shuttle As part of NCI’s support for international students, we offer a free airport shuttle service. A licensed and approved driver will meet you at the airport arrivals hall and bring you to your accommodation in Dublin City. You must have completed your Arrival Form and provided us with the following information (at least 5 working days before your arrival date): > Flight details – airline, flight number, date of arrival and arrival time. Please ensure you provide details for your flight arriving into Dublin airport. > Make sure you have the correct flight number. (That is usually a code consisting of a 2-character airline designator and a 1-4 digit number, e.g. TK1977). > Arrival time – the time on your ticket is local Dublin time, there is no need to subtract or add hours, please use the time as stated on your ticket. > If your travel plans change, you will need to let us know as soon as possible As this is a shared service for all incoming NCI students, we ask you to respect a few simple rules: 1. No strong-smelling foods or drinks are allowed on the shuttle bus. 2. The service is for NCI students only. It is not available for family members, friends or students of other institutions. 3. There is a single drop-off rule in place, which means that the driver can only bring you from the airport directly to your accommodation in Dublin, as stated on the arrival form, with no extra stops along the way. 4. Due to space restrictions, there is a limit of 3 pieces of luggage per student. You should contact the driver via Whatsapp when you are boarding the plane, to let them know you are boarding as scheduled, or if there are any delays. On arrival in Dublin, you should make use of the free airport Wi-Fi to contact the driver again and let them know you have landed. Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
20 21 Arrive in Dublin Attend Welcome Programme Immigration Meet your driver We have developed a Welcome Programme to support international students joining the college for each intake. This programme runs for several weeks and is When you arrive at immigration at Dublin airport, As soon as you land, let the driver know that you designed to ensure you have all the information you need to get started at NCI. you will see two different lines. You need to enter have arrived either via WhatsApp or a text message. the line that says Non-EU/EEA passport holders If you are delayed at immigration or baggage claim (unless you are travelling on a European passport). please also let the driver know as soon as possible. It is a mix of informative workshops, excursions and Optional events get-togethers: Some are pre-scheduled, some are As a student you will be asked to provide When you come through the arrivals section at the highly-recommended and others are optional to In addition to pre-scheduled and highly- documents by an INIS (Irish Naturalisation and airport, look out for your driver who will be holding attend: recommended meetings, the International Office Immigration Bureau) official, so you must have the a sign for National College of Ireland. Please don’t have planned a range of social events for you following with you in your hand luggage for easy leave the terminal or the meeting point, as the attend. access: driver will be inside the terminal. You may have Pre-scheduled: Welcome These can be: • Your passport to wait for other students to arrive as you will be Meeting sharing the shuttle. > Know-How sessions to understand how things • NCI offer letter & fee receipts Once you have confirmed your arrival by work at NCI and in Ireland. • Medical Insurance When you arrive in Dublin, your family will be keen to know that you have arrived safely. You should completing the arrival form the International Team > Out & About sessions to get to know more about call, text or email using the free airport Wi-Fi. will email you the details of your welcome meeting. Dublin. Due to Covid-19, other documents may be it is the very first meeting each new student will required, please ensure you check this Government have and will be with a Peer Mentor and a small > Meet-Up sessions to meet other NCI students. website before you travel for the most up to date Making your Own Way group of other new students. At this meeting, you information regarding required documents. from Dublin Airport will receive information about getting started at You can check the starting at NCI section of the NCI. website for a weekly schedule of events, and we The Immigration Officer will stamp your passport As part of the measures introduced by the recommend you join as many events as you can to giving you up to 90 days to obtain your student Government for the safe arrival of International meet new friends and get to know Dublin. visa. This stamp is called a ‘landing stamp’ and it students, you must not use public transport to Highly Recommended does not give you permission to work. The officer travel to your accommodation. If you do not Meetings will tell you that you need to make an appointment wish to avail of the NCI airport shuttle, or your with the immigration service (INIS) within 90 days accommodation is outside Dublin, you can either Student Life Meeting to obtain your student visa. Do not worry as you will arrange for family or friends to pick you up from the The team will speak about support systems at NCI, have plenty of time to make the appointment. We airport or you can take a taxi. how to succeed in your studies and how to adjust will explain the application process to you at your to student life. meetings as part of the Welcome Programme and Usually, students can travel to their give you a registration letter which you will bring to Essentials Meeting accommodation by bus or taxi (but please note the appointment with you. this may not be applicable to you for this intake). You will receive information regarding establishing Dublin Bus Airlink numbers 747 and 757 leave from yourself in Ireland, like opening a bank account, Once you have passed Immigration, you will need to clear Irish Customs. Follow the instructions at the outside the Arrivals Terminal at the airport. Check your student visa, or working. airport, generally non-EU students will go through the website for updated timetables. The Aircoach Orientation the Green Channel. service runs 24 hours a day and stops at various Orientation is an introduction to the classroom, locations in the city centre. Taxis are all metered Please see again the Irish Customs website for IT and library services. and you should also use a licensed taxi. The fare more information. to the city centre will cost approximately €25 with extra charges for each additional passenger and for carrying luggage. Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
22 23 Useful Links Reliable sources of information on travelling to Ireland: Irish Government website www.gov.ie/covid19 Irish Health Service www.hse.ie Irish council for International Students (ICOS) www.internationalstudents.ie NCI International: Downloads www.ncirl.ie/Students/International/Downloads Confirming your place www.ncirl.ie/Students/International/Confirm-or-Defer-Your-Place Fees www.ncirl.ie/Students/International/Fees-and-Funding/Payment-Options Insurance www.ncirl.ie/Students/International/Fees-and-Funding/Insurance Before you arrive www.ncirl.ie/Students/International/Before-you-Arrive Starting at NCI www.ncirl.ie/Students/International/Starting-at-NCI Call +353-1-4498500 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call +353-1-4498500 Email email@example.com
24 Contact information Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org We aim to respond to your query as quickly as possible and within 3 working days. Preparation Guide National College of Ireland has made every effort to ensure that the information in this booklet was accurate when published. Please note, however, that the nature of the content means that it is subject to change from time to time, and you should therefore consider the information to be guiding rather than definitive. You should check the college’s website for any updates before you decide to accept a place on a course. All courses are offered subject to minimum student numbers and validation by QQI.
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