Donegal students urged to consider their options

STUDENTS in Donegal are being urged to ‘consider their options’ following the closure of the CAO deadline.

Dr Fiona Maloney, Director of the National Tertiary Office, is reminding school leavers that they can still begin degree studies in September via the alternative route of the tertiary degree programme.

A first-of-its-kind initiative across Europe, there are now over 40 tertiary degree courses offered in 19 locations across Ireland through partnerships between local Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).


Courses are co-designed and co-delivered by ETBs and HEIs, with students beginning their studies in a further education college before progressing directly to complete their degree in a higher education college.

Delivered in partnership between Atlantic Technological University (ATU) and multiple ETBs, courses available in Donegal include Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Science in General Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Engineering Technologies.

Other courses available nationwide include studies in animation; construction; IT, and software development.

Dr Maloney says tertiary degrees offer school leavers and mature students a new way to earn a degree.

“Students who complete a tertiary degree will graduate with exactly the same degree as those who begin at a HEI. What tertiary degrees offer is an alternative route.

“Tertiary degrees are learner-centred – applications are based on a student’s potential and passion for their dream career; they can start their studies in a local town or county rather than moving away from home; and importantly for many, there are no tuition or student contribution fees for the first year or two spent in an ETB.”

Throughout the duration of their degree, tertiary degree students have access to both campuses, facilities and supports offered by the partnered ETB and HEI.


Maria Doherty, Regional Tertiary Manager for Connacht and Ulster, urged school leavers in Donegal concerned about the CAO change of mind deadline to consider all the options open to them.

“Applications for tertiary degrees remain open until late September and without the worry of points, students can focus on their career goals.”

There are new tertiary degrees coming online all the time so check out what’s available at

For further information contact guidance services at

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