The Springboard+ upskilling initiative in higher education offers free courses at certificate, degree and masters level leading to qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities in the economy. Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020.
From May 2019 Springboard+ offers 9,000 free places on over 280 courses leading to awards at certificate, degree and post-graduate level. The majority of courses are part-time for a maximum of 12 months and are open to all applicants; Employed, Unemployed, and Returners who meet the eligibility criteria at the time of course commencement.
The following are eligible to apply for courses in 2019/20 academic year (subject to the applicant meeting all requirements, including academic requirements):
Returners (Formerly referred to as Homemakers)
May apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria. Course specific criteria may also apply.
People in employment
May apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria. Please note that a 10% course fee contribution for Level 7, 8, and 9 courses is applicable for employed participants. This is payable directly to the provider.
The unemployed or formerly self-employed
May apply to all courses with the exception of the two year part-time ICT conversion courses. Unemployed applicants will also be required to meet additional DEASP related criteria. They must have been in receipt of a recognised DEASP payment for 9 of the previous 12 months if they wish to participate on one-year full-time ICT Skills Conversion courses.
Please note that documentation supporting applicant’s status will be required as part of the application process. Further proof confirming an applicant’s continued eligibility will also be required at the time of course commencement.
Restrictions will apply to previous Springboard+ participants; see Guidelines on Previous Springboard+ participants for more details.