Joint Degree Programmes / Employment

This initiative has just been launched in 2023 to enable students able for a small number of degree courses via local colleges of Further Education (FE). The plan is that the student applies to their local FE College for a degree course, eg, nursing. They will complete the first 2 years of study in the local college and then transfer to the partner university for the remining 2 years to complete the degree.

These degree programmes will be available in Nursing, business, culinary arts, media production, computing among others. Thirteen Colleges of Further Education are participating with 6 universities.

Check in with your local ETB’s to apply.

There is little information available yet but I will add more in as I go along.


In my experience, some teenagers are just not ready to continue in full-time education after the Leaving Cert. This can be for a number of reasons, such as they are not developmentally ready or they have struggled through the burden of studying for the leaving cert and are experiencing burn-out.

Whatever the reason, as parents, I would love that you give them that space and permission to see this as a valid option. Taking time out and working for a year or so gives the teenager time to decompress, grow-up a bit more and also the mental space to figure out who they are and what they want to do with themselves.

At the same time, they are still learning about the world of work, how to behave and also co-operate with a boss and team who are not parents, teachers or family. They will also get to earn their own money and be responsible for how they budget that income.

I hear students say “But if I work for a year or two, I’ll be ancient going back to college!” That is not the case. In most classes, there will also be other students much older than they who are taking the opportunity to return to education having worked for a while.

Each child has to be considered individually for their merits and the stage they are currently at. What is good for one doesn’t always work for the next even within families.