The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) provides part-time courses for young people and adults, aimed principally at those who have not completed Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) qualification. It gives individuals the opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities.

BTEI is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

Who can take part in BTEI programmes?

Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course, but priority will be given to those with less than upper level education.

What will a BTEI course cost?

FREE TUITION is available for those with:

  • No leaving certificate
  • Current medical card
  • Social Welfare Benefit / Allowance

Will I be paid for attending a BTEI course?

There is no payment for participation on a BTEI course. However, those in receipt of social welfare payments may continue entitlement to benefit subject to satisfying the Department of Social and Family Affairs as to their continued eligibility for the schemes. It is best to discuss individual circumstances with your social welfare office.

Will I obtain certification for a BTEI course?

We provide QQI Level 4 and Level 5 Certification on all BTEI courses. It is not compulsory for participants to avail of certification. They can choose to pursue certification when they are ready.

What will I get from taking part in a BTEI programme?

Participation in part-time programmes can provide opportunities to:

  • Make up for lost opportunities to learn
  • Obtain national certification and progress to higher education
  • Develop new skills
  • Pursue new employment options

Waterford (Tramore, Kilmacthomas, Dungarvan, Lismore)

Contact: Mary Upton 

Phone: 058 51407


Waterford City

Adult Education Centre, Ozanam Street, Waterford

Contact: Angi Meegan

Phone: 086 0675831


Wexford (New Ross, Wexford, Enniscorthy, Bunclody, Gorey)

Contact: Susan Neville

Phone: 086 1074556



For further information please visit the Dept. of Education & Skills webpage, here: BTEI