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Tramore Rd.
Cork City
T12 AC91

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Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)

BTEI - Back to Education Initiative

Are you an early school leaver? Looking to return to education?  

CSN offers a wide range of FREE part-time QQI accredited programmes under the BTEI (Back to Education Initiative) programme.  Our aim is to support the learner to return to education in a friendly, supported and learner centred environment.

Our Level 4 programmes are organised in such a way that learners can achieve a Major Award over one or two years.  Alternatively they may choose to sample a range of subjects from Level 3 or 4 before committing to one area.

What is the Back to Education Initiative?

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

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

Course Eligibility

All waged and/or unwaged participants with less than leaving certificate standard education are eligible to take part in BTEI funded programmes free of charge.

There are NO FEES payable by EU nationals entitled to, or dependants of persons entitled to:

  • A Medical Card
  • An unemployment payment
  • A means tested Welfare Payment
  • A Family Income Supplement payment

To apply for a BTEI course or to discuss any particular needs please contact:
Ella Daly at or (021) 2067635

Click here if interested in any of our courses

BTEI Courses for 2019-2020

BTEI 1: Level 4 General Learning (4M2010)

This one year programme is intended for those who have been out of education for a period of time. This foundation course acts as a stepping stone preparing you to pursue a range of employment opportunities or to progress to further education and/or to continue on to further education/training.

Programme Structure

A one year part-time programme offered over four days per week (24 weeks in total)
3 hours per day. Study support available.

Term 1 Term 2 
  • IT Skills
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Human Biology
  • Maths
  • Computer Applications
  • Communications
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Work Experience

Progression: On successful completion of this programme candidates may progress on to a Level 5 programme of their choice.

Participants may sign up for individual components from this programme.

BTEI 2: Level 4 General Learning 2 Year Programme (4M2010)

This is a two year programme that gives the learner an opportunity to return to education in a highly supported environment. To achieve a full award the learner will undertake four modules in year 1 and four modules in year 2.

Study support is available.

Programme Structure

This two year programme will be offered over 4 days per week, 3 hrs each day plus study support (24 weeks).

2019/20 2020/21
  • Computer Applications
  • Communications
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Work Experience
  • IT Skills
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Human Biology
  • Maths

Progression: On successful completion of the two year programme candidates may progress on to a Level 5 programme of their choice.

Participants may sign up for individual components from this programme.

BTEI 3: Level 3 General Learning

The following components are offered to learners who wish to return to learning to take on a new task or learn a new skill in a personal capacity or role.
Each component is offered as a stand alone programme and the learner will receive a component certificate upon completion of the programme module.

Programme Structure

Level 3 Components

  • Art 
  • Ceramics
  • Computer Literacy
  • Container Gardening
  • Music Appreciation

Each component is offered one day a week for two hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What happens once I have applied?
A. Once we receive your completed application we will organise to meet you and discuss your application.

Q.  When are the BTEI courses starting?
A. BTEI courses usually start mid-September.

Q. How much do courses cost?
A. Courses are free if you are in receipt of any social welfare payment or are a dependant of persons in receipt of a social welfare payment, including a medical card.

Q. Do I need to notify Social Welfare if I am starting a course?
Yes. The BTEI Co-ordinator will give you a form for Social Welfare to sign/stamp.

Q. Will I receive any additional payment/grant/travel allowance?
A. No.

Q. What if I get offered a job or have to leave the course?
A. Please let your tutor and BTEI Coordinator know if this is the case. We welcome learners back should they want to return at a later stage.