West Clare VTOS

All courses

This is a list of course modules and Major Awards in alphabetical order offered by West Clare VTOS. Click on the Course/Award name for details.

Important Please note that Major Awards in this list are highlighted.

Q. What is VTOS ?

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) aims to create an environment where learning is encouraged and supported in response to the diverse needs of the community.

VTOS provides a range of full-time courses to meet the education and training needs of unemployed adults over the age of 21.

VTOS offers you the chance to:

  • learn new skills in a friendly environment best suited to adult education.
  • update your existing skills.
  • address issues of literacy or innumeracy.
  • make new friends.
  • embrace the idea of lifelong learning.
  • acquire valuable educational qualifications.
  • access the comprehensive services offered by the Clare Adult Learners Guidance Service.

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to set up and maintain a small scale apiary. This module can be taken as part of the Food Production Award but can also be an added option for those interested in developing a new and rewarding hobby.

This module aims to give the learner an understanding of both computerised and manual bookkeeping techniques.  The skills learned will equip the learner with knowledge and competence to produce and maintain accurate records. 

The methods used ensure easy integration with any organisation or business’ bookkeeping methods and procedures.

This QQI level 5 module is designed to give the learner a comprehensive knowledge of the functions and requirements of a business.  It includes the breakdown of organisational structures within business and the administrative requirements of each department.

The course will equip any learner with the skills needed to operate efficiently and effectively in a business environment.

This module is a Level 5 QQI accredited course. The aim of this module aims to equip learners with the skills needed to understand the roles and responsibilities of care workers, the needs of groups requiring care and the interpersonal qualities needed to work in a range of care environments.

"I personally found this made me more aware of the elderly and their needs and entitlements within my community". – Anne

This module aims to equip the learner with the knowledge and skills and competence to work effectively with, under direction with young children with additional needs. The learner will understand the context of special needs, associated issues and approaches used.

This level 5 course examines the early years of a child's life and their importance for his/her health and development. Child development relates to the holistic development of the child. The aim of this course is to understand how this physical, linguistic, cognitive, social and emotional development can be observed to paint a picture of each step of this development.

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and competence to provide for the health and well-being of children, and maintain healthy, hygienic and safe practices and environments in a range of early childhood care and education.

"Supporting you in your return to Education"

Coming on a two year training programme is a very big step especially when you have so many other demands outside the course. The Guidance Counsellor is here to help you get the most out of the two years for yourself. We can help you:

  • With your study and learning (how to take notes, write an essay or a project, memorise information, prepare for exams and assignment etc.
  • Managing your time fitting in your study with the rest of your life
  • Planning and making decisions for the future
  • Providing up-to-date information on further training, education and job opportunities
  • Job seeking (C.V's, application forms, interview preparation etc.)
  • Obtain QQI level 5 Certification in Work Experience which includes an opportunity to go on work placement
  • Putting you in contact with support services to help you with other issues that might be affecting your progress while on V.T.O.S (for example with reading, writing, maths, health related issues, etc.)
  • Providing training on stress management, assertiveness, self esteem etc.

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The Learner Support Centre

The learner Support Centre is a private space made available to the students for:

  • Private study
  • For group study and project work
  • For up to date information on training, education, learning and job opportunities
  • Use of computer

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Who is available and when?

Michael Donnellan, Career Guidance Counsellor, will be available on Tuesdays in Kilrush to:

  • Give group classes and workshops on the topics listed above
  • for individual appointments to help you with any concerns you might have while on V.T.O.S.

For the reminder of the week the service can be contacted at the Clare Adult Guidance Service main office in Ennis.

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View our film!

To view our film - A Journey through Education (10,151Kb) - you will need a broadband connection and Quicktime Media Player which can be downloaded from the Apple website.

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How can I contact the guidance service?

In Kilrush:

Michael Donnellan
Career Guidance Counsellor
The Learner Resource Centre
West Clare VTOS
Adult Learning Centre
Cooraclare Rd.
Co. Clare.
Tel: 065-9052799
Email: mdonnellan@clarevec.ie

In Ennis:

Clare Adult Guidance Service
Adult Education Centre
Clonroad Business Park
Ennis, Co. Clare
Tel: 065-6824819
Fax: 065-6840515
Email: cags@clarevec.ie
Web: www.clareguidance.ie

Communications is mandatory for all level 5 awards. It is very important to have good communication skills in order to enable a person to work effectively in the workplace.

Communications is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behaviour. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or a group of people.

Level 5 learners will be required to build a collection of work/portfolio which consists of written work and skills demonstrations including a one to one interview, an oral presentation and group discussion.

This module provides the learner with a comprehensive competence in a number of computer applications.The skills covered include database systems, spreadsheets and computer graphics

These abilities will give the learner a platform to develop any and all of these skills further. 

Q. Am I eligible?

Yes, if you are:

  • aged 21 or over

and in receipt of one of the following payments for at least six months:

  • Job Seekers' Allowance.
  • Job Seekers' Benefit.
  • signing for credits.
  • Lone Parent Allowance.
  • Disability Allowance.
  • Disability Benefit **
  • Invalidity Pension.
  • a dependent spouse of a person in one of the above categories.
  • Farm Assist

** Disability benefit: Attendance on the course subject to certain conditions.
Contact our office for details.

Q. What will it cost?

If you are currently receiving unemployment assistance or benefit, you will instead get a training allowance at a rate equivalent to the maximum rate of unemployment benefit.

If you are receiving a one-parent family payment or eligible disability payment, you will continue to receive your present payment from the Department of Social, Community & Family Affairs.

  • courses are free.
  • all course materials and books are supplied.
  • you will receive a small travel allowance if you live more than three miles from the centre.
  • assistance is available by way of the CETS Scheme to help with the cost of childcare.

The Cuan Sámh Childcare Facility, funded through the National Childcare Investment Programme 2006 - 2010 opened its new purpose built full day care facility based in the Adult Learning Centre, Cooraclare Road, Kilrush in September 2009. This facility replaces the sessional crèche housed in a prefabricated building which had been operational on site as a support to students since the Adult Education Service took over the Old Vocational School building in 1998.

The campus on which the childcare facility is built was the location of the first Vocational School in Clare - built in 1936. This is now a vibrant Adult Education centre housing a 60 place VTOS centre, a 13 place Youthreach Centre, the Clare Adult Basic Education Service (CABES) and the Clare Adult Guidance Service as well as providing part time programmes funded through the back to Education Initiative and the Community Education Service.

Access to childcare facilities has long been documented as an important support for adults when making decisions to return to learning. Over the past eleven years, almost three hundred children of learners attending programmes in the adult education centre have attended the sessional service provide by the original crèche. During their time with us, children have followed a high scope / free play curriculum while their parents have attended both VTOS and Youthreach programmes working towards a QQI curriculum.

Creative arts for early childhood, level 5, provides learners with a knowledge , skills and competence to devise creative art activities which are age and stage appropriate to ensure that each child's learning , development and well being is facilitated through the provision of creative opportunities.

The module is designed to provide the learner with knowledge and understanding of drawing as a language. The module will emphasise the process of drawing. It will develop the learner’s confidence to use drawing as a means of communication.

This level 5 module aims to give the learner an understanding of what makes an Internet enabled business function. 

The areas covered include communication using the internet, purchasing systems, online shopping, uses of cloud computing, and social media for business. 

The learner will learn to apply e-Business practices to existing businesses and to function within an established e-environment.

This level 5 module deals with the legislation and rights of both child and childcare professional. It explores the rights of the child in the context of an ECCE setting and also the methods of communicating effectively with children and their parents and/or guardians.

This Module supports the learner to outline the stages, pattern and purposes of Children's play. Through the identification of range theories of play in the context of children’s education, it describes the different approaches to curriculum development and implementation in the ECCE setting.

What can I do after VTOS?

If you are seeking work contact your VTOS Co-ordinator, who may be in a position to help you find a job.

If you are unsure what options are available to you on finishing VTOS, contact the Clare Adult Learners Guidance Service. They are there to inform you on what training, education and employment options are available to you. They will help you decide what option best suits you and your circumstances. They will also help you prepare your CV and offer advice on interview skills.


  • A person can combine eligible social welfare payments for the purpose of calculating the 312 days.
  • Time spent on any of the following can count towards the 312-day requirement but they must be consecutive days: CE Scheme or Job Initiative.

Travel Allowance

A travel allowance is payable to those who live 3 miles or more from their VTOS centre.

Can I work while I am on VTOS?

VTOS is a full time programme. However, a student may work part-time provided work does not affect class attendance in any way. Working part-time or during the summer does not affect your VTOS payment.

What happens if my disability is cut while I am on VTOS?

If the Department decides you are no longer entitled to a Disability payment while on the course, the VEC will not continue to pay an allowance to the student. It is a matter for the VTOS student to decide if they can support themselves if they stay on VTOS if their disability payment is cut.

Where do I go to get forms signed for supplementary benefits (Rent Allowance, Medical Card etc.)?

If you need a stamp or a letter for any of your supplementary benefits, contact your VTOS Co-ordinator. He or she will either complete it for you or else refer you on to the VTOS Administrator in the VEC.

Will being on VTOS cost me anything else?

Courses are free.
All course materials and books are supplied

Will I get extra money when I join VTOS? Can I keep all my benefits?

Students who were receiving Unemployment Assistance (UA) or Unemployment Benefit (UB) prior to VTOS will receive a training allowance paid by the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) instead of their social welfare payment while on VTOS. Job Seekers Benefit, Job Seekers Allowance for UB and UA.

The VTOS training allowance is paid during the summer months provided that you are returning for a further year on VTOS.

A person not receiving a social welfare payment will not receive a training allowance (that is students signing for credits or who are a dependent spouse).

All payments other than UA and UB continue to be paid by the Department of Social and Family Affairs (social welfare).

Will I be able for it?

The answer is YES, YES,YES! The difference between school and VTOS is that tutors teach at your pace. Therefore the tutor will not go any faster than you are able to learn. Most of the classes are small so that you get plenty of help. What's more, from our experience, all students get on better than they expect.

Will I get a qualification on VTOS?

Yes, you will have the choice of getting qualifications in most of the subjects but not all subjects. Different types of qualifications are available for different subjects. Qualifications are from

  • QQI (Quality and Qualifications lreland)
  • A Certificate of Attendance from the VTOS Centre

What is QQI?

QQI is the chief awarding body in Ireland for qualifications in Further Education. If you reach the standard set by QQI in a subject, you will get certification for that subject called 'a record of achievement'.

If you want to get qualifications in a particular area of interest such as Childcare, Business, Community Care or Food Production and Beekeeping, then you will be able to get a QQI Award in that area. To do this, there are certain subjects you have to complete.

Where will I find information about what's happening in VTOS?

  • A good place to start is by looking at the West Clare VTOS Facebook Page.
  • Pick a reliable friend on VTOS and ask them what's happening. This is important particularly if you are out sick.
  • Also ask your VTOS Co-Ordinator or Tutors. They are always willing to help.

This is a level 5 QQI module. This class offers you both practical and theory to develop gardening knowledge and skills. The learner will grow and tend to your own plants as well as growing your own fruit and vegetables. This is a great module for those interested in gardening and especially the 'Grow Your Own' and 'Grow It Yourself' movements taking place across the country. It is suitable for those with acres and lots or window-boxes and pot plants.

"I found this module enjoyable and interesting as I now have a garden at home". - Anne

This module offers you a chance to make and design your own stained glass art work. This module includes making stained glass candle holders, hanging pieces and jewellery making.

An opportunity to explore your creative side and often a welcome break from books and computers.

"I thought this class was great for making pieces for my family and friends" - Louise

The module is designed to provide learners with the skills and knowledge to develop their personal health-related fitness and to devise safe, effective personal health-related fitness programmes for themselves and others. This module also provides learners with relaxation and tips for reduction in stress useful for everyday life.

This module aims to introduce learners to human development and behaviour from infancy to old age. It is designed to enable learners to work in a variety of community/social care settings where frequent demand is made on the individual to relate to people with various levels of ability. The module is aimed at people who wish to pursue further studies s in this area.

Occupational First Aid is a QQI level 5 subject. Run over three days, this is a must for any learner who hopes to go into Childcare or Community Care. The certification is valid for two years and covers basic first aid techniques such as the treatment of burns cuts and scalds; wound dressing and more advanced techniques such as use of an AED and CPR.

This level 5 module will give the learner the skills to record, edit, interpret and analyse payroll data using both manual and computerised methods. 

The learner will be equipped with the ability to take on end-of-year returns as well as the daily upkeep of staff records and reports vital in HR (Human Resources) and accounting departments.

This module is a statement of the standards to be achieved to gain a QQI credit in Plant Science at Level 5. It is a mandatory module for the Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture. The module is designed to enable learners to acquire skills,knowledge and understanding of plant growth and development.

This QQI Level 5 module gives you a solid grounding in the area of psychology. Learners will cover all the great theorists, including Freud, Pavlov and Skinner and will be encouraged to apply these theories through an interesting range of projects and assignments. Learners can explore the principles of psychology and gain a broad understanding of human behaviour including a study in the area of addiction and depression.

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to effectively engage with research and to present learning for formal academic and other purposes.

This level 5 module aims to equip the learner with all of the knowledge, skill and competence to promote and maintain a work environment which complies with all of the regulations involved in various vocational areas.

This language module aims to give a solid basis in the language, culture and social traditions of Spain. This is achieved through not only study of the language itself but also the exploration of what makes Spain so unique and such a popular destination.

This module is designed to give the learner the relevant knowledge and skills to use the internet as an effective communication and research tool and to develop the learner’s technical skills.

The module also gives the learner an appreciation of the importance of ensuring security and confidentiality when using the Internet.

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and competence to build websites and webpages. 

They will learn how to effectively use HTML5 and CSS standards using code editors to assist in the construction, testing and maintenance of websites. 

In this Level 5 QQI module you will be working with assorted tools and woods such as Ash and Beech. Using different techniques you will learn using a lathe to create decorative wooden objects. The lathe is moving the wood continuously and using stationary tools you will express yourself by carving creative images into the wood. This module lets you expressive yourself and your personality.

"I loved the wood-turning so much that I bought a Lathe and now make my own pieces at home". - Noreen

This module is a statement of standards within the area of word processing and its associated requirements. 

The learner will develop their word processing skills and build their knowledge of file management techniques using the most recent version of word processing software.

This module is a statement of the standards achieved by the learner. 

It provides an in-depth knowledge of word processing software and enables the learner to develop their word processing skills to an advanced level.

This award aims to allow the learner to gain practical experience in a work environment. This placement is prepared for by the learner by exploring the employment area; their own goals and their skill-set. A plan and comprehensive learner diary are prepared during the placement and a supervisors report containing feedback is completed by the employer.

After the placement a reflection and personal critique is written allowing the learner to prepare for future employment and/or training opportunities.