QQI Level 5 Course code:  5M4349

Course Aims

This course aims to provide the student with the necessary knowledge and experience to continue on to a nursing career at third level. It will provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them t o work as a Healthcare Assistant in hospitals and in nursing homes.

Course Modules

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Nursing Theory & Practice
  • Care Skills
  • Care of the Older Person
  • Customer Service
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Word Processing
  • Work Experience

*Modules subject to change

Work Experience

Students must obtain 20 days’ work experience in a vocational related area. Garda Clearance is required for work experience.

Entry Requirements

Students should be of Leaving Certificate standard or Applied Leaving Certificate with distinction and interview. Portlaoise College welcomes applications from mature students. Mature students are assessed on their merits and may not require the above qualifications. Preference will be given to students who have passed a science subject in their Leaving Certificate and show an interest in pursuing a nursing career.


  • Certificate in Nursing Studies – QQI Level 5
  • Certificate in Occupational First Aid (at an additional cost).
  • Certificate in Manual Handling (at an additional cost).

Student Grants

Eligible students may apply for a Further Higher Education Grant or Back to Education Allowance.

Career Opportunities

Successful graduates of this course may apply for places in nursing at Third Level Colleges and Universities in Ireland and the UK to further their education.


Students may apply on-line from the 23rd January 2017. Facilities will be available in Portlaoise College Institute of Further Education for students to apply on-line on Thursday 9 March 2017 between 5pm and 7.00pm (Open Evening)


Please click here for more information: Fees Info


5 days per week - Monday to Thursday 9am - 3:55pm and Friday 9am - 1:15pm

For further details, please contact

Ms Dolores O’Brien,
Course Co-ordinator,
Portlaoise College,
Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Tel: (057) 8621480 / 8621456
Email: dobrien@portlaoisecollege.ie

Each PLC course is subject to availability. Laois & Offaly ETB reserves the right to cancel or discontinue courses.

Nursing Student Profiles

Sheila Meaney

Sheila Meaney

Sheila Meaney

I have now finished University in England and have completed my Nursing degree. I have qualified with BSc(Hons) Mental Health Nursing and am now on the live register with the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) (Nursing Board in England).

I’ve been very lucky to be able to get a job so quick after completion of my training which I’m starting this monday 2nd September. I am now a Band 5 Staff Nurse and will be working in a female Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) which I am delighted to begin.

I really believe that the one year QQI Level 5 course has helped me to get this far and would really recommend that you give upcoming students some strong advice about training in England as it has been a fantastic experience with many opportunities for progression to be successful.

I thank you so much for all your help and support that you gave me throughout my time at Portlaoise College.

Aleena John

I’m studying Intellectual disability nursing in DCU. I find this course very interesting and easy. I did the PLC course on pre- nursing studies  in Portlaoise College and that opened my way to my present course. I’m so glad that the PLC course helped me a lot to move on smoothly with the present task. This PLC module gives a strong base for the nursing studies ahead. I feel so proud that I got nursing admission through QQI (level 5). The guidance and support of the teachers had a great role to achieve this success.