Preliminary Engineering

Certificate in Engineering Technology QQI Level 5 (5M2061) – 1 Year

The Preliminary Engineering course has been designed to meet the needs of a variety of students wishing to study Engineering at third level, specifically those who did not satisfy the entry requirements for direct entry to a degree course, and adult returnees to education.

As one of the only PLC courses in the country currently delivering the ‘Maths for STEM – 5N0556’ module, Preliminary Engineering is well placed to offer students the opportunity to progress to Level 8 courses in the following universities:

  • Trinity College Dublin (TCD):
    • TR032, Engineering (Common Entry)
  • TU Dublin (City Centre Campus):
    • TU805, Engineering (General Entry)
  • Dublin City University (DCU):
    • DC200, Common Entry into Engineering (Undenominated Entry)
    • DC190, Electronic and Computer Engineering
    • DC193, Mechatronic Engineering
    • DC194, Mechanical and Sustainability Engineering
    • DC195, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
    • DC197, Biomedical Engineering
    • DC189, Global Challenges
    • DC123, Data Science
    • DC127, Common Entry into Actuarial and Financial Mathematics

After four weeks of preparatory classes, our students sit an online exam in early October to determine their ability in the key areas of Number and Algebra:

  • Those who are successful in this exam will continue in Preliminary Engineering with the aim of progressing into one of the courses listed above.
  • Those who are not successful are redirected to Coláiste Dhúlaigh’s other Engineering PLC course, Engineering Technology. From here students can access a variety of other Engineering courses at Higher Education level, listed on Careers Portal here.

Course Content

  • Maths for STEM
  • Physics
  • Mechanics
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering Workshop Processes
  • Computer Aided Draughting (2D)
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Communications

Entry Requirements

  • Preliminary Engineering has a minimum entry requirement of an O3 or H6 in Leaving Cert Mathematics.
  • Applicants with a Leaving Certificate Applied, QQI L4 award, or equivalent are not considered suitable for this course and should consider our other Engineering option, Engineering Technology.
  • Mature students (over 21), or those who do not meet the minimum academic requirements but who can demonstrate the ability to successfully participate on the course will be considered.


Certificate in Engineering Technology QQI Level 5 (5M2061)

College Links & Career Opportunities

Students who meet the entry criteria explained may gain entry to the courses listed above in Trinity College, DCU, and TU Dublin by way of a Round Zero offer from the CAO.  Students can use this major award (5M2061) to apply to colleges through the CAO. See the list of colleges accepting this award as an entry requirement here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Preliminary Engineering is one of two Engineering PLC courses on offer at CDCFE. If you’re in two minds as to which of these courses to choose, click here for Frequently Asked Questions on Engineering at CDCFE.


1 Year

Course Charges

Year 1: €50

Applicants in receipt of a Social Welfare payment will keep their payment whilst studying on the course under the Back to Education Allowance scheme.