Engineering @ CDCFE

Frequently Asked Questions


  • I am interested in becoming an engineer. Does Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education offer a PLC course that might help me on my journey?
    We offer two one-year courses that may be of interest to you; Preliminary Engineering and Engineering Technology.


  • I would like to progress to a university course after studying at Coláiste Dhúlaigh. Which of the two courses will help me to do this?
    Both Preliminary Engineering and Engineering Technology give students opportunities to progress to university. Your choice of PLC course will depend on the specific university and course you’d like to progress into.


  • Are there any specific academic criteria for entry into either Preliminary Engineering or Engineering Technology?
    • Preliminary Engineering has a minimum entry requirement of an O3 or H6 in Leaving Certificate Maths, or similar. Mature students will be assessed on an individual basis, depending on circumstances. Applicants with Leaving Cert Applied will not be considered.
    • Engineering Technology will accept applicants with Leaving Certificate, Leaving Cert Applied, or equivalent.


  • I’m not interested in progressing into a university course and would instead like to get an apprenticeship. Will either of your courses help me to do this?
    Engineering Technology has been designed not only to help students progress to university courses but also those wishing to enter apprenticeship programmes.


  • If I complete the Engineering Technology course, will I be guaranteed an apprenticeship?
    Not necessarily. Good attendance, punctuality, and demonstrating a willingness to consistently engage with course material are just some of the things that will be considered when issuing letters of recommendation for apprenticeship programmes.


  • What university courses will be accessible to me after a year studying Preliminary Engineering?
    As the only PLC course in the country currently delivering the ‘Maths for STEM’ module, Preliminary Engineering is uniquely 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


  • I am interested in going to university and becoming an engineer, but my preference is for a different university course than the ones mentioned above. Should I apply for Preliminary Engineering?
    As things stand, the above courses are the only ones that require completion of the ‘Maths for STEM’ module for access. Other courses can also be accessed via Preliminary Engineering (the full list of university courses can be found on Careers Portal here), but each of these courses can also be accessed via Engineering Technology.


  • I have achieved the minimum entry requirement in Maths for Preliminary Engineering. Does that guarantee that I will be of the required standard to complete the Preliminary Engineering PLC course?
    Not necessarily. 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 the specific Level 8 courses listed above.
    • Those who are not successful will be redirected to Engineering Technology. From here, students can access a variety of other Engineering courses at Higher Education level, listed on Careers Portal here.


  • The course I want to progress onto can be accessed through both Preliminary Engineering and Engineering Technology. How do I decide which one to apply for?
    Engineering Technology is a less theoretical course, with more hands-on modules, project work, and a Mathematics module that is less challenging both in terms of course content and class time. It has traditionally been easier for students to achieve better results profiles on Engineering Technology than Preliminary Engineering, where students are required to commit to six hours of Maths per week and three hours each of Applied Maths, Chemistry, and Physics. If two applicants are competing for one university place, the one with the better results profile (i.e. six distinctions versus three distinctions) will be offered the place.


  • Do I just need to achieve my full QQI Level 5 award (i.e. pass all modules) in Preliminary Engineering to gain access to the Level 8 courses mentioned above?
    These courses also have additional entry criteria based on your results, as follows:
    • TR032 (TCD) – A merit or better in ‘Maths for STEM’, and distinctions in four modules (excluding ‘Work Experience’) which must include a distinction in ‘Physics’ or ‘Chemistry’.
    • TU805 (TU Dublin) – A merit or better in ‘Maths for STEM’ and five distinctions elsewhere.
    • DCU courses – A distinction in ‘Maths for STEM’ and four further distinctions.


  • If I meet these entry criteria, am I guaranteed a place on these courses?
    • Not necessarily. These courses have a quota of students they will accept via the QQI route in any given year. In 2022, these quotas were:
      • TR032 (TCD) – 5 students.
      • TU805 (TU Dublin) – 10 students.
      • DC200 (DCU) – 7-8 students.
      • DC190, DC193, DC194, DC195, DC197, DC189, DC127 (all DCU) – 2-3 students.
      • DC123 (DCU) – 3 students.
    • If more students than the quota achieve the entry criteria, the places on each course will be awarded to those with the best results profile.


  • I’m interested in Preliminary Engineering and would like to progress onto one of the Level 8 courses mentioned, but the entry criteria and university place quotas worry me. How likely is it that I will get my place in the course I want?
    Although the total number being accepted onto these courses may sound small, it is important to remember that no other PLC course in the country is currently delivering the ‘Maths for STEM’ module, and so no student from any other PLC course can meet the criteria outlined above. Preliminary Engineering enrols 24 students every year.


  • If I complete the Preliminary Engineering course and fail to achieve my place in one of the university courses outlined (because of the entry criteria or place quotas), will I be left with nothing?
    As long as you achieve your QQI award (i.e. pass all modules), you will still be entitled to apply for any one of the other courses at third level listed on Careers Portal here.


  • I’m a little unsure of my own ability to complete the Preliminary Engineering course. If I decide soon after starting that I am better suited to Engineering Technology, will I be able to switch?
    For the first month of the first semester, both courses run in parallel. Students will be able to switch from Preliminary Engineering to Engineering Technology.