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Special Needs Assisting (Level 6 NFQ)

NFQ Level
Study Mode
Part-Time Eve
Course Duration
7 Weeks
Start/End Date
09/02/21 - 25/03/21
Day & Time
Tues & Thurs
18.30 - 21.30
Live Online Classes
See details on Page
Course Fees
€640.00 (Exam Fee Inc.)
*Check our Black November Offer for exclusive discounts*
Claim your Black November voucher. To secure a place on this course a deposit of €75.00 applies. Flexible Payment Terms available - see details on page below.

Why take this course?

A qualification that provides you with the knowledge and skills for a career as a Special Needs Assistant.  It will enable you to make a positive and life-changing impact on the children you work with.

 Are you Interested in gaining the Special Needs Assisting Qualification with the opportunity to work in Mainstream National Schools or Secondary Schools under the direction of the Teacher? 

Do you want to avail of opportunities to work in a Special Education facility, Social Care, or Childcare Facilities as a Special Needs Assistant?

Budget 2020 has allocated Funding for the creation of 1,000 new Special Needs Assistant jobs in Ireland. here 

What will I study?

This  Special Needs Assisting qualification is the ideal route to employment in a supporting role in schools as a  classroom assistant.    You will gain the skills you need to begin working in schools and develops an understanding of the legislation, relationships and developmental techniques that are required for this role.

Programme Modules

Educational Provision for Special Needs in Ireland

The purpose of the following units is to equip you with the knowledge, skill, and competence in the theory and practice underpinning the education and care of those who present with special educational needs to enable the learner to assist in the provision of this education and care.

  1. Educational Provision for Special Needs in Ireland
  2. Legislation, Guidelines and Structures

At the end of unit 1 & 2 learners will be able to:

  • Evaluate the provision of education for people with special educational needs with reference to current legislation.
  • Assess the various educational options available in Ireland for people with special educational needs.
  • Provide assistance in the provision of education and care for individuals that present with special educational needs.

Special Education - Curriculum and Interventions

At the end of this unit learners will be able to:   

  • Examine relevant theories, skills and processes relevant to curriculum implementation. 
  • Explore the differences between integration and inclusion. 
  • Organise learning opportunities in order to promote independence and responsibility. 
  • Evaluate the importance of the multidisciplinary team in devising Individual Education Plans. 
  • :Analyse skills that can be used to aid the teacher in the administration of the national curriculum.
  • Assess interventions and behaviour management techniques that may be used in the learning environment.
  • Provide assistance in the provision of education and care for individuals that present with special educational need.

Personal and Professional Development

At the end of this unit learners will be able to:   

  • Analyse skills that can be used to aid the teacher in the administration of the national curriculum.
  • Manage meaningful activities that are suited to peoples needs and connect with their experiences and interests in the learning environment. 
  • Identify strategies for dealing with stressors within the work place
  • Reflect on own attitudes, values , beliefs and assumptions in relation to working with and on behalf of people who present with disabilities.

Special Needs Assisting (Level 6 NFQ)

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid Learning combines face-to-face instruction with live online learning.   In the context of the coronavirus school re-openings, a hybrid model reduces the number of students in the building, by moving some of the course delivery online.

You will be in a bubble:
Hybrid Learning September 2020

Dorset College continues to adhere to the government’s guidelines on protective measures required to be in place in order to combat the COVID-19.  These protective measures mean that our classes will now be delivered through a Hybrid model as outlined above.

Entry Requirements

An interest in gaining the skills on how to support children with special educational needswithin an educational environment or childcare facility. 

  • Mandatory: Learners must undertake 20 hours of work experience during the course – this is required in order to satisfy the requirements of the programme.
  • It is advisable to have the work experience organised prior to course start date.

Assessment & Awards

Assessment Method
A combination of module appropriate assessment methods will facilitate the assessment of learning outcomes on the course.  These methods will include a skills demonstration and a Project.

Assessment  Methods 

Project: 50%   Skills Demonstration: 50%


NOTE: A learner will only achieve their award once all components are completed including the 20 hour work experience - see entry requirements.

QQI/FET Special Needs Assisting Level 6  Minor Award  (Course Code: 6N1957 )
Awarded by: QQI Quality and Qualifications Ireland

Credit Value: 15 ECTS 

Final Grading
Pass 50%- 64%  /  Merit 65%-79%  /  Distinction 80%-100% 

Career & Progression

 Special needs assistants (SNAs) play an important role in assisting the teacher to support students with special educational needs and those who have significant care needs.  

 SNA’s provide classroom support to pupils with a wide range of severe learning, physical or behavioral difficulties. 


A qualification that provides the knowledge, skills and aptitudes for the role and responsibilities of a Special Needs Assistant when working with children in a special needs setting - Opportunities for progression include; 

  • Early Childhood Care & Education (Level 6 NFQ) 
    (ECCE with Montessori) 

Other relevant Level 6 – 8 Modules on the NFQ. 

Note: Department of Education and Science requirement for those seeking full-time employment in schools must have at least 3 passes at Junior Certificate or equivalent.

Flexible Payment Terms

To secure a place on this course a deposit of €75.00 applies and the remainder paid in instalments.  You have the flexibility of using our online payment facility to manage your course payments at any time, from the comfort of your own home.  Pay Online

Payment Plan

Deposit: €75.00 Secures your Place on the Course
1st Instalment:  €287.50 01/02/21
2nd Instalment: €287.50 09/03/21


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