Course Overview

This course is offered at pre-undergraduate level in collaboration with Education Centres Nationally for those currently working as Special Needs Assistants in primary, post-primary and specialist settings and those who are interested in a position as a Special Needs Assistant but not currently working in the area. This part-time Certificate is Department of Education  and Skills (DES) recognised, at Level 7 under the National Frame-work of Qualifications (NFQ) - Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and is accredited by NUI Galway.

This course will be offered online commencing on the 6th September 2021 until 25th January 2022.

The course aims:
  • to develop skills, knowledge, attitudes and understanding of the role of the SNA in order to respond adequately to the SEN of pupils;
  • promote good practice amongst SNAs working with pupils experiencing SEN in mainstream primary and post-primary schools, special schools and classes;
  • provide a specialist qualification for SNAs and provide a basis for further study and career development.

Applications and Selections

‌Applications for September 2021 are now closed.


SNA Application Form Instructions - READ ME

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is continuous, with each of the 3 modules being assessed independently on the basis of an assignment or equivalent.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have an interest in special education. Priority will be given to those working in schools as Special Needs Assistants.

The course is also of benefit to those who are interested in working in/already working in the early childhood sector, other educational settings or working as a personal assistant/carer. 

Additional Requirements


6th September 2021 to 25th January 2022

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

19th May 2021

NFQ level

Level 7

Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting



Certificate in Special Educational Needs for Special Needs Assistants


Course code

Course Outline

This is a part-time, 80 hour modular course.

Modules are:

  • The Role of the SNA
  • Students with Special Educational Needs
  • Social and Curricular Inclusion for students with SEN - A Whole School Approach

Assessment is continuous, with each of the 3 modules being assessed independently through an assignment or equivalent.

Course Content and Delivery of Content

The course content will be delivered through a series of pre-recorded lectures and three webinars

Course Content
    • 1 hour pre-recorded lectures with accompanying handouts and resources.
    • The lectures will be made available on Mondays to be viewed by the following Monday
    • The lectures will be accessed through Moodle, St. Angela’s College e-learning platform (see attached information on Moodle).
  • 3 Webinars
  • Delivered by St Angela’s College Facilitators
  • The webinars will be delivered using Microsoft Teams via college email accounts
Proposed Dates
  • 6th September 2021     
  • 13th September 2021
  • 20th September 2021: Webinar 1 - 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • 27th September 2021
  • 4th October 2021
  • 11th October 2021
  • 18th October  2021: Webinar 2 - 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • 1st November 2021
  • 8th November 2021
  • 15th November 2021
  • 22nd November 2021: Webinar 3 - 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • 29th November 2021
  • 6th December   2021
  • 25th January 2022          

Further Education

On successful completion of the Certificate in Special Educational Needs for Special Needs Assistants, other areas of study are available to graduates of the programme. The Centre for Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Diversityis currently developing a Bachelor of Arts in Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Diversity (NFQ, Level 8). This degree aims to provide a unique and innovative qualification in special educational needs, inclusion and diversity for personnel involved in diverse fields such as, education and health. The challenge of creating truly inclusive environments demands that individuals be equipped with a range of substantive and transferrable skills which can be applied to a variety of contexts. The programme will meet the interdisciplinary challenges of inclusion by developing flexible and adaptable personnel skilled in responding to the 21st Century demands of employers and agencies.

Starting Date:            September 2022.
Duration:                    4 Years (part-time)                    
Mode of Study:          Online          

Further Information:       
Updates will be posted here on the College website as welll as on our social media platforms.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The course is of benefit to those currently working as or those interested in working as as a Special Needs Assistant. It is also of benefit to those who are interested in working in/already working in the early childhood sector, other educational settings, or working as a personal assistant/carer.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€800.00 (2021/2022)

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

Application fee of €25.00 applies (non-refundable)

Fees can be paid securely through our Online Payment Facility

Find out More

Ms Maxine Gilmartin
Special Educational Needs Officer
School of Education
T: +353(0)71 9195552