Special Needs Assistant
QQI Level 5 - Intellectual Disability Practice (5M1761)


  • Intellectual Disability Studies
  • Empowering the Individual
  • Community Inclusion
  • Facilitating Learning
  • Work Experience
  • Challenging Behaviour
  • First Aid Response
  • Patient Manual Lifting and Handling
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training (NVCIT)
  • Teamworking
  • Human Growth and Development


  • Primary Schools – Special Needs Assistant
  • Pre-School – Special Needs Assistant
  • Personal Assistant
  • Second Level Schools – Special Needs Assistant
  • Out of School Projects
  • Back to School Projects

Courses Description

This full-time course prepares students to work as a Special Needs Assistant in preschool and primary school settings. It is suitable for both school-leavers and for experienced mature persons seeking a formal qualification.

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Leaving Certificate/Leaving Certificate Applied or equivalent.
  • Successful completion of interview.
  • Written references.
  • Applicants will be required to undertake Garda vetting. International students must also provide Police vetting from the country/countries where they have previously lived.


The full QQI Level 5 Certificate facilitates entry, on a competitive basis, to a range of third-level institutions nationwide and QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Social Care and QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Childcare. Further details are available from the relevant institutions, and/or on the QQI website www.qqi.ie


Excel Version or PDF Version of course costs.

Apart for the costs listed under the above link – you will need to budget for;
● First Aid Responder
● Non-violent Crisis Intervention
● Patient and Manual Handling
● Textbooks

Please Note: Every effort is made to have these costs as accurate as possible, however, please be aware that some of these costings are supplied by external agencies & external exam bodies and there is a potential for those to change unexpectedly. If changes occur they will be communicated to learners as soon as possible.

Work Experience

Work experience placement in a related vocational area is an integral part of this course. Students must obtain one day per week work experience for the academic year. The day will be specified by the College. There will also be a two week block placement at the end of the first term.


One Year


QQI Level 5 – Intellectual Disability Practice (5M1761)

N.B. Due to ongoing developments in QQI awards, names and content are subject to change.

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