College Choice – A Different Pathway with BIFE


While in many cases students, schools and parents see the CAO as the ‘be all and end all’ for those seeking third level education, nothing could be further from the truth according to Gabriel Allen, deputy principal at Bray Institute of Further Education (BIFE). “Over recent years many new avenues have opened up to students to enable them pursue their dream career via a different route.” He added, “Further Education offers a learner, who may not have achieved the required CAO points, the opportunity to gain advanced entry onto honours degree programmes, both in Ireland and abroad.”


The huge range of courses available at BIFE offers learners fabulous opportunities, not only for those looking for additional skills or hoping to go directly into employment, but also as an alternative route on to a college course in a university or institute of technology in Ireland or abroad. Over the past few years, graduates of BIFE have achieved honours degrees across a wide range of programmes, opening up a myriad of career opportunities from graphic design to performing arts to psychology.


This year BIFE will offer Higher National Diplomas in the following:

  • Fine Art – Art Practice
  • Acting
  • Dance
  • TV & Film (Moving Image)
  • Music Production
  • Music Performance
  • Applied Social Studies
  • Graphic Design
  • Fashion Design



As Gabriel Allen explained, “These nine courses will allow graduating students to proceed to the final year of an honours Degree Programme in Ireland or Britain if that is their ultimate ambition.”


Bray Institute will offer a number of new courses in September ‘20:

  • Architectural Technology HND Level 6
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant Level 5
  • Construction & Joinery Level 5
  • Jewellery Making Level 5
  • Pharmacy Assistant Level 5
  • Sports Injury & Soft Tissue Massage Therapy Level 5
  • Teacher Training & Education Pre-University Level 5
  • Inclusive Education & Training with Assistive Technology Level 6
  • Canine Husbandry Level 5
  • Animal Care – Start your own business Level 6
  • Equine Studies Level 5
  • Applied Ecology & Biodiversity Studies Level 5
  • Tour Guiding Level 6


All of the above courses will offer progression routes to higher education.



Allen assured that there are many opportunities for mature students to study and progress at BIFE. “All courses have valuable certification and offer progression routes to Higher Education, yet you don’t need CAO points to study at Bray Institute.”



Bray Institute will be holding a Career / Open day on Friday 17th January from 10am to 4pm. Potential students, parents, and career guidance teachers will have the opportunity to speak to the staff who, with their educational knowledge and specialist industry experience, can guide you in the right direction. Workshops, demonstrations, presentations and career lectures will run throughout the day and visitors can speak to students and get their views on the courses.

Applications for September 2020 Courses are now open. Apply on-line at or call the Institute any day during office hours on 01-2829668 for further information.


Pictured: BIFE staff and students visiting IT Tallaght. (BIFE have signed a formal “Access to Higher Education” agreement with IT Tallaght and a number of other IT’s).

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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