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 ‘21:

  • Traditional Irish and Folk Music Performance BTEC HND Level 6
  • Brewing & Distilling Techniques QQI Level 5
  • Emergency Care Services QQI Level 5
  • Pastry & Baking Cookery C&G Level 5 Equivalence
  • Architectural Technology (HNC) (BTEC Level 6 Equivalence)

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 hosting a Virtual Open day on Friday 22 January from 10am to 12pm. Potential students, parents, and career guidance teachers will have the opportunity to speak to the staff on-line who, with their educational knowledge and specialist industry experience, can guide you in the right direction. On-line links to the different courses will be available on their website prior to the event.

Applications for September 2021 Courses are now open. Apply on-line at or call the Institute any day during office hours on 01-2829668 for further information.

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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