Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) are delighted to now offer two new tertiary degree programmes at Kerry College for the academic year 2023/2024.

A tertiary course is one that commences in an Education and Training Board (ETB) and continues in a Higher Education Institution (HEI), culminating in the award of a degree. In this proof-of-concept phase, Kerry ETB will offer, in partnership with the Munster Technological University (MTU), an Honours Degree in Animation, Visual Effects and Motion Design and an Honours Degree in Business. Learners will spend their first two years at Kerry College Clash Road Campus in Tralee, following on to then years three and four at MTU Kerry Campus.

Kerry ETB will not apply any tuition fee or student contribution fee for the duration of their tuition. The Free Fees Initiative and student contribution arrangements will apply to the agreed duration of the tuition delivered by the HEI on the tertiary programme.

The National Tertiary Office (NTO) was established by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Skills in a joint initiative between the Higher Education Authority and SOLAS. The NTO has been tasked with the development of new progressive pathways through further education to higher education, which is central to the government’s ambition of a unified tertiary education system.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister Harris said:

These tertiary degree courses are a game-changer, offering students an alternative route to the points system and ensuring that we have a system driven by the career choices and needs of the learners. I want to thank the National Tertiary Office, the Higher Education Authority and SOLAS for their leadership in driving this change forward.


Commenting on the launch, Owen O’Donnell, Director of Further Education and Training at Kerry ETB, said:

The launch by Minister Harris of these first tertiary degree programmes is a pivotal day for learners in Kerry who, for the first time, will have access to a degree programme outside of the traditional CAO points system. I am delighted to see the offering, in partnership with the Munster Technological University (MTU), an Honours Degree in Animation, Visual Effects and Motion Design and the Honours Degree in Business to be delivered by Kerry College.


The ETB and HEI partners collaborated closely on the development and shared delivery of tertiary programmes to provide students with a seamless transition from FET into higher education and a clearly defined learner pathway right through to professional practice. From day one of their tertiary degree course, the learner is recognised as a registered student of both the ETB where they are commencing their course and the partnered university, which provides the student with access to dual supports and services, including libraries, sports, and other campus facilities as well as academic, health and wellbeing supports.


Stephen Goulding, Principal of Kerry College, added:

The development of these tertiary degree courses is a milestone in the FET/HE. The benefits to students of having the opportunity to study in their own county and progression to higher education will significantly reduce barriers for learners and offer parents and their children cost-effective choices. It will also significantly raise the standing of FET for school leavers and lead to better and informed choices and career direction. 


Welcoming the news today, Elaine O’Connor, Manager of the Kerry College Admissions Office, said:

As a FET provider committed to academic excellence, Kerry College Admissions Office is thrilled with the tertiary expansion to our course offering, which will provide learners with even more opportunities for professional growth. Our admissions team is excited to be able to support applicants through their Tertiary degree application journey. 

Students interested in pursuing either of the two new honours degrees on offer at Kerry College can contact the admissions office on 066 714 9696. 

They can also contact the National Tertiary Office website (, where students may apply for any of the 23 programmes on offer this September. For the eligibility criteria and course-specific entry requirements, please refer to the course information section on the NTO website. General enquiries may be addressed to the NTO, and course-specific queries should be directed to the relevant Tertiary Coordinator as listed on the website.