Free short-term courses to improve skills

If you’ve been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), a range of free, fully-accredited courses are now available to help you retrain and improve your skills.

Skills

The Department for the Economy is supporting over 3,000  free places on short courses, delivered by the local further and higher education providers.

This follows the 2,000 places previously announced in June.

Opportunities are available from entry to postgraduate levels, focussing on skills identified by industry, linked to priority economic sectors, including:

  • digital skills
  • green technologies
  • healthcare and life sciences
  • leadership and management

Most courses will be delivered online and how you take part will be flexible to fit around your busy lives. They will provide an opportunity to re-skill and upskill into areas where job growth is expected to be high as we emerge from the impact of coronavirus.

All courses include an accredited qualification and will finish by 31 March 2021.

Courses available

Find out what courses are available at your local college or education provider below. For more information on specific courses, visit the provider’s website.

The Open University

Post Graduate Certificates (Level 7)

  • Computing
  • Technology Management
  • Systems Thinking in Practice
  • Environmental Management
  • Business Administration

Post Graduate Continuous Professional Development (Level 7)

  • Sustainable Creative Management
  • The Human Resource Professional
  • Introduction to Corporate Finance

Microcredentials

  • Cyber Security Operations – Cisco (Level 7)
  • Business Management: Marketing Principles and Practice (Level 6)

Further information and details on how to apply for the Open University courses can be found at The Open University postgraduate courses.

Queen’s University Belfast

Post Graduate Certificates (Level 7)

  • Software Development
  • Applied Cyber Security
  • Audiovisual Post-production
  • Data Analytics
  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
  • Engineering a Zero Carbon Transition
  • Advanced Chemical Analysis
  • Materials Science and Engineering

Ulster University

Post Graduate Certificates (Level 7)

  • Advanced Composites & Polymers
  • Energy Management and Green Technology
  • Professional Software Development (Data Science)
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Molecular and Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Understanding International Business

Post Graduate Continuous Professional Development (Level 7)

  • Programming and Cloud Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Counselling
  • Enabling Business Recovery

Other

  • Molecular and Pharmaceutical Analysis (Graduate Certificate, Level 6)
  • Management Practice - Transformational Management in a Digital World (Advanced Certificate, Level 4, in partnership with Belfast Met)

Further information and details on how to apply for the Ulster University courses can be found at UpSkill at Ulster University.

Belfast Metropolitan College

Digital

  • Digital Marketing (OCN, Level 2)
  • Social Media (OCN, Level 2)
  • Cyber Security Essentials  (Cisco, Level 2)
  • Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI (Microsoft, Level 3)
  • Security Fundamentals  (MTA, Level 2)
  • Database Fundamentals (MTA, Level 2)
  • Introduction to Programming using Java (MTA, Level 2)
  • Software Development Fundamentals (MTA, Level 2)
  • HTML 5 & CSS Development Fundamentals (MTA, Level 2)
  • Introduction to Programming using Python (MTA, Level 2)
  • Azure Fundamentals (Azure, Level 3)

Other

  • Digital Construction with Building Information Modelling (OCN, Level 3)
  • 2D Computer Aided Design (Level 2)
  • Introductory Awareness of Autistic Spectrum Conditions (CACHE, Level 2)
  • Meeting the Needs of Learners with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (NOCN, Level 2)
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour in Children and Young People (OCN, Level 2)
  • Leadership & Management  (ILM, Level 3)
  • Business Development Skills/Entrepreneurship (OCN, Level 3)

Northern Regional College

  • Essential Skills - ICT (City & Guilds, Level 2)
  • Social Media (OCN, Level 2)
  • Digital Marketing (OCN, Level 2)
  • Understanding Protection and Safeguarding (OCN, Level 2)
  • Business Development (OCN, Level 3)
  • Management and Leadership - Managing a Team to Achieve Results (CMI, Level 3)
  • Employability Skills (OCN, Level 2)

North West Regional College

Green Technologies, Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Advanced Welding (Level 3)
  • Orbital Welding advanced (Level 3)
  • Pipe Welding advanced (Level 3)
  • Welding Inspection and Testing (Level 3)
  • Automotive Management (Level 5)
  • Electrical vehicle (Level 2)
  • Electrical Vehicle (Level 3)
  • Electrical vehicle (Level 4)
  • Intro to Waste and Recycling (Level 2)
  • Core Domestic Gas - Gas Safety (Level 3)

Digital

  • Digital Marketing (businesses) (Level 2)
  • Digital Marketing (employees) (Level 2)
  • Digital Media (Level 5)
  • Photoshop (Level 2)
  • Sage (Level 3)
  • Sage (Level 2)
  • Software Fundamentals – Derry Campus (Level 4)
  • Software Fundamentals – Strabane Campus (Level 4)
  • Software Testing (Level 4)
  • Java Programming and ios App Development (Level 3)
  • ITQSTB (Level 4)
  • ITQ Website Software (Level 3)
  • Intro Digital Fabrication (3d, laser, CNC) (Level 2)
  • Digital Fabrication (Level 3)
  • Cisco Scaling Networks CCNA (Level 3)
  • Cisco Intro to Networking CCNA (Industry standard) (Level 1)
  • Cyber Security (Level 2)
  • BIM REVIT (Level 3)
  • Solidworks (Level 2)
  • Solidworks (Level 3)
  • 2d CAD (Level 3)
  • 3d CAD (Level 3)

Healthcare

  • Phlebotomy (Level 2)
  • Tackling Substance Misuse (Level 3)
  • CPCAB Introduction to Counselling Skills (Level 2)
  • CPCAB Counselling Skills (Level 2)
  • C&G Level 2 Certificate (Level 2)
  • C&G Level 3 Certificate (Level 3)
  • Mental Health Awareness (Level 2)
  • Principles of CBT (Level 2)
  • PT Level 3 (Level 3)
  • Exercise Referral  (Level 3)
  • PT Level 2 (Level 2)   

Other

  • ILM Level 3 (Level 3)
  • ILM Level 5 (Level 5)
  • Business Development Skills (Level 3)
  • CIPD L5 (Additional Units) (Level 5)
  • CIPD L3 (Additional Units) (Level 3)
  • ILM - Investors in People (Pre IIP Application) (Level 3)

South Eastern Regional College

Green Technologies, Engineering and Manufacturing

  • SIEMENS - SMSCP (SIEMENS, Level 3)
  • Electrical Upskilling (SERC, Level 4)
  • MLP Leading to Heat Pump Installation Maintenance Competence  (City & Guilds, Level 3)
  • MLP Green Technologies (City & Guilds, Level 3)
  • MLP Electrical Vehicle Charging (City & Guilds, Level 3)
  • Gas Safety (City & Guilds, Level 3)

Digital

  • Computerised Accounts (IAB, Level 2)
  • Using Spreadsheets (City & Guilds, Level 2)
  • Word Processing Software (City & Guilds, Level 2)
  • Data Management Software (City & Guilds, Level 2)
  • Using Emails (City & Guilds, Level 2)
  • Presentation Software (City & Guilds, Level 2)
  • Social Media (OCN, Level 2)

Other

  • Food Hygiene (RSPH, Level 2)
  • Risk Assessment (Safe Cert, Level 2)
  • Infection Control (SERC, Level 2)
  • Leadership & Management (CMI, Level 5)
  • Leadership & Management (ILM, Level 3)
  • Project Management (CMI, Level 3)

Southern Regional College

Green Technologies, Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Requirements for Electrical Installations BS 7671:2018 (City & Guilds, Level 3)
  • Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Routine Maintenance Activities (IMI, Level 2)
  • Auotmotive Refridgerant Handling (IMI, Level 3)

Digital

  • IT Award in IT Applications (OCN, Level 2)
  • ECDL Database Software (Online) (BCS, Level 1)
  • ECDL Project management Software (Online) (BCS, Level 1)
  • ECDL Word Processing Software (Online) (BCS, Level 1)
  • ECDL Database Software (Online) (BCS, Level 2)
  • ECDL Project management Software (Online) (BCS, Level 2)
  • ECDL Word Processing Software (Online) (BCS, Level 2)
  • Introduction to Cyber Security (Blended) (OCN, Level 2)
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Security Fundamentals (Online)  (Microsoft, Level 2)
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Database Administration Fundamentals (Online) (Microsoft, Level 2)
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Software Development Fundamentals (Online) (Microsoft, Level 2)
  • Adobe Certified Associate - InDesign (Online) (Adobe, Level 2)
  • Adobe Certified Associate - Photoshop (Online)  (Adobe, Level 2)
  • Adobe Certified Associate - Dreamweaver (Online)  (Adobe, Level 2)
  • Digital Fabrication (Laser Cutting) (OCN, Level 2)
  • Award in Photography (UAL, Level 2)

Other

  • Autistic Spectrum Introductory Awareness (Cache , Level 2)
  • Working With Children and Young People with Special Needs (OCN , Level 3)
  • Mental Health in Children and Young People (OCN , Level 1)
  • Mindfulness in children and young people  (OCN , Level 2)
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour in Children & Young Adults  (OCN , Level 2)
  • Award in Leadership & Management (ILM, Level 5)
  • Award in Leadership & Management (ILM, Level 3)
  • Award in Leadership & Team Skills (ILM, Level 2)
  • Award Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturing Skills (OCN, Level 3)
  • Award in Employability and Professional Development Studies (OCN, Level 3)

South West College

  • BIM/Revit (NOCN, Level 4)
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics (NOCN, Level 4)
  • Social Media for Business (City & Guilds, Level 3)
  • Passive House Trades (Passive House Institute, Level 4)
  • Passive Designer (Passive House Institute, Level 4)

Graduate placement and women returners

The Department for the Economy is also supporting a range of bespoke schemes to support graduate placements and women returners, through a mixture of online training, provided by one of the six Further Education Colleges or Ulster University, with a placement at an employer to support growth, development and recovery.

Further information will be made available by providers. Opportunities are available across a number of areas, including:

  • women returners for the ICT Sector (Belfast Metropolitan College)
  • Graduate Leadership (Ulster University)
  • Graduate Entry to Management (Northern Regional College, North West Regional College, South Eastern Regional College, South West College)
  • Graduate Digital Futures – Data Analytics (South Eastern Regional College, Southern Regional College)
  • Graduate Digital Futures – Cyber Security (South West College)
  • Graduate Digital Futures – Cloud Computing (Belfast Metropolitan College)

Further information

For more information on any of the courses above and how to apply, contact the relevant college or university:

Other online training courses can be found at online training support.

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