About the NFQ

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

The NFQ forms an integral part of the education and training system in Ireland.  The Irish NFQ is a system of ten levels through which all learning achievements may be measured and related to each other. It incorporates awards from initial learning to Doctoral level. For example, the Irish Junior Certificate is at NFQ Level 3, the Honours Bachelor Degree is at NFQ Level 8 and the Doctoral Degree is at NFQ Level 10, while apprenticeship programmes span a wide range of industry sector leading to awards from NFQ Level 5 to NFQ Level 10.

Underpinned by quality assurance principles, the NFQ describes qualifications in the Irish education and training system and sets out what each qualification says about what learners know, understand and are able to do.  It also sets out qualifications pathways from one NFQ level to the next. It will be useful for you to understand the Irish NFQ and its benefits.

This video describes what the National Framework of Qualifications is and how it used to connect education systems across the globe. It also describes the European Qualifications Framework.  English Version 

The NFQ allows you to compare and contrast the level and standard of different qualifications.  It will help you to make informed decisions about your qualification choices and your future options for further studies.

The NFQ also makes it easier for you to explain to others what qualifications you hold, or are studying for. This becomes very important when you are considering further learning or when you are applying for a job - at home or abroad.  You should consider the following questions before making a final choice:

  • What qualification does an education / training programme lead to?
  • Who is the awarding body?
  • What level is the qualification on the NFQ?
  • What type of qualification (e.g., major, minor) is it?
  • What are the options to progress further after completing it?
  • Will the qualification be recognised by employers?
  • Will the qualification be recognised abroad?

For further information go to NFQ

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