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Special Needs QQI Level 6 - Blended Learning

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Approx 3 months


QQI Level 6


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Special Needs QQI Level 6 - Blended Learning

We are working remotely and are available to support you with any queries you have - please email Jenny at or call her on 01-8920031. 

Our academic delivery teams are all also working remotely and are supporting our students to continue with their studies through online learning or to get started for those just commencing their learning journey.  

Are you interested in Special Needs Assistant? Thisblended learning course is suited to anyone who has an interest in Special Needs Education, whether to pursue it as a career or use the knowledge for personal or family reasons. Portobello Institute’s QQI Level 6 Minor Award Special Needs Assisting is a qualification that will allow you to work as a special needs assistant in schools, hospitals and care homes. During this 3-month course you will acquire not only knowledge but empathy and understanding crucial to your future role as support to persons needing assistance in their learning. You will also be required to complete 20 hours of work experience enabling you to get practical experience to compliment your studies. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a course that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

What is the role of a Special Needs Assistance?

Special needs assistants play an important role in supporting those with learning, physical or behavioural difficulties. The role of an SNA in the classroom involves assisting the teacher to support students with special educational needs who may also have significant care needs. Through education, knowledge and understanding an SNA can ensure that a child with special needs experiences a positive learning experience developing their confidence and independence.

Why should I study this course?

Portobello Institute's QQI level 6 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting gives you the opportunity to learn from a range of experts all of whom are passionate about the field of special needs education. They bring their insight, depth of experience and passion for teaching to this course. Portobello Institute’s Special need course will learn to support and understand the process by which a child with learning, physical or behavioural needs learns. This qualification will allow you to work alongside a in a school as well as care settings.

What will I learn during this QQI Level 6 Minor Award Special Needs Assisting?

During this course, you will learn about development and learning in children with special needs and about the role of an SNA. You will learn about child development and behaviour theories and how a range of activities can promote physical, social, emotional and intellectual development in children with learning, physical and behavioural disabilities. You will learn how to implement Individual Education Plans (IEP's) and individual behaviour Plans (IBP's) and introduce exercises that teach the child to look after themselves and their property which ultimately encourages independence, respect, self-esteem and responsibility. You will develop the capacity to work and communicate effectively with parents, families, colleagues and other professionals to safeguard, support and promote children’s learning, development and well-being.

Who will I learn from?

The programme management and tutoring team on course have been carefully selected on the basis of their qualifications and wealth of practical experience in the sector and education. Each member of our tutoring team is passionate about the effects a special needs assistant has on a child’s development and are eager to share their knowledge and experience with you. Meet our Team by clicking here

Who will recognise this qualification?

Upon completing this course, you will hold a QQI Level 6 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting enabling you to work as an SNA.

  • Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded a QQI Level 6 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting. This is awarded at level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications

    Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK

    The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here. 

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college. Students must have gained QQI Level 5 Component Certificate Special Needs Assistant or equivalent. To access programmes leading to this award the learner should have reached the standards of knowledge, skill and competence associated with the preceding level of the National Framework of Qualifications. This may have been achieved through a formal qualification or through relevant life and work experience.

This blended learning course is completed over 3 months through Portobello Institute’s online platform. The course materials can be accessed online and can be downloaded to read in your own. You will also be assigned a personal tutor for the duration of the course who will help you with any challenges you may encounter and will offer feedback on assignments.

Work Experience Programme

As part of this course you must complete 20 hours of work experience in an SNA setting. This gives you the opportunity to put into practice the exercises and skills you will have learned during the programme. You will have the opportunity by using these skills to stimulate, develop and guide the children under your direction to develop to their full potential. We aim to ensure you that have the opportunity to gain experience in a setting that is aligned with your career ambitions.

  1. Understanding Education, Health and Safety, Teach methodologies, Educational Philosophy and Practice
  2. Literacy: Identifying the conditions for learning language and how to implement these according to learning programmes
  3. Mathematics: Learning skills to support the teaching of mathematics and to devise strategies to assess mathematical ability
  4. Observations: Methods and techniques for assessing, planning and evaluating.

The cost of this course is €650

Book onto our Special Needs Level 5 and this Special Needs Level 6 course and get €190 off the total cost and also receive a Distance Learning Course worth up to the value of €350 depending on course chosen.


“I look forward to a rewarding and challenging career in Early Childhood Care and Education over the coming years with the continued benefit of spending more time with my children”. Read more

Sheena Heavey

Apply Now

Course Code Location & Info Price
DLSNFL6AP20 Portobello Institute, Dublin 1

26/04/20 & 14/06/20
This is a blended learning course with 2 workshops held on a Saturday, 10am - 4pm on the dates detailed
€650 Book Now
DLSNFL618 Portobello Institute, Dublin 1

Students can commence at any time
Study at your own pace
€650 Book Now
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