Dates for your Diary

This page helps to give you an idea of how the course will run.

The courses are divided into 2 sections:

  • October to March: Theory, Practicals and Visits followed by Exams in May
  • April  to July: Practical learning and gardening, projects (e.g. growing crops, writing up your report) and visits to farms and gardens.

The courses are flexible to fit in with your schedule – you don’t have to study every day!  You can complete gardening projects through the summer so that you can experience a full growing season – learn the theory through the winter, plant crops in the spring and then harvest in late summer.  We feel that this is very important to gain real experience of all stages of growing.  There are plenty of holidays too.

An important part of the courses is the practical element and also meeting other participants.  Below are dates when you can come to the college for practical days.  Please note you don’t have to come on all the days shown below – but you should aim to be available for some of them.  We realise that it can be hard to get time off work so most of the days are at the weekend in the hope that this will make it possible for you to attend. For those traveling a long way to Dromcollogher we recommend staying overnight locally. There are accommodation options in nearby towns including Newcastle West and Charleville, along with some local BnBs in the Dromcollogher area.  Full details of the schedules for the practical days will be available at the beginning of the course.

Year one students only need to come on the Saturday of the weekends shown for Practical Days. The Sunday will cover Year two course material. Here are the dates for 2024-25.  

Welcome / Induction Day – For Year 1 Students only Saturday 19th October 2025, 9am to 12pm.  Zoom Conference Call
Practical Days (Autumn)  9th & 10th November  2024
Practical Days (Winter) 11th & 12th January 2025
Practical Days (1st Spring) 1st & 2nd March 2025
Practical Days (2nd Spring) 12th & 13th April 2025
Exams  10th & 11th May (All students attend both days)
Practical Days (1st Summer)
7th & 8th June 2025
Practical Days (2nd Summer)
5th & 6th July 2025

Holidays are as follows:

Mid-term break TBC 1 week
Christmas TBC 3 weeks
Mid-term break TBC 1 week
Easter TBC 3 weeks

During holiday weeks there will be no course material.  As distance learning is a flexible way to learn you can of course choose to study at times that suit you.  However, if you want to be assessed for certificates you will need to attend at the college for some of the practical days and exams as well as regularly accessing the distance learning website.


We’re delighted to announce that for 2024-25 the National Organic Training Skillnet are able to support applicants for the courses. Places are limited so sign up early to avoid disappointment!

Most applicants who are resident in Ireland will qualify for this funding – NOTS are able to pay 30% of your course fees so the prices are as follows:

  • Year 1 (4 modules) full price €1150, Skillnet supported price: €805
  • Year 2 (5 modules) full price €1150, Skillnet supported price: €805

The prices above are all inclusive and include all course material, weekend practical workshops at the college and exam entry fees and certification.  We hope you agree that the courses represents excellent value for money for a full QQI course with 12 practical workshops at the college and visits to farms and gardens.

Other Grants

If you are registered unemployed and living in Ireland it is possible that your local Social Protection office may assist you with a TESG grant of up to €1000 towards your fees.  We are not able to arrange this grants for you and it is up to you to contact your local office to see if they may be willing to pay for the course.  We are happy to offer help by talking to your Social Protection officer and supplying them with any details they may need.