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Open Days 2023-2024: Everything You Need To Know (+ BONUS Higher Options & Worldskills Ireland)


Now that we’re well into the first term of the school year, it’s time to start thinking about college open days.

And while you might be thinking that it’s FAR too early for that, college open days have been taking place since mid-August!

In this blog, we’re going to go through EVERYTHING you need to know about college open days, what to expect from them, as well as a complete list of all the college open day dates for the 2023-2024 year!

But that’s not all! We also have BONUS content about the Higher Options Exhibition 2023! Kepp reading for more information!

PS – If you’re looking for more advice on picking a college course, check out our blog on 3 Practical Tips for Choosing A College Course!

What are Open Days?

Open days are organized by third-level institutions to give prospective students a comprehensive view of what the institution has to offer and to help them make informed decisions about their CAO choices.

They provide prospective students and their families the opportunity to visit the campus, learn about course offerings, explore facilities, meet current students, and get a feel for the overall campus vibe.

Often, there will be opportunities to attend campus tours, course presentations, Q&A Sessions, and sample lectures.

Hence, open days are an excellent opportunity for you to get a sense of the institution and whether it aligns with what you’re looking for from a college. It allows you to gather information that might not be easily accessible through the website.

Attending Open days is particularly helpful to any students who will be filling out their CAO this November, but also to TY and Fifth Year students who may want to start narrowing down their options earlier on.

However, for TY and Fifth Year students, the Higher Options Exhibition can be an effective introduction to picking out your top choice courses!

What is Higher Options?

The Higher Options Exhibition is an annual event organised by The Irish Times that provides secondary school students with the opportunity to explore various educational options available to them after completing their Leaving Cert.

Representatives from higher education institutions set up stands with brochures, prospectuses, and other important information for students to look at as they walk through the exhibition.

Many are also happy to answer any questions you have about the HEI they are representing, but there is also a live Q&A session and a full programme of talks from industry experts.

Over 150 universities, colleges and educational providers will be at Higher Options this year. The full list will be made available here in September.

Plus, this year, the Higher Options Exhibition will be teaming up Worldskills Ireland, which showcases apprenticeships and skills with live demonstrations and competitions, meaning there will be something there for everyone!

The Higher Options Exhibition takes place in the RDS in Dublin from the 20th to the 22nd of September 2023. You can book your ticket here.

Open Days 2023-2024

Below is a table of all of the dates for college open days that have been announced so far:

DatesInstitution
16 AugustGriffith College – Dublin Campus
NLN Roslyn College (Online)
Progressive College (BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education & Care) (Online)
23 AugustATU Donegal – Letterkenny Campus
Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences (ICHAS)
NLN Roslyn College (Online)
28 AugustBray Institute of Further Education
29 AugustDublin Business School (Online)
NLN Roslyn College
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
30 AugustGalway and Roscommon Education and Training Board
Griffith College – Dublin Campus
Monaghan Institute
NLN Roslyn College (Online)
Rathmines College* (Town Hall Building)
31 AugustDun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Mayo College of FE & Training – Ballina Campus
Mayo College of FE & Training – Castlebar Campus
Mayo College of FE & Training – Westport Campus
04 SeptemberBlackrock Further Education Institute
05 SeptemberDublin Business School
06 SeptemberAn Cosán
07 SeptemberMoate Business College
Open Training College (BA Social Care, BA (Hons) Applied Social Studies – Disability Service Management)
08 SeptemberMoate Business College
12 SeptemberDublin Business School (Online)
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
13 SeptemberBray Institute of Further Education
20 SeptemberBray Institute of Further Education
Higher Options
21 SeptemberHigher Options
22 SeptemberHigher Options
26 SeptemberTUS Limerick – Moylish Campus (5th Years studying Engineering) 
27 SeptemberBray Institute of Further Education
04 OctoberATU Galway/Mayo – Mountbellew Campus
Mountbewllew Agricultural College
06 OctoberTeagasc Agricultural College – Ballyhaise Campus 
Teagasc Agricultural College – Kildalton Campus
University of Galway
07 OctoberTeagasc Agricultural College – Ballyhaise Campus 
Teagasc Agricultural College – Kildalton Campus
University of Galway
12 OctoberShannon College of Hotel Management
13 OctoberGurteen Agricultural College
MTU Kerry Campus
Teagasc Agricultural College – Clonakilty
14 OctoberUniversity College Cork (UCC)
17 OctoberUniversity College Dublin – Lochlann Quinn School of Business
18 October ATU Galway/Mayo – Mayo Campus
19 OctoberMary Immaculate College
Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD) – Clare Street
TUS Limerick – Moylish
University of Limerick (UL)
20 OctoberMary Immaculate College
Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD) – Clare Street
TUS Athlone
TUS Limerick – Moylish Campus
University of Limerick (UL)
21 OctoberTUS Athlone
24 OctoberATU Galway/Mayo – Wellpark Road Campus
26 OctoberOpen Training College (BA in Contemporary Disability Studies)
SETU Carlow
28 October ATU Galway/Mayo – Dublin Road Campus
01 NovemberTUS Clonmel 
04 NovemberThe Lir Academy
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
06 NovemberBallyfermot College of Further Education
07 NovemberUniversity of Galway
09 NovemberATU Donegal – Letterkenny Campus
National Maritime College of Ireland
SETU Waterford
10 NovemberATU Connemara
SETU Waterford
TU Dublin – Blanchardstown
11 NovemberMary Immaculate College – Thurles Campus
National College of Ireland (NCI)
TUS Thurles
University College Dublin
15 NovemberDundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT)
Liberties College
16 NovemberTeagasc College of Amenity Horticulture – Botanic Gardens
17 NovemberMTU Cork – Bishopstown Campus
SETU Carlow
TU Dublin – Tallaght Campus
ATU Sligo  
ATU Sligo – St. Angela’s Campus
Dublin City University (DCU) – Glasnevin Campus
18 NovemberATU Sligo  
ATU Sligo – St. Angela’s Campus
Dublin City University (DCU) – Glasnevin Campus
Dublin City University (DCU) – St. Patrick’s Campus
Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry
21 NovemberNational College of Art and Design (NCAD)
22 NovemberCrumlin College of Further Education
23 NovemberColáiste Dhulaigh of Further Education
Dunboyne College of Further Education
24 NovemberMaynooth University
Shannon College of Hotel Management
St. Patrick’s Pontifical University
25 NovemberInstitute of Art, Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire (IADT)
Maynooth University
02 DecemberTU Dublin – Grangegorman Campus
05 JanuaryRoyal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI)
13 JanuaryTUS Limerick – Moylish Campus (Engineering)
16 JanuaryDublin City University (DCU) (Online)
17 JanuaryBallyfermot College of Further Education
Blackrock Further Education Institution (BFEI)
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
TU Dublin (Online)
18 JanuaryATU Sligo
ATU Sligo – St. Angela’s
Ballsbridge College of Further Education
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Rathmines College of Further Education
TUS Clonmel
19 JanuaryBray Institute of Further Education
Liberties College
20 JanuaryDundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT)
National College of Ireland (NCI)
University of Limerick (UL)
21 JanuaryCathal Brugha FET College – North Strand Campus
Cathal Brugha FET College – Cathal Brugha St Campus
24 JanuaryATU Donegal – Letterkenny Campus
Carlow College – St. Patrick’s Campus
Shannon College of Hotel Management
25 JanuaryATU Galway/Mayo – Dublin Road Campus
Greenhills College
Inchicore College of Further Education
06 FebruaryUniversity of Galway
21 FebruaryCathal Brugha FET College – North Strand Campus
Cathal Brugha FET College – Cathal Brugha St Campus
24 FebruaryNational College of Art & Design
29 FebruaryDunboyne College of Further Education
01 MarchTeagasc Agricultural College – Kildalton 
02 MarchATU Donegal – Letterkenny Campus
05 MarchMonaghan Institute
06 MarchATU Galway/Mayo – Mountbellew Campus
Mountbellew Agricultural College
07 MarchBray Institute of Further Education
Carlow College – St. Patrick’s Campus
Mayo College of FE & Training – Ballina Campus
Mayo College of FE & Training – Castlebar Campus
Mayo College of FE & Training – Westport Campus
O’Fiaich Institute
08 MarchGurteen Agricultural College
09 MarchInstitute of Art, Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire (IADT)
University of Galway
13 MarchATU Galway/Mayo – Mayo Campus
14 MarchPearse College of Further Education
15 MarchTeagasc Agricultural College – Ballyhaise
Teagasc Agricultural College – Clonakilty
21 MarchTeagasc College of Amenity Horticulture – Botanic Gardens
23 MarchATU Connemara
13 AprilATU Galway/Mayo – Dublin Road Campus
ATU Galway/Mayo – Wellpark Road Campus
Dublin City University (DCU) – Glasnevin Campus
Dublin City University (DCU) – St. Patrick’s Campus
MTU Kerry Campus
TU Dublin – Bolton Street Campus
TU Dublin – Grangegorman Campus
16 AprilTU Dublin – Tallaght Campus
17 AprilDundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT)
TUS Athlone
18 AprilSETU Waterford
TU Dublin – Angier Street Campus
TU Dublin – Blanchardstown Campus
20 AprilATU Sligo  
ATU Sligo – St. Angela’s
TU Dublin – Aungier Street
27 April ATU Galway/Mayo – Mountbellew
Maynooth University
St. Patrick’s Pontifical University
30 AprilShannon College of Hotel Management (Online)
02 MayATU Donegal – Letterkenny
Dublin City University (DCU) (Transition Year Students) – Glasnevin Campus
09 MayMonaghan Institute
11 MaySETU Carlow
22 MayCathal Brugha FET College – North Strand Campus
Cathal Brugha FET College – Cathal Brugha St Campus
23 MayBray Institute of Further Education
22 JuneSalesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry
28 JuneDublin City University (DCU) – Glasnevin Campus
29 JuneMaynooth University
St. Patrick’s Pontifical University
Disclaimer: This list is neither definitive nor completely free of error. Please double-check the website(s) of the college(s) and/or institution(s) that you are interested in for the most up-to-date information about open days.

There are also a number of institutions that have not announced open days for the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • American College Dublin
  • BIMM Institute Dublin
  • Cavan Institute
  • Cavan Monaghan ETB (Education and Training Board)
  • Central College Limerick
  • Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
  • Cork College of Further Education and Training
  • Donegal ETB (Education and Training Board)
  • Dorset College Dublin
  • Dundrum College of Further Education
  • Dungarvan College
  • Galway Technical Institute
  • Grange Community College
  • Hibernia College Dublin
  • Kerry College
  • Limerick College of Further Education (LCFE)
  • Mayo College
  • Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board (ETB)
  • Mullingar Community College
  • National Fisheries College Greencastle
  • Ormond College of Further Education
  • Plunkett College
  • Portobello Institute
  • Setanta College
  • Sligo College of Further Education
  • St. Nicholas Montessori College Ireland
  • Stillorgan College of Further Education
  • Templemore College of Further Education
  • The Law Society of Ireland
  • Tullamore College
  • Waterford College of Further Education
  • Whitehall College of Further Education

We will update the list of open days whenever possible, but as always, you should consult the college website for the most accurate information.

Conclusion

Attending Higher Options or college open days can be a great way to get a deeper insight into your courses of interest, as well as what it would be like to study at a particular college, which is equally as important.

We recommend attending as many open days as you can. Even if you don’t have enough time during the school year, many universities will hold open days during the summer months. This is especially valuable to any sixth-years having second thoughts about where to go, as they usually take place just before the Change of Mind facility closes on the CAO.

You can also visit campuses at other points during the year to get a feel for the atmosphere. However you work it, we definitely encourage you to visit the institution you plan to spend the next few months or years at!

Stay tuned for more tips on going to college over the next few weeks!

-T.J.