Book onto our Special Needs part time Level 5 & 6 distance learning courses at the same time and receive €60 off the total cost, you will ALSO receive a FREE short distance learning course worth €165! See here for the details. (T & C's apply)

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The Special Needs Assistant Level 5 is a distance learning course 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.

The field of Special Needs Education is one of enormous variety and ever changing needs. Portobello Institute wish to respond to the true needs within the sector by offering a course that will equip our students not only with knowledge but with empathy and understanding crucial to their future role as support to persons needing assistance in their learning. Our research in the field has found that Special Needs Assistants require practical skills and knowledge in a wide range of behaviours and abilities. Thus, we try to encapsulate the lifelong experience of persons with Special Needs within our courses, in Level 5 and in greater detail at Level 6.

By choosing to study this course with Portobello Institute, students will have access to course materials from our online learning centre for the duration of the course. The course materials for this QQI certified course are thorough and easy to read and can be downloaded in your own time and from the comfort of your own home. You will also be assigned a personal tutor for the duration of the course who will help you with any challenges you may encounter. In addition you will be able to upload assignments online and receive online feedback. You can use our online learning centre from any computer that has internet access. However, access to a computer is not compulsory as we can arrange for everything to be processed by post. There is an additional administration cost of €30 for this service.

Qualifications Gained

  • Portobello Institute Certificate in Special Needs Assistant Training
  • QQI Level 5 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting (5N1786)

Entry Requirements

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college. There are no previous academic requirements.

Course Structure

As this is a distance learning course students study at their own pace.  Each students gets 12 months to complete this course.

Course Delivery

  • Online Learning Centre (requires internet access), or
  • By Post (note that there is an admin fee of €30 for postal students)

Course Content Modules

  1. The Role of the Special Needs Assistant
  2. Equal Opportunities Child Development (Overview)
  3. Theories of Learning and Behaviour
  4. Physical and Intellectual Disabilities
  5. Communications and Language Disabilities
  6. Work Experience*
    * 20 Hours Work experience is required

Book onto this Special Needs Level 5 course and the Special Needs Level 6 distance learning courses and get €60 off the total cost and also receive a Distance Learning Course worth up to the value of €350 depending on the course chosen



Name: Special Needs QQI Level 5. Distance Learning

Cost: 595 Euro

To Book this course, please make a full course payment using the Book Now button. Please read and understand both the Terms of Enrolment and Course Payment Information before paying for your course. Details of all our policies as well as refunds, cancellations, installment options and how to pay offline are contained in these two important documents.

Course CodePrice and LocationInfo
Portobello Institute, Dublin 1
  • Students can commence this course at any time
  • Study at your own pace

Additional Course Costs

Please read Course Payment Information for full details as to when you will make these additional course payments.

  • Insurance fee: €24
  • QQI Exam Fee: Included in course cost
  • Postal students only: There is a €30 admin fee for covering the cost of post and printed material