Information for Non-EEA Students attending a course of 25 weeks in Alpha College

Non-EEA students should consult this INIS link for official information on studying in Ireland

The Irish Immigration Authorities (Department of Justice and Equality) have approved a list of courses which non-EEA students may take if they wish to study in Ireland and there are strict rules and guidelines covering these courses.  Alpha College courses are on this interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)

Making a Booking, Payments, Cancellations and Student Refunds

Bookings may be made via our on-line booking system on  On receipt of a booking students receive a confirmation of the booking and an invoice.  All invoices are issued in euro and contain relevant details to facilitate payment.  All fees must be paid before the start date of the course or before making an application for a visa to enter Ireland.

All cancellations must be notified in writing. The administration fee is not refunded under any circumstances.

A cancellation fee of €250 applies when a course is cancelled less than 1 week before the course commencement date.

No tuition refunds are given for non-arrivals, late arrivals, early departures or absences, for whatever reason, from classes during any course.

In some cases homestay accommodation costs may be refunded but only for full weeks which have not been used up and provided at least one week’s notice has been given.

Accommodation costs are not refunded for a portion of a week.

All fees, less the administration fee and any bank charges incurred, are returned if a visa to come to Ireland has been refused.  The visa refusal number and any other written evidence of refusal received must be sent to Alpha College.  This refund will be made within 8 weeks of receipt of the visa refusal reference, the written evidence of refusal and its verification and the relevant bank account details to enable the payment to be made.

No refunds are made if a student has been expelled from the school.

A student may be expelled from the school for issues of attendance in line with Immigration regulations.  In addition, Alpha College reserves the right to expel a student who has been involved in anti-social behaviour, bullying or violence towards a student or staff member; alcohol or drug abuse; misuse of internet/e-mail facilities; damaging of college or host family property. All repatriation expenses in such instances are the responsibility of the student. The Irish Immigration Authorities will be informed in the case of expulsion of a Non-EEA student.

Attendance and Punctuality

Irish Government regulations stipulate that Visa Requiring students must attend classes for a minimum of 85% of their lessons.

All students attending Alpha College courses on the ILEP register have classes from 09.00 – 13.00 each day, Monday to Friday.

Attendance is taken twice daily in all morning classes in Alpha. The class periods are 09.00 to 10.50 (Teacher 1) and 11.10 to 13.00 (Teacher 2). At 09.15 and again at 11.25 the teacher finalises the list of students present in the class in the appropriate section of the class Logbook. Lesson periods are 55 minutes so the total number of lessons per week is 20 with a total teacher contact time of 18 hours and 20 minutes.

The College Manager (Michael Leonard: ensures that each class is visited during each class period and the attendance of students therein is recorded on the Attendance Register.

Students arriving to a class after 09.15 or 11.25 are admitted only at the discretion of the DOS. Even if admitted the student is marked absent for this class period (i.e. 2 x 55-minute lessons). Each class period constitutes 10% of the total attendance requirement for that week. Students must remain in their class until 10.50 or 13.00 when the class period ends. If a student leaves the class more than 15 minutes earlier than those times they are retrospectively marked as absent on the Logbook and Attendance Register.  On weeks where a public holiday occurs all students are marked present on the day of the holiday. Public holidays in Ireland in 2019 are:  01/01/19; 18/03/19; 22/04/19; 06/05/19; 03/06/19; 05/08/19; 28/10/19; 23/12/19-06/01/20.  While there is no class on those days students may join a full-day teacher-led cultural visit outside the Dublin area.

Every Friday the Logbooks and Attendance Register are checked for accuracy and the relevant class teacher signs off on the attendance for that week on the Attendance Register.

The attendance rate of every student is recorded on the student’s database entry in the attendance section each Friday afternoon. The percentage attendance for the week and the average attendance rate for the entire enrolment are automatically generated on this database.

If a student is not at the required rate of 85% he/she is interviewed by the College Manager to ascertain the reason and to remind the student of his/her responsibilities regarding attendance and to explain the consequences of not reaching the required level. The date and content of this interview is recorded on the student’s entry on the database. After 4 weeks have elapsed, and if the student’s attendance rate has not reached the required level, a letter of warning is given to the student. This letter identifies the current attendance rate and the required attendance rate and the student is advised that the situation would be reviewed after a further 4 weeks by which point the rate should be at the required level. All letters regarding attendance are printed, signed by the College Manager and the student, one copy is retained by the student and the other copy is filed in the College Manager’s office. Following this period of 4 weeks, if the attendance rate is not at a minimum of 85% a second letter is issued. This letter advises that a further review would be conducted after 4 weeks from the date of the letter. If the attendance rate at that point is not at the required minimum then INIS would be contacted and advised of the situation. Alpha College of English will be guided by INIS as to any further action, including expulsion.

All absences, for whatever reason, are noted.  Attendance percentage rates cannot be changed under any circumstances.

It is the responsibility of the students to ensure that they meet the attendance requirements of their visa and any communication regarding attendance issues must be directly between the student and the school.  Students must ensure that any explanatory material for absences is available both to Alpha College and the Immigration Authorities.


Students attending a course on the ILEP register are entitled to holidays. Students attending these courses will have registered with Alpha College for a period of 25 weeks and these classes must be taken in full in a period not exceeding 33 weeks.

Holiday periods for Non-EEA students must be agreed at the beginning of the programme.  Holidays cannot be taken until at least 12 weeks of the course has been completed. Holidays may only be taken in units of 1 week, i.e. Monday – Friday.

Once agreed the holiday dates and tuition dates are entered on the student’s entry on the database and cannot be altered. The holiday and tuition dates will be identified on the registration letter for GNIB. Only specified Alpha College personnel are authorised signatories for this letter.

The college closes for 2 weeks at Christmas and these two weeks are compulsory holiday periods.  There are no teacher-led cultural visits/excursions offered during this period.

Sick Leave

If a student is ill this must be communicated to the College by e-mail to, by text or by landline to +353 1 87 47 024.  On return to the college students must present a doctor’s note.  Students with certified illness for a period of one week can take these classes at the end of their course.

Students absent from classes due to illness will be marked absent but the doctor’s note will be held on their file.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide an original doctor’s note in the case of absence through illness.

In the event of a serious illness or other urgent family matter please contact Alpha on or by telephone on +353 1 87 47 024 or 085 754 9039.  Such instances will be dealt with on a case by case basis and supporting documentation will be required.

End of Course Examinations

All students attending courses on the ILEP register pay an examination fee on registration for their course. This fees are set by examination centres and you can expect to pay around €105 for a TIE Examination, €175 for the Cambridge First Certificate Examination and €200 for an IELTS Examination.

All students taking a course on the ILEP register must sign an agreement to take an examination on completion of their course. This agreement is signed by the student and the DOS and a copy retained by the student and by the DOS.

The required minimum level for completion of the courses on the ILEP register is as follows and is as determined by the examination identified.

Entry Level A1 leading to Exit Level A2+ (TIE)

Entry Level A2 leading to Exit Level B1 (TIE); 4.5 (IELTS)

Entry Level A2+ leading to Exit Level B1+ (TIE); 5.5 (IELTS); Cambridge PET

Entry Level B1 leading to Exit Level B2+ (TIE); 6.0 (IELTS); Cambridge FCE

Entry Level B2 leading to Exit Level C1 (TIE); 6.5 (IELTS); Cambridge CAE

Entry Level C1 leading to Exit Level C2 (TIE); 7.5 (IELTS)

The results of all examinations which are registered for by the college are recorded.

Visa Requiring Students

Under new legislation in Ireland all visa requiring students advance funds will be held in a segregated account (Escrow) until your visa is approved and a copy sent to PaytoStudy.

Pay To Study