Jargon Buster


Central Application Office (CAO) in Ireland allocates third level places to prospective students. It is an anonymous merit based system that matches educational attainment with places available on a third level course in Ireland. www.cao.ie


  • The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) describes on a scale of 1 to 10 the level of formal education achieved
  • Leaving Certificate is a Level 5 (L5) qualification
  • Some Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are Level 5 (L5) or Level 6 (L6)
  • SETU Carlow offer courses at
    • Level 6 (L6), Higher Certificate,
    • Level 7 (L7) Ordinary Degree,
    • Level 8 (L8), Honours Degree,
    • Level 9 (L9) Masters
    • Level 10 (L10) PhD which is Doctoral level,

Graduate Attributes

Graduate Attributes are the specific traits that an institution seeks to engender in all of its graduates, ones that may distinguish a graduate from one institution to another. They are an indicator to both staff and students about what traits the learners should have acquired by completion of their studies. Graduate attributes are descriptive statements or adjectives that define what a graduate from the institution resembles.

Employability Statement

Employability statement describes how SETU Carlow enables graduates to attain the graduate attributes throughout their course to ensure that they have the employability traits required by employers. You can read more about Employability Statement here »


Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) describes a process used to evaluate the knowledge, skills and competencies gained by an individual formally or informally that demonstrate attainment of a specific set of learning outcomes. Read about RPL here » & Read about Lifelong Learning at SETU Carlow here »

Professional Body Recognition

Professional Body Recognition is recognition that a particular course has been assessed by the Professional Body and meets the associated professional standards. This ensures any employers that a graduate with the associated award meets international standards. Information on Professionally accredited courses offered by SETU Carlow can be found at in our Professional Accreditation section ».


Employability is; Planned experiences designed to facilitate the development of:

  • Decision learning – decision making skills;
  • Opportunity awareness – knowing what work opportunities exist and what their requirements are;
  • Transition learning – including job searching and self-presenting skills and
  • Self-awareness – in terms of interests, abilities, values, etc.

Career Development

Career Development is an explicit process involving the decisions individuals make as they attempt to shape their work lives. It is a unique process for each individual, involving choices about occupations, roles, tasks and associated learning, sometimes with a specific goal in mind, and other times in response to unpredicted, unplanned events or chance encounters. It may involve the traditional concept of moving ‘up’ through a hierarchy of better paid and/or influential roles, but also decisions about which tasks to take on within a role or whether to move ‘sideways’ or ‘down’ in order to satisfy personal interests and needs, gain experience and develop or demonstrate expertise. [source]


Learning includes all types of formal, non-formal and informal learning relevant to gaining, keeping and improving performance in a job. It includes structured education and training, on-the-job learning such as mentoring and job rotations, learning that occurs through reading, observation, practice and reflection within a work context or in non work settings, such as engagement in volunteer organisations and community activities. [source]