Special Needs Assistant Combined | SNA (2 Modules) QQI Level 5 & 6

  • Delivered Online, Blended Online and Classroom
  • Blended option is delivered through live online classes & pre-recorded content
  • Choose to sign up with a deposit on our Instalment Plan options

Blended Online

Delivered through live online webinars, pre-recorded lectures, and access to associated reading material.
Price 625
  • Live & fully online
  • Archived for review
  • Live interaction with the Lecturer
  • Starts Tuesday 20th February.
  • Duration 15 weeks


A flexible online approach developed to allow you to learn at your own pace.
Price 575
  • Fully online
  • Pre Recorded
  • Start Anytime
  • Suit your own Schedule
  • Access 20 Weeks


Study in a classroom environment one evening a week.
Price 825
  • Study on-campus
  • Fully Interactive Class
  • Starts 19th March in Cork Wilton
  • Starts September 2024 in Dublin City Centre, Tallaght and Tralee
  • Access 15 Weeks

Classroom Locations

During this course, you will learn about development and learning in children with special needs and about the role of an SNA. You will learn about child development and behaviour theories.

Learners will also explore different activities that promote physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development in children with a variety of disabilities. You will learn about EPSEN Act and Irish Legislation and how to implement Individual Educational Plans (IEP’s).

This course will explore the role of the Multi-Disciplinary Teams to ensue integration, inclusion, and equal opportunities. This course also includes an overview of the primary and secondary school curriculum.

Indicative content covered as part of these modules are….

SNA Level 5 Programme Syllabus – 5N1786

  • History of Special Needs in Ireland
  • The role of the Special Needs Assistant
  • Medical Conditions
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
  • Working as part of a Multidisciplinary Team
  • Professionalism & Accountability
  • Legislation
  • Health & Safety


SNA Level 6 Programme Syllabus – 6N1957

  • The Role of the SNA
  • Assessment Procedures
  • Observation, Recording, Report Writing & Data Protection
  • Disability Awareness
  • The Primary & Secondary School Curriculum
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Legislation
  • Literacy Skills
  • Professionalism


All our tutors are highly qualified in their field and have a wealth of experience in the field of special needs education. Our tutors are extremely supportive to all learners who are new in their journey in the area of special needs assisting.

This course consists of three component certificates:

QQI Level 5 Component Certificate in Special Needs Assisting (5N1786)
QQI Level 6 Component Certificate in Special Needs Assisting (6N1957)

Progressive College’s QQI Level 5 & Level 6 Minor Award Special Needs Assisting Course is a qualification that will allow you to work as a special needs assistant in different settings. This combined SNA course consists of two modules: Special Needs Assisting (Level 5 5N1786), and Special Needs Assisting (Level 6 6N1957). The SNA combined QQI Level 5 & 6 course provides the learner with an in-depth understanding of children with additional needs, the role of a special needs assistant, and Irish Legislation.

The purpose of this course is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to work effectively, under direction, with young children with additional needs. Moreover, this combined SNA course equips the learner in the theory and practice underpinning the education and care of those who present with special educational needs.

Completing this SNA course will ensure you gain valuable insight from all three modules which makes you stand out when seeking employment. Upon completing this course, you will hold a QQI Level 5 & Level 6 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting enabling you to work as a special needs assistant.

Budget 2021 has allocated €2 billion to special needs education. This has resulted in the creation of 990 additional SNA posts, bringing the whole time equivalent (WTE) number of SNA posts to 18,000 for the 2021/22 school term. Read more about the news here.

The minimum age is 17 Years. All learners must have a good standard of English.

Currently, the Department of Education and Science stipulates that all those gaining full-time employment in schools must have at least 3 passes at Junior Certificate or equivalent.

Applicants should also indicate how they plan to obtain their work experience during the course if they are not already working in the area.

As per QQI requirements, if you wish to use previously achieved modules to complete your Major Award, then they must have been achieved within the last five years.  You must provide the College with copies of these certificates in order to go forward for certification once you have completed your programme of training with us.

Continuous Assessment

You will be required to complete 60 hours of work experience. This will give you hands-on practical experience and enhance your overall learning experience. You will be required to secure your own work placement.

Noelle McNamara

SNA Tutor

ECEC Degree Lecturer

I have achieved my- Level 8 BA honours Early Childhood Education and Care Degree- As well as achieving my CACHE N.N.E.B Nursery Nursing Diploma and also my CACHE Level 4 NVQ Qualification’s in Children’s Learning Care and Development

I currently hold a vast and wide range of experience having worked within the field of Early Childhood Education and Care for the past 25 years.

Working with and supporting children and their families within various- different professional roles both here in Ireland and in the United Kingdom.

Specialising in supporting children with SEN and their families within the  professional roles of Area Special Needs Co ordinator, Early Support Officer and Key worker.

I am trained in specific packages of SEN support for children with SEN and their families such as Portage, PECS, Makaton, Intensive Interaction.



John Li


John is an experienced and stout advocate for accessibility in education. Having worked with preschool children and children with additional needs since 2013, he has an abundance of experience and knowledge that he is excited to share with you.

To compliment his experience, he also brings with him a 1st class level 8 degree in Early Childhood Teaching and Learning, and a 1st class level 9 Diploma in Adult/Further education.

While experience and qualifications are nice to have, John is ultimately more interested in what you the student can bring to the classroom. He wants to hear about your lived experiences, backgrounds and stories as he believes ‘everyone brings a piece of their world into the classroom’.

His goal is to foster a culture of sharing, discussion and accessibility so that everyone can learn not only from the course, but also from each other.

Course Award

QQI supports learners at each stage of their learning journey, whether by issuing and replacing QQI Award certificates, verifying existing qualifications such as FETAC or HETAC awards, or advising on the move to higher education.

As the national awarding body for further education and training and most private higher education providers, QQI works in partnership with providers and stakeholders to develop and maintain award standards. Along with offering guidance on certifying awards and verifying qualifications, we maintain searchable databases of QQI-validated programmes and CAS awards and support the recognition of prior learning, and access, transfer and progression pathways.

Corporate Training

Progressive College can provide bespoke training over 3 – 4 days, please contact kevin.coyne@citygroup.ie for further details.

Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting is a legal requirement under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 for the vetting of persons carrying out work with children or vulnerable persons.

Students must complete the Garda Vetting process before commencing work placement.

Students who have spent more than 6 months living outside of Ireland will need to provide a copy of their Police Clearance Certification for all international addresses that they have lived at, before starting placement.

Why Progressive College?

Online/Blended Learning

All courses are delivered online/blended learning method

Classroom/Face-To-Face Classes

All courses are delivered in a classroom and part-time setting

QQI Accredited

QQI Accredited Online Course delivered either Online, In-Class, or Blended

Payment Plans Available

Choose to pay in full or sign up with with our available instalment plans


Deliver extensively for Educational Training Boards

International Partnerships

Benefit from one of our many international partnerships