CompTIA A+/Cisco IT Essentials QQI Level 6 Special Award

Computing & Multimedia

  • Overview
  • Entry Requirements
  • Principal Areas of Study
  • Assessment & Awards
  • Career/Academic Progression
  • Lecturer/Tutor Profile

Interested in a Career in IT where there is a shortage of qualified ICT candidates to design, install, and manage networks due to innovations such as social networking, cloud computing, and mobile devices which are changing the way we live, work, play, and learn?

The Certificate in IT Essentials - Level 6 Special Purpose Award course offers a hands-on, career-oriented learning experience with an emphasis on practical activites to help students develop fundamental computer and career skills. It provides an introduction to the technical skills needed to help meet the growing demand for entry-level ICT professionals. Learners will have the skills and knowledge to take the CompTIA A+/Cisco IT Essentials 5.0 examinations.

How will you the Learner Benefit?

  • The Certificate in IT Essentials - Level 6 Special Purpose Award  course is the starting point for a career in IT with a clearly defined career path
  • Learners will be prepared fo the CompTIA A+ /Cisco IT Essentials
  • Provides proof of your professional achievement, providing you with a solid credential leading to better job opportunities
  • Excellent progression routes taking IT certifications from basic skills to advanced technical specialties.
  • Develop the skills, knowledge and competence to work effectively in an ICT environment
  • Online assessments provide immediate feedback to support the evaluation of knowledge and acquired skills.
  • Once you’ve mastered the CompTIA A+, you may choose to specialise in a specific area such as networking, security, software technology, or hardware support

CompTIA A+


Cisco Network Academy Interactive Career Path


 In order to successfully enter this programme, applicants should have at least one of the following:

A minimum of 3 passes (Grade D3 or better) in the Leaving Certificate (including English / Irish) and a minimum pass in ordinary level Mathematics    OR
QQI level 5 major award in Information Technology  OR
International equivalent to Leaving Certificate with the equivalent of a pass in ordinary level Mathematics. 
Mature learners (i.e. age 23 and older) will be individually assessed in order to determine suitability through Dorset College’s ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ policy.
Applicants should have good computer skills at European Computer Drivers Licence (ECDL) level or equivalent.
Non native English speakers should have evidence of an IELTS level 6.0 (or equivalent)
Eligible candidates may be interviewed.

Protection of Enrolled Learners
The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 Part 6 requires that all programmes of 3 months or more duration have in place arrangements for the Protection of Enrolled Learners to ensure learners have the opportunity to complete their programme of study.  Dorset College has made arrangements with at least two other providers to comply with this legal obligation. To read the QQI policy document on the protection of Enrolled Learners click on the link:

The CompTIA A+ /IT Essentials course will provide learners with the skills, knowledge and competence that will enable them to get started on a career  path with many JOB opportunities.  It will prepare learners for the CompTIA A+ Examinations and enable them to gain a valuable qualificaiton.  it will enable Learners to differentiate themselves in the marketplace with this Industry Standard Qalification.

Module Units

PC Hardware

  • Configure and apply BIOS settings.
  • Differentiate between motherboard components, their purposes, and properties.
  • Compare and contrast RAM types and features.
  • Install and configure expansion cards.
  • Install and configure storage devices and use appropriate media.
  • Differentiate among various CPU types and features and select the appropriate cooling method.
  • Compare and contrast various connection interfaces and explain their purpose.
  • Install an appropriate power supply based on a given scenario.
  • Evaluate and select appropriate components for a custom configuration, to meet customer specifications or needs.
  • Given a scenario, evaluate types and features of display devices.
  • Identify connector types and associated cables.
  • Install and configure various peripheral devices.


  • Identify types of network cables and connectors. 2.2 Categorize characteristics of connectors and cabling.
  • Explain properties and characteristics of TCP/IP.
  • Explain common TCP and UDP ports, protocols, and their purpose.
  • Compare and contrast wireless networking standards and encryption types.
  • Install, configure, and deploy a SOHO wireless/wired router using appropriate settings.
  • Compare and contrast Internet connection types and features.
  • Identify various types of networks.
  • Compare and contrast network devices, their functions, and features.
  • Given a scenario, use appropriate networking tools.


  • Install and configure laptop hardware and components.
  • Compare and contrast the components within the display of a laptop.
  • Compare and contrast laptop features.


  • Explain the differences between the various printer types and summarize the associated imaging process.
  • Given a scenario, install, and configure printers.
  • Given a scenario, perform printer maintenance.
  • Operational Procedures.
  • Given a scenario, use appropriate safety procedures.
  • Explain environmental impacts and the purpose of environmental controls.
  • Given a scenario, demonstrate proper communication and professionalism.
  • Explain the fundamentals of dealing with prohibited content/activity.

Operating Systems

  • Compare and contrast the features and requirements of various Microsoft Operating Systems.
  • Given a scenario, install, and configure the operating system using the most appropriate method.
  • Given a scenario, use appropriate command line tools.
  • Given a scenario, use appropriate operating system features and tools.
  • Given a scenario, use Control Panel utilities.
  • Setup and configure Windows networking on a client/desktop.
  • Perform preventive maintenance procedures using appropriate tools.
  • Explain the differences among basic OS security settings.
  • Explain the basics of client-side virtualization.


  • Apply and use common prevention methods.
  • Compare and contrast common security threats.
  • Implement security best practices to secure a workstation.
  • Given a scenario, use the appropriate data destruction/disposal method.
  • Given a scenario, secure a SOHO wireless network.
  • Given a scenario, secure a SOHO wired network.

Mobile Devices

  • Explain the basic features of mobile operating systems.
  • Establish basic network connectivity and configure email.
  • Compare and contrast methods for securing mobile devices.
  • Compare and contrast hardware differences in regards to tablets and laptops.
  • Execute and configure mobile device synchronization.


  • Given a Scenario explain the Troubleshooting Theory
  • Given a Scenario explain the Troubleshooting Theory
  • Troubleshoot common problems related to motherboards, RAM, CPU and power with appropriate tools.
  • Troubleshoot hard drives and RAID arrays with appropriate tools.
  • Troubleshoot common video and display issues.
  • Troubleshoot wired and wireless networks with appropriate tools.
  • Troubleshoot operating system problems with appropriate tools.
  • Troubleshoot common security issues with appropriate tools and best practices.
  • Troubleshoot, and repair common laptop issues while adhering to the appropriate procedures.
  • Troubleshoot printers with appropriate tools

Online Examinations: CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902 Examinations at the end of these Units.


In this course learners are assessed as follows:
Continuous assessment 60%
Final written examination 40 %

Each element of assessment must be passed.

QQI Awards
Learners who complete this course will gain the Certificate in IT Essentials Level 6 Special Purpose Award.

Awarded by: (QQI) Quality & Qualifications Ireland. A credit value of 10 applies to this course.

Optional CompTIA Award

On completion of the above course learners will have the required knowledge to sit the CompTIA A+ professional online examinations at our Pearson Vue testing centre at: 8 Belvedere Place, Dublin 1.

The CompTIA A+ 220-901 & 220-902 examinations measure the necessary competencies for an entry-level IT professional with the equivalent knowledge of at least 12 months of hands-on experience in the lab or field.

Award: CompTIA A+
In order to receive the CompTIA A+ certification a learner must pass two exams.

  • CompTIA A+ 220-901
  • CompTIA A+ 220-902 

CompTIA examination fees are not included in the course fee and are subject to change. Please contact our Head Office for further details.

Contact Us

The Internet is changing life as we know it—bringing new opportunities to communities throughout the world and increasing the global demand for information and communication technology (ICT) skills. Innovations such as social networking, cloud computing, and mobile devices are changing the way we live, work, play, and learn.

These innovations are all powered by networks, and there is a shortage of qualified ICT candidates to design, install, and manage these networks. Career Path Options

Benefits of CompTIA A+ Professional Qualification

  • Gain this Valuable QQI Qualification and provide proof of your professional achievement
  • It will provid you with a solid credential leading to better job opportunities and a well defined career path.
  • Provides Employers with a means to identify those qualified individuals who have the appropriate skills to do the job.
  • CompTIA offers baseline international standards to help prepare and identify qualified and knowledgeable IT professionals
  • Having proof of your skills and knowledge gives you the edge over other candidates when applying for a job.
  • This training course offers IT Professionals a competitive edge in today’s constantly changing business environment.
  • Those who successfully complete this course will have many Professional and Academic Opportunities.

Progression opportunities include:

Schedule: QQI Special Purpose Award  / CompTIA A+/CISCO IT Essentials  17/10/17 - 20/03/18

Month & Evening: Tuesday Date Time
October 17 & 24, 31 18.30-21.30
November 07, 14, 21 & 28 18.30-21.30
December 05 & 12 18.30-21.30
Christmas Holiday 19 December to 02 January  
January 09, 16, 23, 30 18.30-21.30
February  06,13, 20, 27 18.30-21.30
March 06,13 & 20 18.30-21.30
3 Saturday workshops  10.00 - 14.30 p.m. Dates to be confirmed  

This schedule may be subject to change 

Course Details

CompTIA A+/Cisco IT Essentials QQI Level 6 Special Award [Part-Time]

Start Dates: Tuesday from 10/23/18 to 3/26/19

Duration 20 weeks
Price €1,250.00
Non EU Cost €1,250.00
Comments The course is held every Tuesday evening from 6.30 - 9.30 p.m. (There are 5 Thursday workshops held throughout the course from 6.30-9.30 p.m.) Examination Fee €85.00. Comptia A+ Exam Fee €155 x 2.

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