I propose to take Questions Nos. 440 and 455 together.
Post-graduate courses that lead to a higher diploma in any discipline are eligible for support under the back to education allowance scheme (BTEA). Other than the professional masters in education, to which eligibility has been extended for the forthcoming academic year following the introduction of number of improvements to the scheme, no other post-graduate study at masters level is supported. The Deputy may wish to note that there are no circumstances whereby a person who already holds a post-graduate qualification will be considered eligible for the BTEA to pursue another course of study.
With respect to BTEA and work, a person supported by the scheme may engage in part-time work while on BTEA without affecting their personal rate of payment. This is provided that such part-time work does not interfere with their college attendance.
This Department does not offer specific supports for students pursuing third level qualifications outside of the back to education programme. The principal support towards full-time courses, in financial terms, is provided for under the student grant scheme administered by the Department of Education and Skills.