CDETB Cultural & Heritage Local Training Initiative

The award-winning Cultural and Heritage Studies programme at the National Print Museum is a CDETB funded Local Training Initiative. Learners on the programme undertake a QQI Level 5 Common Award in Cultural and Heritage Studies as well as becoming tour guides at the Museum.

Tour Guiding

Course learners provide a tour of the Museum, based in the historic Beggars Bush Barracks, interpreting the Museum’s collection for visitors and groups. The tour takes visitors through the history of printing set against the backdrop of Ireland’s cultural development and major historical events such as 1916 Rising and the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic. The tour also includes the evolution of the printing process and a look at the most important composing, printing and finishing machines used to create books before the digital age. Each visitor has the opportunity to become a compositor and printer, and leaves with their own sample of printing. Working as guides in the Museum, assisting at events and helping to preserve the collection, learners gain practical and theoretical experience in tourism, heritage, culture and museums in Ireland which they can use to develop and further their careers.


Modules which are taught on this course include Local History, Archaeology, Heritage, Folklore, Appreciation of Irish Culture, Customer Service, Work Experience and Communications. Learners also take tour guiding training classes. Letterpress Printing tutorials are included in the course allowing learners to gain hands-on experience in the craft of printing. These modules provide the learner with a broad framework of knowledge in history, culture, heritage and printing which they apply practically throughout the course. As part of the course, students will also pay regular visits to cultural and heritage sites.

Work Experience

Included in the 49 week programme are three weeks of external work experience where learners gain practical experience working in museums, heritage sites or tourist organisations. Learners have found placements in culture and heritage sites throughout Dublin including Malahide Castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin City Library and Archives, National Museum of Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol, Casino at Marino and Airfield. The practical work placement helps to not only broaden the learners knowledge of other sites, gaining new skills and experiences, but also helps to create personal links within the Heritage sector while enhancing their CVs. These work placements and the skills gained from them can be invaluable in securing future job opportunities.

QQI Level 5 Common Award

The QQI Level 5 Common Award can be converted to CAO points. Many past learners have returned to third level education from the programme and attended Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, NUI Maynooth, DIT, Dundalk Institute of Technology and Cholaiste Dhulaigh College of Further Education. Learners are trained in a wide range of skills which they can use to enhance their CV and to apply to future job . Learners have gone on from this programme to tour guiding jobs in 14 Henrietta Street, GPO Witness History, EPIC Ireland, Maynooth Castle, The , OPW sites, , National Museum of Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland and IMMA. They have also progressed to work in organisations like Age Action Ireland, Irish Georgian Society, The Botanic Gardens,  Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin,and to work in a variety fields such as library and archiving, customer service and tourism. The course blog with past learners testimonials and work and research undertaken by the class, can be found here.

How to apply for the Cultural and Heritage Studies Programme (Community) (C5CL01)

We are currently recruiting for the class of 2023/2024. The Course starts at the end of September. For more information, please email the Course Co-ordinator at or call the Museum on 01 6603770. You can also apply at your Local Employment Service office using the course code: Local Code: B6Q

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