About Portobello Institute

Portobello Institute’s original home was in South Richmond St, beside Portobello Bridge on the south side of Dublin. The Institute was founded by Delia Lyons, a pioneer for education in what was then the childcare sector. Delia operated a small nursery for babies and children and recognized the need for qualified and skilled staff in the nursery sector. She founded “The Portobello School of Childcare” in 1981, the first childcare training school in Ireland and one of a small handful of private providers of further education at that time. Now known as Portobello Institute, we have developed significantly since 1981 offering both further and higher education in many more sectors today. However the ethos within Portobello remains true to Delia’s vision, each student is an individual with dreams and aspirations of a future career and Portobello’s role is to make education accessible and support that individual to achieve their career objective…. by keeping classes small – tutors know your name in Portobello, we maintain that personal level of support to every student enrolled, aiming to assist students reach their personal best in whatever they study.

We experience everyday through the stories of our graduates success, the profound impact a change of career can have and how Portobello can make this possible. Delia, our founder, believed that education was not just about achieving or indeed changing careers – education needed to be accessible so an individual could change their life path, leading to greater fulfillment in all areas of their life as a result – We consistently aim to ensure our programmes are accessible either by delivering through our regional network, varying the methods of delivery, widening the entry criteria and offering easy payment plans to our students.

Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in the child’s soul

– Fredrich Frobel

As one of our values of making education accessible, we recognize students need flexible modes of study and many of our programmes are available to study full time, part time, blended learning or by distance learning. Our departments have been developed in line with our areas of expertise and continued demand by employers for well educated and skilled graduates. We have sought the highest standards of recognition for our programmes and the bodies that recognize our standards include the national awarding body of the Quality and Qualifications of Ireland (QQI), the renowned London Metropolitan University (LMU) and the leading accrediting body in the area of therapy, the International Therapy Examining Council (ITEC). Professional bodies such as Engineers Ireland and the Institute of Facilities Management among others also accredit programmes in Portobello Institute.

The Institute is established as an exceptional private Institution of choice, with notable graduate success as demonstrated in our “Graduate Success Stories”. Today Delia’s daughter and now grand-daughter, together with a team of expert tutors and a core management and administration staff, are carrying on her legacy. All passionately believe like Delia, access to education within a supportive environment can offer individuals a path to their career goals.

Portobello Institute’s policies and processes have been proven to be of the highest standards. This is evident in the awarding bodies that approve our Quality Assurance Policies and Procedures. You can read more about these policies and procedures by reading our QA manual from the link below.


Portobello Institute is located on Lower Dominick St, just 5 minutes from Dublin’s main city center thoroughfare of O’Connell St. The Institute is very accessible by public transport with the new Luas green line stopping on Dominick Street and the red line stopping on Jervis St, a five minute walk away. The red luas line serves the main railway stations of Heuston and Connolly whilst the regional and city network of buses all have stops within a 15 minute walk of the Institute. There is car parking available in the Ilac centre and Park Rite on Parnell St, both less than a five minute walk from the Institute.

Portobello Institute occupies an impressive Georgian building and a former convent primary school of bright and spacious practical and theory rooms. Each department has its own unique facilities designed to deliver the practical elements of each programme. The first floor of one of Portobello’s building is given over completely to the beauty, makeup and fashion students creating a hub for cross collaboration of these complementary programmes. There is a fully equipped makeup studio and beauty therapy room providing the ideal setting for the beauty and makeup clinics run every Friday to familiarise students within a working setting. There is also a design studio on this floor, a creative space for fashion students to develop their ideas. The sports department students have a combined gym, sports lab and therapy room with up to date equipment and computerised monitors allowing students to carry out research in line with their curriculum. For the early years students, Portobello Institute operates a Montessori and pre-school on site giving the early years department the opportunity to participate in research projects carried out within an operating early years setting

A quiet room is available to all students to use for study or research with laptops available on loan from reception should the student not have their own laptop or tablet on site. Plasma screens are used in the classroom settings for presentation, after which student notes for most classes are available via our e-learning platform Redpen. Our online library ebsco and subscription to various leading academic journals provides a great resource for all departments.

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